AVSC alpine racers solid over weekend
The AVSC men’s and women’s alpine ability teams split up last weekend, with one group competing in a Rocky Mountain Trophy Series (RTMS) super G and GS races at Winter Park and Steamboat, and the other group racing in the Smartwool slalom and GS races in Vail.
Cody Jenick paced the AVSC men at the RTMS super G on Friday and Saturday with two career-best fourth-place finishes against fierce competition, including from the U.S. National Team. (To cap off his recent success, Jenick also accepted a full athletic scholarship in skiing from the University of Colorado.)
Teammate Lange Adams had a strong showing for AVSC finishing 22nd out of 74 racers on both days.
“Lange has been stepping it up lately and has the potential for a lot more,” said AVSC alpine ability head coach Casey Puckett.
McCabe Mallin also scored well for AVSC by coming in 25th overall on Friday.
In his first FIS super G competition as a J-2, Paul Britvar finished first out of all the 15-year-olds on Friday. “He was going up against all the guys who won the Junior Olympics last year and beat them. He’s looking promising,” said Puckett.
Jackson Davis also showed some strong skiing in his first outing, finishing 47th on Friday as a J-2. “Both of them were among the youngest guys there and they weren’t intimidated by the competition,” said Puckett.
The RMTS highlight for the AVSC women was Gillian Hearn’s 14th-place giant slalom finish at Winter Park on Sunday. According to Puckett, “She skied much faster and made a real breakthrough. She’s definitely on the verge of putting it all together.”
Following the sage advice of Yoda ” “do or not do, there is no try” ” the other members of AVSC’s J-1, J-2 and J-3 squad found success the Smartwool races in Vail, taking home a gold, silver and bronze medal at the four-day competition.
AVSC J-2 newcomer Jericho Hajduk finished 19th overall out of 100 racers in Friday’s giant slalom. “He had a good couple of days and made some real improvements in his skiing,” said new AVSC alpine coach Jim Hein.
Bo Jaymes Forster took 21st out of 70 on the women’s side, going up against some strong collegiate racers from Middlebury and CU.
Stephen Buzbee took home a bronze medal for his age group on the second day of giant slalom and finished 12th overall out of 140 other competitors. “His second run was very aggressive, right on the panels,” said Hein.
First year J-3 racer Sam Coffey started 135th and finished 60th after his first run. While he would up 82nd overall, Hein said, “jumping that many spaces was pretty impressive. He really stepped up to the plate and showed everyone he was here to race.”
According to Hein, AVSC J-2 Christina Van Moorsel had a phenomenal second run in Saturday’s giant slalom to finish 17th overall out of 100 racers. She was followed by Forster in 24th and Taylor Buzbee in 27th.
In Sunday’s slalom, J-2 racer Brandon Briscoe struck gold by laying down two solid, mistake-free runs to finish forst for his age group and third overall. Forster paced the AVSC women once again on Sunday with two well-executed, consistent runs to finish 18th overall.
Monday’s slalom featured AVSC newcomer Katharina Neumayer, who took home a silver medal for finishing second for the J-1 age group and 23rd overall. Forster followed hot on her heels in 24th place and newcomer Netana Hotimsky finished 37th.
The lone AVSC finisher on the men’s side was Jericho Hajduk in 55th place.
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When mountain culture enthusiasts and athletes descend on Vail for the 20th annual Mountain Games from June 7-12, they will carry on a tradition that dates back to the 1970s in Eagle County and was once deemed illegal.