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Waldron headed back to Junior Olympics

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club nordic team traveled to Crested Butte last weekend for the fifth of six Junior Olympic qualifying events of the season.

Competing in a freestyle event, Aspen High School junior Nathan Waldron paced AVSC with an impressive second-place finish in the J1 boys 15km division.

Steamboat Springs Mark Iverson finished in front of Waldron, who with his finish assured his spot on the Rocky Mountain Division Junior Olympic Team for the second consecutive year.

The JO team will travel to Anchorage, Alaska, the first week of March.

R.C. Walker finished eighth and Ben Sadler finished 18th for AVSC. Walker qualified for the Junior Olympic Team last year.

Aspen’s lone J1 girls competitor, Sarah Prudden, finished 14th in the 10km women’s event.

Michael Otte and Conor Flynn paced the J2 boys in the 5km event placing fourth and fifth respectively. According to AVSC coach Toby Morse, it was their best race and finish of the year.

Otte,who was a mere four seconds out of a third-place finish, edged out Flynn by two seconds.

Both Otte and Flynn helped their bids to join Waldron on the JO team with their performances.

Chris Gold finished 11th for AVSC.

AVSC’s J3 and J4 skiers also posted some impressive results as well beginning with the brother-sister duo Simi and Jenny Hamilton.

The sibling combo both brought home gold medals in their respective age classes. Simi Hamilton, one of state’s top young racers, continued to dominate the J4 division winning by a large margin.

Branden Cooper posted his best finish of the season for AVSC placing second to Simi Hamilton.

David Strickbone (sixth) and Tucker Helmus (seventh) rounded out the J4 boys division for AVSC.

Jenny Hamilton edged out Emma Catmur of Crested Butte for the J3 3km girls’ title. Teammates Maile Wade (sixth), Ashley Morse (ninth) and Cori Hach (11th) completed AVSC’s top finishers.

In the J3 boys 3k race, John Hatanaka led Aspen with a third-place finish followed by Linden Mallory in fifth, Wille Otte (seventh), Tyler Baker (ninth) and Andrew Preusch (13th).

Laura Hatanaka won the girls J5 girls 1km event.

AVSC’s J3 and J4 skiers will take this weekend off before traveling to Durango for the sixth and final Junior Olympic qualifying event while the J1 and J2 skiers travel to Lake Edora for the High School championships.


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