Seeing double: Aspen High ski teams sweep state titles behind Weiss siblings
Some of the spectators might have thought they were seeing double, and they were. The Weiss siblings stole the show for the Aspen High School ski teams at the state championships Thursday and Friday, sweeping the Nordic races to lead AHS to a sweep of the team titles for the second time in three years.
The Alpine events were held at Beaver Creek, while Maloit Park in Minturn hosted the Nordic races. Complete results can be found at CHSAANow.com.
“It’s pretty awesome,” AHS Nordic coach Travis Moore said. “They just dominated. They both had just awesome days. I don’t know what got into them, but today and yesterday were their days. They were super motivated and skied excellently. Nothing could stop them.”
The Aspen boys finished the two day combined Alpine-Nordic event with 667 points for their third straight state championship. Battle Mountain finished second with 620 points and Middle Park third with 579 points. AHS and Battle Mountain tied with 161 points each in Thursday’s giant slalom, while the Skiers had a slight edge (163-150) in Thursday’s classic race.
But Friday belonged to the Aspen boys, as they dominated both the slalom and skate races.
“It was a real team effort. I thought we all did well. The first GS day was a little bit rough, but it came together in the slalom,” AHS junior Alpine specialist Charlie Olsen said. “There was definitely some pressure coming into the second slalom day to keep the three-peat alive. And we came together really well.”
Olsen won Friday’s slalom, edging out Battle Mountain’s Will Bettenhausen and Durango’s Toby Scarpella. In fourth was Aspen’s Davis Colon and in fifth Aspen’s James Kelly. Scarpella won Thursday’s GS, with Vail Mountain’s Cole Pattison taking second and Olsen third.
AHS sophomore Anders Weiss owned the boys cross-country races, winning both Thursday’s classic and Friday’s skate. AHS junior Taiga Moore, son of coach Travis Moore, came in second in both races.
While Anders dominated on the boys’ side, his sister, AHS freshman Elsie Weiss, won both Nordic races on the girls’ side for the sibling sweep.
“We both just had really, really good days,” said Anders Weiss, who won his first races of the season at state. “I’ve been sick for a lot of the season and I’m just getting over it now. Now I’m starting to perform better.”
The Aspen girls finished with 674 points as a team, outdistancing runner-up Battle Mountain (607.5) and third-place finisher Summit (561) by a good margin. The Skiers scored the most points in the GS and both Nordic events, while only Summit did better than them in the slalom.
The AHS girls were particularly impressive in the Nordic skate race, with four finishing in the top five. Led by Elsie Weiss’ victory, Emma Barsness was third, Elizabeth Barnsess fourth and Jordan Miner fifth. Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s Lola Villafranco was second for a Roaring Fork Valley sweep.
The highlight for the AHS girls Alpine team came from freshman Samantha Edelman, who won Thursday’s giant slalom. Stella Sherlock was the top AHS finisher in Friday’s slalom, taking third.
“This year I think we were working together a lot better, so I think we were ready,” sophomore Emma Barsness said. “I’m so excited. I was holding the trophy on the bus just to keep me warm. It was so great.”
It was the second state title in three years for the Aspen girls, who finished as state runner-up in 2019. It was the ninth state championship in skiing for the AHS girls, second most all-time to Summit’s 21 (they last won in 2015).
For the AHS boys, it was their 10th championship in program history, putting them into second place all-time ahead of Durango, which has nine. Summit’s 18 also leads the boys’ side (they last won in 2013).
“When we are thinking about takeaways, it was all about the team these last two days. Our unity and our spirit and all of our athletes were on point — we are so proud of them,” AHS Alpine coach Jennifer Morandi-Benson said. “They just care about how each other did, and that’s rare in a sport that emphasizes individual times. So we were just blown away by the team aspect.”
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