AVSC cleans up at home
James Britvar and Katie Ryan, both 13, swept their age classes recently at the Wilder Dwight Memorial Classic super G on Aspen Mountain.Both Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club athletes won three races each in the two-day competition against tough in- and out-of-state competition Jan. 21-22.Britvar dominated his competition in the J3 age class (13-14), winning each race by a comfortable margin. “James just stomped it and smoked everyone again,” said AVSC coach Rohan Verplank. J3 racers Indy Lane, Jesse Hoffman and Micah Evonitz also skied well on home snow. Lane had an awesome recovery in his first race to finish fourth and followed up with a seventh and 11th the next day. Hoffman finished 11th in the first super G and ninth in both races the following day. Evonitz earned a 10th-place on the second day of racing. “Indy wasn’t afraid to take some risks. All three of them performed well against the most talented field they’ve faced so far this season,” said AVSC coach Pat Callahan.Olivia Davis led the J3 girls, with a silver and a bronze for each day of racing.”Olivia had two fantastic races and she has what it takes to take on anyone,” Callahan said. Added AVSC J3 coach Willy Volckhausen: “I didn’t even want to forerun the course because I was afraid Olivia would beat me. She probably would have.”Sara Andrews Andrews finished fifth and sixth, and Lindsey Anderson grabbed a ninth-place and two fifth-place finishes. Alex Maple had two 12th-place finishes and one 10th.No one could touch Ryan in the J4 age-class competition. Ryan, who turned 13 this month, beat everyone by almost a full second on the first day of racing, then followed with two more gold medals the next day. “Katie collided with a gate at the top of the course on Sunday morning, losing both her glove and her pole,” Callahan said. “It didn’t matter to her at all – she still won.” Chandler Stapleton finished sixth, fifth and fourth. Teammates Hannah Hemming and Hannah Gregory each had a ninth-place finish.Bobby Moyer and George Rodney resumed their friendly duel to lead the AVSC J4 boys. Moyer had the edge in the first race to finish fourth to Rodney’s eighth. Rodney tipped the scales the next day to take sixth over Moyer by a slim margin before Moyer returned the favor in the afternoon with a bronze-medal performance. He edged Rodney, who was fourth by only 3 one-hundredths of a second. “It was a great job by Bobby in his first year as a J4,” Verplank said.The race has taken place each year since 1987 to commemorate the life of Wilder Dwight, an 11-year-old local ski racer who died in December 1986 after skiing his last run of the day out of bounds and falling into a mine shaft. Two the magic number for CoffeyAVSC J2 skier Sam Coffey competed at the recent FIS-U event at Steamboat. Coffey finished second in both the slalom and the GS.
Despite being a big star, Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen has frequently connected with the young AVSC athletes while training at Aspen Highlands over the years.