This Week at AVSC
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
ASPEN – The 60 best U16 alpine racers in the country, including four from the Aspen Valley Ski Club, were invited to Park City, Utah, last week for a first-ever national championship in this age group. Points were awarded in freeskiing, giant slalom, slalom and parallel events, as well as a skills evaluation.
AVSC’s Sky Kelsey captured the boys title, and Galena Wardle finished in fifth place on the girls side. Based upon these finishes, both were extended invitations to join the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Academy in Park City for future training.
“It opens options for national team recognition,” AVSC Alpine Director Greg Needell said. He said that the AVSC athletes, who included Tristan Lane and Luke Prosence, were evaluated by a group of U.S Ski Team coaches and directors. “It was a valuable experience though there was a fair amount of pressure,” Needell said.
When the pressure was on, the AVSC team performed admirably.
For example, Wardle’s top-five performance this year was much improved over her result in 2012.
While this is the first time actual U16 national champions have been named, last year Kelsey’s performance in the above categories put him head and shoulders above the rest of the competition.
Not content to rest on their laurels, Kelsey and Wardle then traveled to Vail and Beaver Creek for races that were part of a GS Spectacular that attracted nearly 400 competitors, double the size of last year’s field.
No surprise that Kelsey won among the U16s on Sunday (taking 10th overall) while Wardle’s strong second run April 6 catapulted her into fifth among that age group and ninth overall.
AVSC also fielded a team of younger athletes at this event, including four U14s – Anna Patterson, Madison Osberger-Low, Dexter Edelman and Cooper Cornelius, who were seeking to score points (for better seeding next year) in a field that included racers from the University of Denver and University of New Mexico.
Also competing were U14s Myles Pember and Jack Bowers, who weren’t in the hunt for points, given that they will remain in the same age group during 2013-14.
On Saturday, Cornelius was second among U14s, and Edelman was fourth; Bowers was 14th and Pember 16th.
On Sunday, Cornelius was third, Edelman took fourth, and Pember finished 13th.
Anna Patterson was fifth among U14s on Saturday and sixth on Sunday.
Osberger-Low finished 14th among U14s in Sunday’s event at Vail. AVSC U16 racer Pascale Augspurger’s best race was Saturday, when she finished in 15th.
Meanwhile, future alpine stars aged 12 and younger battled it out on their own courses. On Saturday, U12 Sean Patterson took ninth in the Beaver Creek giant slalom; Samuel McDermott finished 13th among U10s.
Samantha Edelman and Alexandra Englemann represented the AVSC U10 girls well, finishing seventh and 17th, respectively.
Three races were run on Sunday for the U12s and U10s. Edelman was AVSC’s lone female entrant that day and was 11th in two of the races; she took 15th in the third GS.
Among the boys, Sean Patterson was ninth in Sunday’s first GS, eighth in the day’s second race and eighth among U12s in the final event.
Stian Davenport was 20th, ninth and 12th.
Alex Ilic finished 24th, 23rd and 19th among U12s.
The AVSC U10 boys team also had a great showing in Beaver Creek on Sunday. Topher Davenport was on the podium for every race, winning the first GS, placing third in the second event and second in the final giant slalom.
“It’s a hill that Topher feels comfortable on,” Needell said.
Continuing his solid weekend, Samuel McDermott was ninth in both the first and second races and fifth in the third.
If the up-and-comers were looking for inspiration from the club’s ability class racers, who were finishing up their spring series last week at Breckenridge and Vail, they certainly had plenty of role models.
During the series, Ben Throm won one super-G and placed second overall in another super-G.
“We knew something was happening with Ben in super-G. He was definitely making a move (this season),” Needell said.
During those same races, AVSC’s Hayden Fake was third and sixth among U18s, Travis Lundin finished seventh and eighth, Devon Cardamone was fifth and seventh among U18s, Andrew Hancock ninth and 11th.
Dean Travers was fourth among U18s in the first race, and Xon Baker was 13th in the second super-G.
Among AVSC girls, Sydney Henegan was second and fourth in U18 racing, and Dairinn Bowers was seventh.
A giant slalom April 2 at Breckenridge saw Henegan in fourth and Bowers in ninth. On the boys side it was Fake in third, Hancock in ninth, Lundin 10th and Baker 11th.
At the April 4 giant slalom, Devon Cardamone was fourth, Dean Travers fifth, Ben Throm ninth and Andrew Hancock 13th.
Among the girls, it was Henegan in seventh and Erin Spence taking 10th.
The next day, AVSC women finished like this: Spence in ninth, Henegan 12th and Bowers 13th.
In the final race of the spring series, a slalom, Fake was third, Lundin sixth, with Sydney Henegan finishing in fourth place among the U18 girls.
The season isn’t over yet for AVSC’s alpine racers, a half-dozen of whom will head to the Loveland Derby this weekend for their annual spring slalom extravaganza.
For more AVSC results, be sure to tune into “Weekly with Walt,” which airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on GrassRoots Television, channel 12 (channel 82 downvalley of Catherine’s Store). The show is repeated five times during the week.
Today, AVSC’s Big Mountain program will be featured; the show will include results from last week’s IFSA event in Revelstoke, B.C.
Finally, coverage of the snowboarding and freeskiing events at the USASA Nationals will run Thursday in The Aspen Times.
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Katelyn Maley could have led the charge from start to finish, but sometimes waiting to make your move is a better strategy. The Basalt High School junior did just that on Saturday when she won the Class 3A girls 800-meter race at the state meet at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.