Aspen High Nordic sees victory at home; Alpine sweeps Loveland GS
The Aspen High School/AVSC Nordic team hosted its lone home meet of the season on the course at the high school tracks this past Saturday. The all-day event saw a large field of 126 boys and 93 girls compete in a mass start classic 5K race, followed by a 3K skate pursuit to determine the overall winners and state qualifiers of the day.
Chelsea Moore, an Aspen senior in her final home race, won the classic 5K race and increased her lead in the pursuit, crossing the line first to win the overall title. Aspen teammates Jordan Miner and Elizabeth Barsness also earned points in 11th and 14th overall. Freshman Kendall Clark added herself to the state roster in both races. AVSC skier Kate Oldham, skiing for Colorado Rocky Mountain School, took second overall. In the team standings, the Aspen girls team placed third in classic and second in skate.
The AHS boys team earned first place in the team standings in both race events. They were led by junior Everett Olson, who skied to third in the classic race and stayed strong to hold onto third position in the overall standings. The boys team put up great results with six skiers in the top 20, including Colt Whitley (fourth), Jacob Barsness (sixth), Taiga Moore (14th), Henry Barth (17th) and Noah Wheeless (19th).
Aspen also hosted middle school 3K skate races, with Anders Weiss finishing first for the boys in a convincing win. He was joined in the top 10 by Andrew Perley (sixth) and Corbin Carpenter (seventh). In middle school girls, Emma Barsness from Glenwood Springs took third, with Aspen’s Elsie Weiss coming in fourth.
The AVSC skiers will compete this weekend in Minturn for a Rocky Mountain Junior National Qualifier race and the naming of the Junior National team. After that, the high school team again races in Vail on Feb. 17 for the final qualifying race of the season before heading to the state ski championships on Feb. 22-23 in Leadville, where they will be joining forces with Alpine in pursuit of both boys’ and girls’ state titles.
Aspen Alpine team sweeps GS races at Loveland
The Aspen High School Alpine ski teams competed Friday in Loveland, with the boys and girls both winning their respective giant slaloms.
The AHS girls went 1-2 with Devan McSwain (1:47.88) taking the win and Levyn Thomas (1:48.03) finishing second. Summer McSwain was ninth and Tate Randel 10th to give the Skiers four in the top 10. In total, the AHS girls had 10 skiers in the top 19. Their 171 points narrowly edged the 168 scored by second place Eagle Valley.
In the boys GS, Aspen had seven finish in the top nine. Platte Canyon’s Luke Bailey won the race in 1:46.58, followed by Eagle Valley’s Hayden Holtrop in 1:47.65. The next seven spots all belonged to Aspen.
Leading that group was Reed Beidleman, who was third in 1:47.63. Ethan DeMoraes was fourth and Alex Ilic fifth to round out the top five. The next four Skiers include J.P. Simpson, Christian Kelly, Noah Forman and Hank Sweeney.
The AHS boys finished with 171 points, followed by Eagle Valley’s 164 points.
The Aspen Alpine team has two more races — later this week in Beaver Creek and next week at Ski Cooper — before it will join the Nordic team at the state meet in Leadville.
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There might be part of Hailey Swirbul that is finally beginning to believe she belongs. The 22-year-old cross-country skier is coming off quite a stretch with the U.S. ski team, one that includes her first career World Cup podium and a successful go in the notorious Tour de Ski stage race.