State-bound Aspen High senior Chelsea Moore to Nordic ski for Dartmouth
Chelsea Moore is dreaming big, and she’s headed to a place that can make those dreams become reality.
The Aspen High School senior will compete in cross-country skiing for Dartmouth College, the private Ivy League school in New Hampshire that boasts one of the best ski programs in the country.
“I definitely want to go to NCAAs,” Moore said, “and hopefully beyond that make the Olympic team some day. I know that’s a big goal, but that’s what Dartmouth is for. They create lifelong skiers, and that’s what I hope to be. I want to ski for the rest of my life.”
Moore will conclude her high school ski career Thursday and Friday when she competes at the state skiing championships in Leadville. The alpine events are held at Ski Cooper while the Nordic events take place at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center.
While high school skiing can be a step down from some of the higher-end competitions Moore is used to, it doesn’t make it any less important.
“It’s still competitive. A bunch of the same girls transfer over to the high school races, which is really fun. It’s become a really great community and I’m friends with a lot of the girls that do compete in high school,” Moore said. “I would love a state championship my senior year. I’ve worked really hard and I think our team has worked really hard. I think we are where we need to be for this weekend.”
The Skiers are in a prime position to win a state title. The state meet is a combined alpine and Nordic event, so it takes strong performances from both disciplines to win. The AHS girls alpine team has been virtually untouchable this year, and with Moore leading the way on the Nordic side, the AHS girls could be looking at their first state championship since 2016, and eighth overall.
The AHS boys are looking for their eighth state title, as well, and first since 2014, and are expected to factor into the mix.
For Moore, it’s a good send off with much bigger things on the horizon.
“I always knew I wanted to Nordic ski at college,” Moore said. “As soon as I visited Dartmouth I fell in love with the school, and especially the coach and the team. I’m really lucky to have been accepted there. I’m so excited. They have some of the best girls in the U.S. on their team.”
Dartmouth’s roster this winter includes Vermont’s Katharine Ogden, who is part of the U.S. Ski Team, and former athletes include Sophie Caldwell, one of the premier American cross-country skiers.
“It’s so exciting,” Moore said. “It’s such a higher bar. I think I will hopefully be able to excel when I’m training with them and see how far I can go.”
The state ski meet in Leadville gets underway Thursday with the giant slalom and classic races. The slalom and skate races will take place Friday.
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Despite an abbreviated meet schedule complicated by lingering pandemic impacts, the Demons enter Friday’s Class 4A Western Slope League championships in Grand Junction as the heavy favorites to win their first league title in nearly a decade.