AVSC shines at Junior Olympics
It took Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club skiers Katie Ryan and Bobby Moyer little time March 15-18 to show they were among the elite at the J4 Junior Olympics in Winter Park.Ryan overcame a fall on the opening day to walk away with two silvers in giant slalom and four top-five finishes on the weekend. Moyer finished in fourth and fifth in a giant slalom field that included competitors from 18 states.Ryan, in what coaches described as her strongest discipline, fell Wednesday during her super G run but brushed it off and returned with her two second-place finishes one day later. Chandler Stapleton finished 11th and 21st, and Katie Mickey finished 20th and 29th.”Katie skied great and was only 0.6 and 0.3 seconds behind the winner,” AVSC coach Rohan Verplank said in a club news release.Moyer just missed the top 15 in Wednesday’s super G but, like Ryan, regrouped Thursday. He led the charge with his two top-10 giant slalom finishes. His results were best among first-year J4 skiers.”Bobby went out there and beat all the kids his age,” Verplank said. “It wasn’t even close, he stomped them.”George Rodney, wearing a cast on his arm that made tucking nearly impossible, finished 13th and 10th in giant slalom. Teddy Benge showed he was a quick learner with 32nd- and 27th-place finishes in just his first year of racing.”Teddy’s great attitude and hard work really showed this weekend,” Verplank said.Ryan continued her string of strong finishes with two fifth-place results in Saturday’ slaloms. Stapleton and Mickey were close for both runs, but Stapleton edged out her teammate by one spot in each race; she finished 33rd and 31st on the day. Hannah Hemming lost her pole and one of her gloves coming out the starting gate in the first race but regrouped to finish 51st out of 71. She followed it up with a 54th.”Hannah really kept her composure and had a decent run,” Verplank said. “Next year could be a great one if she keeps improving the way she is.”Moyer made a brief foray outside the top 10 in his first race Saturday but quickly regained his footing. He finished 12th and 10th in the slalom. Rodney finished race No. 1 in 14th but stumbled during the afternoon. He lost his ski but still managed to negotiate three gates before bailing out. Benge missed a gate during the first run but rebounded to finish 33rd out of 51.Despite their slow starts, both Ryan and Moyer finished high in the event’s combined standings. Ryan finished sixth overall, and Moyer slid into 11th – he was the only first-year skier to crack the top 25.”It speaks to where Bobby’s headed if he keeps his head in the game,” Verplank said. “He’s got tremendous potential.”
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The 2020-21 Nordic combined season was supposed to be historic. This winter was going to be the first ever with women’s Nordic combined World Cup events, the first scheduled for Dec. 3-6 in Lillehammer, Norway.