AVSC pulls out stops during championship season
This is championships season for many Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club athletes, who this month will compete in elite regional and national competitions.
On the alpine side, a small but mighty team of U18 alpine skiers — Katy Harris, Tristan Lane, Chapin Newhard and AVSC alum and National Training Group member Galena Wardle — are in the midst of their nationals at Copper Mountain.
Highlights so far include a second for Wardle and 11th for Harris in the giant slalom.
Lane was eighth among men in the GS.
The team was training downhill Tuesday in advance of their national championships race today.
At Steamboat Springs this week, racing on both Mount Werner and Howelsen Hill at the Rocky/Central U16 Championships, are one-dozen AVSC alpine skiers: Cooper Cornelius, Dexter Edelman, Jack Bowers, Isabella Johansson, Anna Patterson, Devan McSwain, Mariel Gorsuch, Madison Osberger-Low, India Cardamone, Tate Randel, Estelle Sweeney and Carly Ransford.
The regional championships, which kicked off today with a downhill, saw Cooper Cornelius grab the club’s first podium finish of the week, taking third on the Vagabond racecourse.
On a mercurial spring day that featured everything from snow squalls, fog, clouds and sunshine, Dexter Edelman took fifth in a race that was won by Aspen native and current Ski and Snowboard Club Vail athlete Bridger Gile.
On the women’s side, Anna Patterson was fifth with Mariel Gorsuch 11th in the downhill that was won by Jenny Simons of Vail, a member of the NTG.
McSwain was 25h and Osberger-Low 29th. Ransford and Sweeney tied for 41st while Randel was 46th in a field of more than 80 competitors.
The U16 Championships continue through March 7 with super-G, giant slalom and slalom races.
Currently training for their shot at the big show are AVSC’s U14 skiers, who head to Winter Park for the regional event beginning March 10.
Representing Aspen at the U14 races are: Tucker Thomas, Stian Davenport, Sean Patterson, Ethan DeMoreas, Alexander Ilic, Will Laing, Dillon Hendrickson, Allyson Cornelius, Levyn Thomas, Margo McHugh, Summer McSwain and Elle Murphy.
Galena Wardle, the U18 athlete noted above, is one of 16 promising U.S. athletes who will compete March 6-13 at the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Hafjell, Norway. Medals will be awarded for downhill, super G, slalom, giant slalom, super combined and a team event.
The World Juniors provide the opportunity for the best 16- to 20-year-olds to race against each other and see how they measure up on the international stage. The team was named late last week by the U.S. Ski Association.
“This is a strong and diverse Junior Worlds Team with athletes from some of the best club programs around the country,” said Patrick Riml, U.S. Ski Team Alpine Director. “We look forward to being competitive in Norway and using the championships as a platform for the future.
This year’s junior championships team also includes Paula Moltzan, who competed in the Aspen World Cup races as well as the FIS World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek.
In addition to Wardle, the state of Colorado will be represented by Alex Leever, Florian Szebel and Nina O’Brien.
According to the U.S. Ski Team, Mikaela Shiffrin, who is eligible for this event, will skip it to focus on the World Cup, where she’s leading the slalom standings.
Excellence in freestyle/freeski
It’s not only the alpine skiers who are ready for their prime time appearances at national championships.
Invitations have gone out for this year’s freestyle junior nationals, which are March 16-22 in Park City, Utah.
AVSC will field the following team to this prestigious contest: Cassidy Jarrell, Ian Catto, Kai Morris, Tristan Feinberg, Tyler Spence, Andrew Tierney, Joey Lang, Gage Carr, Keenan McIntyre, Carson Campisi and Aaron Lee.
Campisi, like Wardle, will enjoy a foray onto the world stage, as she was recently invited to ski in that discipline’s 2015 Junior Worlds in Italy. She will compete in the women’s halfpipe event.
Conditions were soft on the “Hole in the Wall” venue at Winter Park last weekend, as AVSC’s Big Mountain team fought hard in a regional IFSA event.
Notable finishes from Saturday included: male 11 and under, Andrew Bass, seventh; female 12-14, Maxine Mellin, fourth; male 12-14, Will Madsen, fifth; Will Lanter, 11th; Chase Kennedy, 14th; male 15-18, Davis Henschel, 11th; Connor Laughren, 14th.
Meanwhile, another team of AVSC big mountain skiers traveled to Crystal Mountain, Washington, for their event.
Highlights included: Jackson Ferraro ninth, Charlie Campisi 26th among men aged 12-14.
The men’s division of athletes aged 15-18 saw AVSC’s Griffin Gilchrist land in 22nd. Among women of the same age, Rhianna Borderick took 22nd.
USASA series wraps at Snowmass
After 18 events ranging from rail jam and slopestyle to boardercross, the Aspen/Snowmass series of the United States Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) has finished for the season. AVSC qualified many snowboarders and skiers into the nationals, which will be held beginning March 27 at Copper Mountain.
A total of 824 athletes competed over the duration of the Aspen/Snowmass series, which began in December, according to director Mike Atwood.
“I am stoked to be working with USASA, an organization that is developing future Olympic athletes,” Atwood said.
Results from the Snowmass finals appear in today’s edition.
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