Summit boys edge Skiers in Highlands GS |

Summit boys edge Skiers in Highlands GS

Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

ASPEN The result may have stung initially, but the Aspen boys ski team has Summit right where it wants them.So said coach Bill Madsen, who, after his team’s latest tug-of-war with rival Summit in Friday’s giant slalom at Aspen Highlands ended in the Tigers’ favor, was quick to mention recent history between the two schools.”They won every race last year, and then we beat them in the state championship,” Madsen said. “We’re just setting them up.”

What happens at state next month in Steamboat Springs is anyone’s guess. Friday, Summit nipped Aspen by a mere seven points. Steamboat (158) was third, 16 points off the Tigers’ pace.Zach Fretz (1 minute, 21.42 seconds), Drew Beling (1:21.97) and Brian Joyce (1:23.28) finished first, third and fifth to help Summit avenge last week’s six-point loss to Aspen in a slalom at Beaver Creek. Sam Coffey took second, just five hundredths of a second behind Fretz, for the Skiers, who had five competitors finish in the top 18. Giovanni Negroni (1:22.59) took fourth and James Britvar (1:25.85) was 11th. Luke Hemming and Tyler Nelson were 14th and 18th, respectively. “I thought we had them,” Madsen said. “A lot of times, it comes down to that third-place guy on the team, and they made up some ground on us there. I don’t think that will happen for long. James is skiing a lot faster.”Britvar, the brother of former two-time state champion Paul Britvar, posted two strong runs to finish just a half second out of fifth place. That margin could’ve been made up had Britvar been wearing a ski suit instead of baggy ski pants and a sweatshirt, Madsen said. Britvar, who finished eighth sans suit last week at Beaver Creek, assured teammates he’d be wearing one Friday when the team heads to Ski Cooper.Coffey, who admitted he skied conservatively – the direct result of being the first boys competitor to tackle the Thunderbowl course – still managed to post the second-fastest first run time, finishing in 41.22 seconds.

Only Negroni (40.82) was faster.”I just wanted to get a time down,” said Coffey, who logged a second-consecutive podium. “Then I came out and charged as hard as I could. I gave it everything I have, but it looks like I came up a little short.”Negroni, an exchange student from Tarvisio, Italy, drilled a gate with his left knee during his second run on the slower blue course. While he was almost a second slower on the final run, Negroni, who has been a pleasant surprise for Aspen, was satisfied with his second straight top five finish.”I knew I could help this team when I’m here,” he said.”One other coach thought we specially recruited him,” Coffey joked. “He’s been a real asset to this team.”Wiley [Maple] is gone, so I’m hoping to take his spot and have Giovanni take mine. We have two other kids that are capable of skiing well every day, so if me and Giovanni get on the podium and one of them finishes in the top 10, it’s a wrap.”

While Coffey helped the boys team continue its recent string of success, his sister, Joanna, helped the girls rebound from a last-place showing at Beaver Creek. She posted a two-run time of 1:27.95, good for third. Teammate Olivia Davis (1:28.76), who is rounding into form after missing last season with a broken leg, was seventh and the Skiers wound up fourth.”She came out and skied really well,” Madsen said. “Unfortunately, Jenny Allen is flying.”Allen (1:25.88) finished nearly two seconds ahead of the field and propelled Steamboat Springs to a third-place finish. Marisa Ammaturo (1:27.71) was second for Battle Mountain, which won the team title, besting Middle Park, 168-159.Gigi Weihe, Abbey Mickey and Molly Keelty finished 30th, 33rd and 59th, respectively, for Aspen.”The girls skied really well, and the boys duked it out with Summit big-time today,” Madsen said. “Any time you’re in the top five and showing good speed, it’s great to see.”

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