Battle Mountain girls skiing wins state
First title since 1998 for Huskies girls
DURANGO — In a big year for girls’ sports at Battle Mountain, this is pretty huge.
The Battle Mountain girls’ ski team is on top of the heap again with its first state title since 1998. The Huskies got it done in Durango on Friday, winning the slalom (165-154 over Summit County) and the Nordic skate (171-162 over Aspen).
In fact, the Huskies won all four events during the two-day competition to rack up 676 points, defeating Aspen (643).
With apologies to Prince, party like it’s 1998, ladies.
Battle Mountain has had terrific Alpine skiers in the 21 years since its last state title, and add Gretchen Pavelich to the list. She obliterated the field on Friday in slalom for a state title by a staggering 1.63 seconds.
And the good news was that Berit Frischholz was 1.63 seconds behind Pavelich. Add Christina Lettovsky in 15th place and the Huskies had turned their 12-point lead after Day 1 into a 24-point advantage against Aspen.
The missing piece to the state title has always been getting the Nordic side to accompany Alpine. This year, there was no issue. Battle Mountain’s Grace Johnson, Naomi Harding, and Lizzy Harding made it a wave of black and gold at the finish line during the skate, coming across in third, fourth and fifth.
That iced the fourth girls’ skiing state championship in school history. Battle Mountain has also won the girls’ title in 1987, 1990 and 1998.
The Vail Mountain School made it four individual state titles in its two-day stay in Durango. Senior Shane Cole finished his Alpine career with a flourish. Having won the giant slalom on Thursday, Cole edged out Aspen’s Trey Thorpe again for a slalom title on Friday.
Cole had company on the podium as teammate Mackay Pattison finished third. Battle Mountain’s will Bettenhausen was fourth and the Huskies’ Max Timm took eighth.
Timm also took home the boys’ Skimeister Award as the best all-around — both Alpine and Nordic — high school skier in the state. The last Battle Mountain male to win Skiemeister was Quinton Cook, who did it both in 2015 and 2016.
During the afternoon, Vail Mountain’s Emma Blakslee captured the skate gold, beating out Aspen’s Emma Barsness by 13 seconds. In the boys’ skate, Cameron Wolfe followed up gold in the classic on Thursday with silver in skate on Friday.
Aspen claimed the boys’ state title with 675 points to Battle Mountain’s 578.
Paul Cuthbertson, a lifelong local of Eagle and Summit counties, died while skiing up to the Polar Star Inn to meet some friends for a celebration of his 21st birthday on Friday night.