Bumpy road leads to another podium for AVSC
Following a day in which the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s freestyle skiers took gold and silver in the Chevrolet Junior Olympics, Thursday it was the moguls skiers’ turn.AVSC’s Glenn Engelmann and Rachel Weitzenkorn did not disappoint. Engelmann took silver and Weitzenkorn finished in a tie for ninth. The field included 48 of the nation’s top-ranked junior skiers – younger than 18 – which included some U.S. Ski Team members.
After a disappointing Junior Olympics performance one year ago, Engelmann was determined to have his name at the top of the leaderboard. He displayed that focus as he breezed through his first two duals, setting up a quarterfinal matchup with No. 3-seeded Bartley Damond of Steamboat Springs. Engelmann pushed Damond with his speed down the course as well as his airs; Damond could not keep pace.In the semifinals, Engelmann again charged out of the gate. His opponent, Jimmy Roberts of Squaw Valley, Calif., could not complete his first jump.”Glenn found spots to land, which allowed him to push each opponent and jump bigger than anyone else,” AVSC freestyle coach Jeremy Moore said.
Engelmann was pitted against recently named U.S. Team member Jay Bowman-Kirigan in the final. Engelmann inched ahead at the start and executed a back flip iron cross off the top jump. The size and length of his jump, however, caused Engelmann to lose control, and he pulled out halfway down the course.”It was all about skiing my run, not worrying about anybody else and keeping it clean,” Engelmann said in a news release.Weitzenkorn kept her runs clean and consistent en route to wins in her first two dual matches. In the second match, she upset 13th-ranked and fellow Rocky Mountain Division skier Lane Stollzner from Team Summit.
In the third round, Weitzenkorn faced off with Salt Lake City’s Olivia Akerley in one of the day’s most compelling matchups, AVSC freestyle program director Eric Knight said in the release. Weitzenkorn applied pressure by taking the lead heading into a big first jump, where she executed a 360.”Both skiers were on edge and had small form breaks,” Knight said. “… The two athletes and the crowd waited in suspense to see who the judges would advance.”Akerly edged out Weitzenkorn by a point, 18-17. The match proved to be Akerly’s toughest of the day, as she went on to take gold.
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American giant slalom stud Ted Ligety won six times at Birds of Prey, be it five World Cups and/or gold in the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, but we have to remember what a struggle it was for him to get there.