AVSC Nordic team excels in first races of season
With a podium sweep in one event and a pair of skiers finishing in the overall top 10 in a second race, the Aspen Valley Ski Club’s Nordic team has enjoyed an excellent kickoff to the year.
“This was an incredible start to a long season,” said Maria Stuber, AVSC’s Nordic program director. “The kids finally got a chance to see what consistent hard work can do for them.”
At the first high school (CHSAA) competition at Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby, both the Aspen girls and the boys teams finished in first place.
Aspen girls swept the podium with Chelsea Moore, Nina Beidleman and Jozie Wille finishing 1-2-3.
Logan McNamee was seventh, Adair Pattillo finished ninth, and Hazel Wille landed in 14th place to round out the top seed.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School girls finished ninth overall at Snow Mountain Ranch.
The Aspen men’s team is also deep with talent.
Graham Houtsma won the CHSAA race, Jack Sweeney was third, Nick Sweeney took fourth, and Ricky Wojcik was 16th.
The CRMS boys team finished eighth overall.
Nordic racers then traveled to Minturn for the second part of their weekend, a USSA/NRL event that attracted a number of big guns to the race, including world championship team member Tad Elliott of Durango and several collegiate standouts from the University of New Mexico and University of Denver.
Hailey Swirbul won the overall 5K event for women.
Nina Beidleman was ninth among U18s and 16th overall.
Among U18 boys racing in the 10K, Nick Sweeney finished third and Graham Houtsma took sixth.
U16 girls and boys competed in a 5K race as well.
AVSC’s Jozie Wille led local finishers in sixth while Chelsea Moore was 10th and Taylor Pattillo 16th.
On the men’s side, it was Jack Sweeney in ninth, Ricky Wojcik in 11th followed by Henry Barth, Jacob Barsness and Ben Kaden finishing 20, 21 and 22, respectively.
There were also strong results posted by the following athletes in the U14 and U12 categories: Lucas Schramer, Everett Olson, Taiga Moore, George Beck, Cole Kennedy, Will Rose, John Viola, Hank Sweeney, Anders Weiss, Spencer Perley, Ava McDonoungh, Stef Wojcik and Lily Louise Sanders.
“There are no secrets to Nordic ski training, just plain old hard work and lots of it. We did that this summer,” Stuber said. “This weekend was especially exciting for me because we now have a taste of what’s possible this year.”
Alpine skiers at Vail
While AVSC’s Nordic team was competing in Minturn, the club’s alpine team was racing on Vail’s Golden Peak.
The field was huge for the first of two girls giant slalom races with 93 competitors starting out Saturday morning.
The men’s field was smaller but still deep with talent.
AVSC’s Cooper Cornelius had an excellent race Saturday, finishing second among the U16s and third overall in a field that included some college racers and members of the national training group.
Jack Bowers was 12th overall, 10th among U16s.
On the women’s side, Anna Patterson finished ninth and Mariel Gorsuch was 10th overall (eighth and ninth 9th in the U16 division) under sunny skies in Saturday’s race.
Devan McSwain finished 22nd, and Madison Osberger-Low was 25th to round out the top 30.
U18 skier Elli Gorsuch was third in her age group that day.
Conditions were the polar opposite Sunday as competitors dealt with new snow and ruts on the challenging course.
Among girls, AVSC’s Patterson was again the top finisher, finishing 10th.
Mariel Gorsuch was 23rd, and India Cardamone posted two strong runs to finish just outside the top 30.
Among U18s, Elli Gorsuch was second that day.
Jack Bowers’ consistent skiing put him in 14th overall Sunday.
Teammates Jake Bassi (22nd) and Trey Thorpe (25th), also laid down two solid runs during Sunday’s races at Vail.
Utah’s Colby Stevenson won X Games Aspen ski slopestyle gold on Saturday, beating out fellow American Mac Forehand of Stratton, Vermont, the silver medalist who called it “one of the hardest slopestyle courses I have ever skied.”