Roaring Fork Series opens with two GS races | AspenTimes.com

Roaring Fork Series opens with two GS races

AVSC staff report

"Go, go little thing," a group of spectators yelled to the day's first competitor, a U10 athlete who pushed firmly out of the start before strategically making her way down the giant slalom course on the Thunderbowl trail at Aspen Highlands.

Sunday was the opening event in the Roaring Fork Series, but many of the 100-plus skiers aged 13 and younger already looked to be in good form. That's because since October, most of the AVSC alpine team members had been prepping for just this moment, either through dryland training or on snow.

"It's really good to be back racing," said Macie Brendlinger, of Carbondale. Brendlinger noticed that the course "felt tighter than what we were training" during practice sessions.

But that's what early season is all about — regaining that mental edge and finding your sweet spot on the skis. It's also a time to become reacquainted with friends and friendly rivals, some of whom you may not have seen since last year.

Dick Jackson watched his daughter Tashi, who raced in the U12 class, handle the slick course.

"It's so good for your skiing," Jackson said about alpine racing. Just finishing the run "helps you build your confidence" for the future, he said.

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More than 100 competitors from the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond turned out for this season's series debut which was open to teams from AVSC, Sunlight Winter Sports Club and Powderhorn.

"It's a great turnout for the first race," said Greg Needell, alpine director for AVSC.

There were also some glimmers of great racing demonstrated in every age group.

Winners of the first race included the following: Jake Morgan, Tyler Thomas and Jack Bowers. On the women's side it was Samantha Edelman, Allyson Cornelius and Levyn Thomas.

In race No. 2, Jake Morgan and Tyler Thomas were victors in the U10 and U12 divisions.

Among the U14s, Jack Bowers and Myles Pember tied for first.

On the women's side, it was Cate Simpson, Allyson Cornelius and Elsie Clauss standing atop the podium for their respective age groups.

Weekly with Walt

Because of the holidays, the latest installment of "Weekly with Walt" will debut on Thursday, Dec. 26, at 8 p.m. rather than in its Wednesday time slot.

The show, which airs on GrassRoots TV 12 (Channel 82 below Catherine's Store), is titled "Ajax Cup and Our Giving Community."

Joining host Walt Evans are Marc Ganzi, Madeleine Hawken, Chris Davenport and Chris Tatsuno.

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