AVSC nordic team cruises to top finishes
The Aspen Valley Ski/Snowboard Club Nordic Team recently traveled to Frisco to compete in the first two of this winter’s seven Junior Olympic qualifying events and posted some outstanding results in the first competitive action of the year.
Cold temperatures and clear skies made for ideal conditions for the first event, a 5K skate race that featured over 300 competitiors in a combined Rocky Mountain Division qualifier and high school race.
AVSC’s Nathan Waldron posted the fastest time of the day, winning both the high school event and the RMD qualifier with a time of 13 minutes, 13 seconds. Just behind Waldron in second place in the high school race was Aspen’s Mike Otte (13:34). Otte also took home the gold in the J1 boys class.
R.C. Walker took third, Travis Mohrman was fifth and Conor Flynn finished eighth in J1 boys to pace AVSC to the team title in the high school race. Franko Peters also skied well, finishing 22nd in the field of 50 racers.
In the high school girls 5K event, Jenny Hamilton took fourth place with a time of 17:20. She was followed in the standings by Maile Wade (eighth, 18:04), Paige Elisha (29th, 22:52) and Hannah Elisha (36th, 24:19).
Aspen’s J3 boys took five of the top ten spots in the 3K skate event. Simi Hamilton led the group with a second-place finish in a time of 11:03. John Hatanaka was fourth in 11:14, Tyler Baker took sixth in 11:29, Brandon Cooper was ninth in 11:52, and Will Otte finished 10th in 12:00. Other top finishers for AVSC included Andrew Preusch (18th, 13:19), Geoffrey Walker (30th, 13:55), Andrew Dwyer (33rd, 14:13), Larkin Flynn (38th, 14:45), Spencer Adams (42nd, 15:35) and Joe Turner (54th, 17:54).
In the J3/J4 girls event, Ashley Morse led the AVSC team with a 20th-place finish in a time of 14:13. She was followed by Cori Hach (27th, 15:32), Kristin Walla (29th, 16:08) and Erin Kiernan, who finished 41st in her first nordic race in 20:05.
Saturday’s classic races, the second RMD qualifier, saw more outstanding results from the AVSC squad.
Waldron once again paced the boys with a third-place finish in the 15K in a time of 48:00. He was followed in fourth place by Walker (49:07). Mike Otte took seventh (50:21), Flynn was eighth (51:00) and Mohrman finished in 10th (51:56).
In the J2 girls 5K, Wade took top team honors, finishing seventh overall (20:44). Jenny Hamilton was 11th (21:35), followed by Hach in14th place (22:29). In J3 girls, a 3K race, Morse was once again the top finisher, posting a fourth-place result (15:04). Kiernan took seventh (17:50) and Laura Hatanaka was eighth (17:55) in J4 girls.
AVSC’s J3 boys again dominated the field, led by Baker, who took home the gold in 12:51. Simi Hamilton won the bronze (13:00), John Hatanaka took fifth (13:39), Will Otte was sixth (14:08), Cooper finished seventh (14:33) and Andrew Preusch was eighth (14:53). Walker finished in 11th place (15:26), Larkin Flynn was 18th (17:13), Adams finished 21st (17:56) just ahead of Turner (22nd, 18:14), and Dwyer was 25th (18:55).
Next up for the AVSC Nordic Team will be another Junior Olympic qualifier this weekend in Steamboat Springs. Races are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
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