AVSC freestylers shine in first home contests
The AVSC freestyle team hosted their first home event of the season at Aspen Highlands last weekend, Jan. 17-19.
Over 125 competitors from all over the Rocky Mountain region made the trek to compete at the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club course on Thunderbowl.
“The crowds were enthusiastic and the course was in excellent condition thanks to the crew and the volunteers,” said AVSC freestyle program director Eric “Doughboy” Knight.
Brittany Biebl, 18, had a fast run with great turns in Saturday’s open moguls competition to finish 11th overall and fourth for her J-1 division.
J-1 teammate Kaitlin Roos threw a 360 to finish 19th overall and fifth for her age group. “Kaitlin is feeling more confident and the 360 has now become a normal part of her runs,” said Knight.
Julianne Davis finished 27th out of 48 women for AVSC.
The men’s team faced some stiff competition at home. Dusty Spence led the way with a ninth-place finish and Glenn Engleman took 17th overall.
According to Knight, 12-year-old Elliot Kaufman “had the run of his life” to win his J-4 division.
“Elliot stuck to his line and kept his turns really tight all the way down,” besting some older competitors and making the cut for the second run. “They only took the top 50 and Elliot was number 50,” said Knight.
He finished the day ranked 47th out of 76 competitors. “He just never gives up and it was definitely his day,” remarked Knight.
Rachel Weitzenkorn showed her best on Sunday, finishing ninth overall in open moguls and third for her J-2 age group. Roos was right behind after another solid run moved her up to 11th overall and fourth for J-2s.
“It was Kaitlin’s best finish in a few weeks and her run is really coming together,” said Knight. Teammate Biebl finished 12th overall for AVSC.
For the men, Spence finished 12th overall and Jackson Horn took seventh place for his age group by showing the judges some excellent turns.
Zac Giammarrusco, 14, finished ninth for the J-3s with a clean run from top to bottom.
Chris Schumacher continued his string of second-place finishes in the morning at the big air event on Monday. Schumacher threw a perfect 360 mute grab to wow the judges.
Greg Ross, 13, showed off his smooth 540 to take the top spot for his age class and fifth place overall. The third-place spot for J-3s belonged to Beau Seguin for his nice 360 and David Hach kept his streak of top-10 finishes alive by coming in eighth overall.
Rounding out the top-15 for AVSC in the morning were Charlie Lasser in 11th place and Travis VanDomelen in 14th overall out of 34 competitors.
The crowd saw a different Travis VanDomelen in the afternoon. The 13-year-old threw an impressive, textbook 720 to nab second place overall. Ross followed in fourth place overall (second for J-3s) with another solid 540.
Schumacher finished 11th, David Hach was 12th and 12-year-old Knutzen Hoff finished 15th overall and first for the J-4s. “It’s Knutzen’s first USSA freestyle competition and he’s loving it. He threw some big 360s with grabs and solid landings,” said Knight.
For the women, Whitney Wickes finished third overall and second for her age class.
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Winter sports practices were officially allowed to begin last week, Jan. 18, after the Colorado High School Activities Association was given a variance from the state’s health officials. Games were allowed to be played starting this week.