Aspen J3s rule home slopes
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s 13- and 14-year-old J3 racers were right at home during the 21st annual Wilder Dwight Memorial super G at Buttermilk on January 20-21.
The two days of racing attracted a talented field of 102 boys and 86 girls from the Rocky Mountain Division and served as a qualifier for the J3 Junior Olympics.
AVSC’s Katie Ryan continued her winning streak on Sunday by taking the gold and followed with a silver medal finish Monday.
“Last year she had a hard time dialing it back, and she’s really figured that out this season,” said alpine age class head coach Alice Black in a club news release. “She’s developing a great touch on the snow and knows when and how to pressure the ski.”
“That first day she nailed the turns and you could tell it was a winning run,” added AVSC J3 coach Ramsay Hill.
Ryan’s teammate Kate Mickey added two top-10 finishes of her own (sixth, then seventh) in her bid to qualify for Junior Olympics.
“Kate was aggressive on both days and wasn’t fazed at all by the new course on Monday,” Black said. “She rose to the occasion and skied great.”
“Strength is a big part of speed events like the super G, and Kate’s so much stronger after working hard in the offseason,” Hill said. “She’s beating girls she couldn’t beat last season.”
Teammate Chandler Stapleton just missed the top-10 with two 11ths.
First year J3 Isabelle Woodrow finished 23rd on Sunday, then failed to finish her run Monday.
Kevin Hartman matched Ryan’s results with a win on Sunday and a silver medal performance Monday to lead the AVSC boys.
“Kevin made it look easy on Sunday, and he’s a great racer to watch,” Black said.
“Kevin is a strong, serious competitor who listens, makes the adjustments he needs to and quietly goes out there and wins,” Hill added. “He’s a pleasure to coach.”
Bobby Moyer took the bronze Sunday and followed with a fifth-place showing Monday.
“For Bobby to take a podium spot on Sunday is a huge feat in a speed event like this considering he gives up some size to his competition,” Hill said. “It’s proof that he skis as well as anyone out here.”
Right behind Moyer was Luke Hemming in fifth and sixth place for the weekend.
“Luke turned it on Sunday with some fast, clean turns,” Black said.
“He’s really put it all together in the past week,” Hill added. “Luke showed his awareness by figuring out the line that works best for him, and it paid off.”
Ryan Golbus had his best finish of the season so far with a 14th on Sunday before finishing 26th Monday on a new course.
Teddy Benge also cracked the top 20 on Sunday (16th) and was 27th on Monday.
“Teddy’s a beautiful skier who’s coming into his own,” Hill said. “These guys are all really pushing each other, and the results are starting to show.”
Six local J3 skiers qualified for Junior Olympics based on their results at Buttermilk.
Ryan, Mickey, Stapleton, Hartman, Moyer and Hemming will all be making the trip to Vail to compete in March.
“It was great to have this event on our home hill,” Black said. “It was a learning experience for many of the kids out there to face the kind of challenge that comes with competing at this level. Our team really responded, and I’m very proud of them.”
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