Aspen boys claim ninth state skiing title |

Aspen boys claim ninth state skiing title

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

LEADVILLE, Colo. ” Scott Lacy finally had his time to shine at the Colorado High School State Championships.

In 2007, the Aspen nordic standout finished second to teammate Noah Hoffman in both the classic and skate races. Last season, he failed to meet the Colorado High School Activities Association’s guidelines for qualification.

Nothing stood in his way in Friday’s 5-kilometer skate at Colorado Mountain College’s Timberline Trails in Leadville. Lacy overwhelmed the state field, navigating the course in 13 minutes, 11 seconds ” nearly 30 seconds faster than Vail Mountain School’s Sean Woods. Teammates Ben Armstrong and Bryce Gordon also finished in the top 10 for the Skiers, who piled up a total of 168 points and finished second for consecutive days.

That performance, coupled with the team’s 36-point lead after Thursday’s races, was more than enough to absorb a mediocre day from Aspen’s alpine boys. In the end, the Skiers piled up a two-day total of 629 points and cruised to a 73-point victory over Middle Park to claim their ninth state crown ” and second in three years.

The girls team finished third, locking up a third consecutive podium finish.

“It was a good day and everything went well,” Aspen nordic coach Travis Moore said. “We’d heard that James [Britvar] finished [sixth] and knew the other guys were a little ways down. We were definitely on pins and needles there for a while.”

The pressure was on the boys alpine team in Friday’s giant slalom on Ski Cooper’s Black Powder run. Just three Skiers were in the field, meaning all three’s results would count toward the final team tally.

Britvar, who was fourth in Thursday’s slalom, showcased his consistency with another top-six result. But teammates Luke Hemming and Kevin Hartman struggled, first-year head coach Craig Carlson said. Hemming wound up 20th and Hartman 34th for the Skiers, who finished sixth one day after taking third.

“It was a really tough day for my guys,” he said. “Windy conditions made things a little tough because it’s such a flat hill.

“They still got enough to help out the nordic team, who were the ones that carried their weight today. … If either three didn’t finish, it would’ve been hard to pull off a state championship.”

Moore and his team heard about the alpine results before the start of the afternoon skate. Despite the minor setback, he said he was confident.

“Even knowing our guys were going to ski well, we kept putting in numbers and trying out different scenarios. If this happened, how would it put us out,” he added. “It seemed like we kept coming out on top no matter what, so we did feel confident we were going to win.”

That confidence translated on the course, where Lacy, who did not compete Thursday, cruised to victory. Armstrong wound up fourth, crossing the line in 14:06, while Bryce Gordon took ninth with a time of 14:22. Whit Parker finished just one spot ” and less than two seconds ” out of the top 10.

Gordon, Armstrong and Parker finished fourth, fifth and ninth, respectively, in Thursday’s classic.

“It was really cool to see their top performer [Lacy] standing on top of the podium,” Carlson said. “[It was] definitely fitting that cross country was in a position to win it for us. They were so strong both days, and that worked to our advantage.

“Travis and I are extremely happy about the performances our guys had these past two days.”

On the girls side, three Aspen athletes finished in the top seven for the Skiers’ nordic team, which piled up 167 points to finish second in the nordic events to Vail Mountain School (172). Brittany Marrs led the way with a third-place finish, crossing the line in 15:57 ” about 50 seconds behind winner Jessica Linder of Vail Christian and nine second off the pace of Vail Mountain School’s Kaitlin Zdechlik. Lindsey Wilkinson (16:41.3) and Erika Heaphey (16:56.9) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Olivia Davis was tops for a second day for the alpine team, finishing 10th in the giant slalom one day after winding up 14th in slalom. Gabriella Zaharko was 36th and Isabelle Woodrow 37th.

“They struggled on the flat hill like the boys,” Carlson said. “All in all, the girls team is really young, so for a couple of them I’m extremely happy to see that they made it and were able to participate.”

“It was just an awesome day,” Moore added. “I know our boys are psyched and the girls are really proud of the way they skied.”

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