Aspen alpine nabs four golds at J4 JOs
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Rocky/Central J4 Junior Olympics presented the season’s toughest test for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s alpine racers. They aced it.
The club picked up four gold medals ” two from Danielle Brownell-Patty and one each from Dean Travers and Benjamin Throm ” and multiple top 10s on March 19 through 21, clinching the over all team title for a second-consecutive winter.
“It’s the highest level of competition in the United States for 11- to 13-year-olds,” said J4 coach Rohan Verplank in a club news release. “The fastest racers from 18 states were there, and our team met the challenge.”
Brownell-Patty crushed the field in Thursday’s super G, winning by nearly 4 1/2 seconds. Teammate Sonja Gagen wound up 32nd out of 56. In Friday’s giant slalom, Brownell-Patty cruised to the 2 1/2-second win. Gagen finished 18th. “Dani just continued to ski her race on her terms,” Verplank said.
Throm climbed to the top of the podium in Friday morning’s GS, narrowly beating out teammate Travis Lundin. Xon Baker took fourth, Colby Lane seventh, Tanner Spence 11th, Roy Benge 12th and Henry Woodrow 15th.
Travers seized his chance to strike gold in Friday’s afternoon GS. Travers, who one day earlier finished second in super G ” one spot ahead of teammate Lane ” high lighted a group of seven AVSC racers that finished in the top 15. Lane took fourth, Lundin fifth, Andrew Hancock sixth, Throm eighth, Baker 12th and Benge 13th. “He absolutely diced up a really tough course that tripped up a lot of other racers,” Verplank said of Travers. “Anyone of those guys could have finished on top, the times were that close.”
Saturday’s slalom caused trouble for the AVSC contingent, but Lundin still managed to excel, finishing third. Hancock and Baker both recovered from mid-run gaffes to finish 11th and 12th, respectively, in the morning while Travers picked up silver in the afternoon race.
Woodrow finished behind Travers in 17th, while Tristan Lane wound up 22nd. Brownell-Patty crashed during the morning, but rebounded in the after noon, finishing second to Montana Marzario of Buck Hill, Minn.
“Dani played it safe in the afternoon to make sure she finished,” Verplank said. “That decision secured her place as the overall champion of the event.”
Travers finished second and Lundin third in the boys’ overall standings.
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