Downhillers ready to fly at Tiehack
Despite pressure from a core of young Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club racers, Don Johnson, of Frisco, and Mike Britt, of Aspen, came out on top in the second day of training for the John Meyer Memorial Aspen Town Downhill on Saturday. The race will be held today at Buttermilk’s Tiehack area at 11 a.m.On the women’s side, former AVSC member Gillian Hearn, of Aspen, bested Sue Bookhout and Catherine Lutz, both from Aspen.The largest turnout in close to a decade – about 60 racers – turned up for Saturday’s mandatory training. Snow showers delayed the start time and slowed the fast, technical course a bit, but racers were still reaching speeds close to 70 miles per hour.A couple inches of snow were forecast to fall overnight, but race officials were confident the start time would not be delayed, according to a press release. The best viewing of the race will be on Javelin Run, which is skier’s right in the Tiehack area.This season marks the 25th running of the Aspen Town Downhill. The race wasdedicated to the memory of John Meyer in 1997. Meyer raced in the event forseveral years before dying of cancer in 1997.Race director Scott Nichols will tip the timing wand in the memory of Meyer at 11 a.m. The first racer will leave the gate one minute later. At 3 p.m., there will be an awards party at Bump’s at the base of Buttermilk with race replay, a raffle, and free beer courtesy of Michelob Ultra.
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.