Aspen High Alpine ski team impressive in season-opener at Highlands
Girls Top 10 Giant Slalom (field of 84):
1) AHS - Margo McHugh
2) AHS -Mariel Gorsuch
3) VMS -Whitney Merriman
4) AHS -Devan McSwain
5) AHS -Pascale Augspurger
6) BMHS -Haley Frischholz
7) AHS -Summer McSwain
8) AHS -India Cardamone
9) AHS -Tate Randel
10) AHS - Kajsa Sutro
Boys Top 10 Giant Slalom (field of 58):
1) VMS - Michael Resnick
2) VMS - Peeru Cames
3) AHS - Trey Thorpe
4) SSHS - Andrew McCawley
5) AHS - Reed Beidleman
6) SSHS - Nolan Sankey
7) SUM - Cameron Berget
8) AHS - Ethan De Moraes
9) BMHS - Kedrick Kinsella
10) CRMS - Gordo Davies
After two days of heavy snowfall, the skies finally cleared Friday, paving the way for the first races of the season for the Aspen High School Alpine ski team.
“We had an amazing day. It was a beautiful day for racing,” AHS coach Jennifer Morandi-Benson said. “We had challenging conditions, though. We had all that snowfall and then teams coming from as far away as Steamboat, Summit and Vail.”
Held at the base of Aspen Highlands, Friday’s giant slalom was the one and only home race of the season for the Skiers and the first of six scheduled races leading to February’s state championships in Steamboat Springs.
The Aspen girls, who are the defending state champions (combined Alpine and Nordic), looked the part Friday, putting eight in the top 10 in a field of 84 girls. Margo McHugh and Mariel Gorsuch, both returners from a year ago, finished 1-2, with Vail Mountain School’s Whitney Merriman taking third.
Also finishing top 10 for Aspen were Devan McSwain (fourth), Pascale Augspurger (fifth), Summer McSwain (seventh), India Cardamone (eighth), Tate Randel (ninth) and Kajsa Sutro (10th).
Three others — Elle Murphy (13th), McKenna Kiker (14th) and Elli Gorsuch (15th) — found the top 15.
“We had an incredibly successful day for Aspen, both on our girls and our boys side,” Morandi-Benson said. “Super, super proud of the athletes. They really came through in some adverse conditions. It was quite cold, but AVSC and our help support was incredible.”
The Skiers also had three in the boys’ top 10, led by a third-place finish from Trey Thorpe. Reed Beidleman was fifth and Ethan De Moraes was eighth, while Alex Ilic was close behind in 12th. The VMS duo of Michael Resnick and Peeru Cames finished first and second.
“We certainly have a mix of old and new faces. We have some competitors that have never raced before,” Morandi-Benson said of this year’s team. “Results only tell a little bit of the story. … We had some great strides made by our individual skiers.”
The season continues Thursday when Aspen competes in another GS, this time at Beaver Creek. The Nordic team is scheduled to start its season today at Snow Mountain Ranch, hosted by Middle Park.
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The state track and field championship meet got underway Thursday at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, with Basalt High School coming away with a couple of podiums.