Sports briefs: Gaston, Pihl win annual America’s Uphill race on Aspen Mountain
Gaston, Pihl conquer Ajax to win America’s Uphill crowns
A week after he and Max Taam broke a course record to win another Power of Four ski mountaineering race, Aspen’s John Gaston was the top overall finisher in Saturday’s annual America’s Uphill race on Aspen Mountain.
Put on by the Ute Mountaineer, the race is a 2.5-mile trek with more than 3,000-vertical feet of climbing up Ajax. Gaston, who competes internationally in skimo, finished in 41 minutes, 11 seconds. He was competing in the “heavy metal” category.
Carbondale’s Sean Van Horn, another noted endurance athlete, was second overall in 44:34, competing in the “track skis” category. In third was Aspen’s Alvaro Arnal (45:34), who competed in the open category.
Tracy Pihl, another local athlete, was the fastest woman with a time of 59:03. Carbondale’s Jennifer Mendez was second (1:00:29) and Aspen’s Hannah Dodge was third (1:01:46).
Peppino’s DV Track Club, which included Van Horn and Pihl, was the top collective team on Saturday.
Complete results can be found at http://www.utemountaineer.com.
COAL RIDGE BASKETBALL STAR GERBER STILL HAS CHANCE TO MAKE FINAL FOUR SHOOTING CONTEST
(Post Independent) — The table was set for Coal Ridge High School students to try to push senior basketball player Austin Gerber over the top in his semifinal fan-vote round for a chance to take part in the NCAA Final Four preps 3-point shooting contest.
But just before a planned all-school assembly was set to start Thursday morning for both Coal Ridge and neighboring Riverside Middle School the amfam.com voting site apparently crashed, according to Gerber’s mother, Aimee Gerber.
The voting closed at 11 a.m. as scheduled without all those last-minute votes that had been planned, and Gerber was down by just 0.2 percentage points (50.1% to 49.9%) in his matchup with Colin Dougherty of Sherwood Christian out of Albany, Ga.
After the problem was pointed out to the organizers of the American Family Insurance #DreamFearlessly Fan Vote contest, they agreed to pause the voting instead of declaring a winner.
Voting will now resume between 9:30–11 a.m. (MDT, after this weekend’s time change back to Daylight Savings Time) on Monday. And Coal Ridge is getting the word out to drum up a final barrage of votes to send Gerber to the finals.
Gerber won the first two rounds of voting by margins of 65% and 55% in the contest to send an “under the radar” high school player to be part of the eight-contestant preps 3-point shooting competition during the college basketball finals weekend April 5 in Atlanta. The social-media campaign is being sponsored by American Family Insurance.
Gerber is a 47% 3-point shooter this year, and his Titans team qualified to play in the Class 3A regional round of the state playoffs this weekend, losing a tough one, 59-51 Friday night to DSST: Green Valley Ranch.
The #DreamFearlessly contest began with 16 of the top statistical 3-point shooters in the nation in a bracket-style competition. There’s a separate contest for girls’ 3-point shooters and for the boys’ slam dunk competition.
If Gerber makes it to the final round after voting resumes and closes again Monday morning, he would be matched against the winner of the other semifinal matchup between Greg Farrow of University School (Milwaukee) and Mitchell Carlos from Casa Grande Union High (Casa Grande, Ariz.).
SHAUN WHITE SAYS HE WON’T COMPETE IN SUMMER OLYMPICS, COULD MAKE PUSH FOR 2022 WINTER GAMES
VAIL (AP) — If the world sees Shaun White at an Olympics again, it will be in 2022, not later this year.
The three-time snowboarding champion told The Associated Press that he is taking skateboarding off his plate and won’t try to qualify for that sport’s Olympic debut later this year in Tokyo.
“The decision became less about going for skate and more about, am I willing to walk away from snow?” White said last weekend while attending the Burton U.S. Open in Vail. “It just was going in that direction, and I didn’t feel comfortable with it and I can’t wholeheartedly choose this path with what I’ve got going on snow.”
White, who for years was every bit as successful a skateboarder as a snowboarder, had been dangling the possibility of joining the rare group of athletes to compete in both Winter and Summer Games.
He has long excelled in vert contests, which most resemble a snowboard halfpipe competition, but it is not part of the Olympic program. He was trying to make the switch to park, which combine halfpipes and quarterpipes with stairs and rails. White headed to Brazil last summer to compete at skateboarding world championships, where he finished 13th.
He thought about it for a while and realized the work he’d have to put in to compete against full-time skateboarders for an Olympic spot would compromise his chances of returning to the Winter Games in Beijing for a shot at a fourth gold medal.
“It doesn’t mean I’m committed to going to China, but it doesn’t feel too far-fetched for me,” said the 33-year-old White. “I still feel great and that’s where it got left for me. I’m dipping back into snow, and doing what feels right.”
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U.S. Ski & Snowboard on Tuesday made the official announcement that World Cup Alpine skiing is returning to Aspen Mountain in March with men’s super-G and downhill racing, part of a revamped schedule by the International Ski Federation for the 2022-23 season.