AHS girls Nordic team ties for first in Vail, boys third in 5km skate races

Staff report
Aspen's Colt Whitley and Everett Olson are part of the start of 136 skiers in the boys race on Saturday.
Brian Olson/courtesy photo |

The Aspen High School Nordic teams skied fast in their second event of the season on Saturday in Vail, hosted by Battle Mountain.

The skate race was a 5K mass start with one of the largest fields ever — 136 high school boys entered and nearly 100 girls. There was excitement and some chaos in the mass starts with broken poles and downed skiers, before the field spread out.

The AHS girls tied for first place with Vail Mountain School in a field of 12 teams. The team was led by senior Chelsea Moore, skating smoothly into second place, with teammates Jordan Miner and Lizzy Barsness also earning points in sixth and 15th, respectively.

They were followed by freshmen Eva McDonough and Kylie Kenney in the top 25, all earning qualification into the state competition.

In the boys field, Aspen junior Colt Whitley came in tops for the team in a strong second place, followed by junior Everett Olson (eighth) and Jacob Barsness (12th), with freshmen Noah Wheeless and Taiga Moore also in the top 25. The Aspen boys placed third overall out of 13 teams, and qualified 10 boys into states, five of them freshmen.

Middle school competition followed with 3K races. Aspen Middle School’s top skier was Anders Weiss in third place and the middle school girls’ Lola Villafranco finished fast for second place, with skiers Emma Barsness and Elsie Weiss rounding out the top 10. Both middle school teams earned third overall.

The Aspen High School Nordic skiers are preparing for a big home race on Saturday, Feb. 3, on the high school tracks at the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, and welcomes everyone to come cheer them on in an exciting pursuit-style race featuring both classic and skating.