Battle Mountain girls’ team leads after Day 1 at state
Vail Mountain School's Cole, Wolfe win titles.
DURANGO — Just embrace the chaos, people. Accept and move on.
It’s the best way to deal with the state ski meet, which wrapped Day 1 on Thursday with Battle Mountain’s girls holding a 12-point edge over favored Aspen, while the Vail Mountain School crowned two individual champions, Shane Cole in giant slalom and Cameron Wolfe in Nordic classic.
With state in Durango for the first time, the Huskies and Gore Rangers and the rest of the field are not only dealing with a massive road trip but the weather as well. With the southwestern portion of the state expected to bear the brunt of this week’s snowstorm, Thursday’s GS was reduced to one run at Purgatory and today’s slalom has already been moved from that slope to Chapman Hill in Durango.
For a while, there was the possibility that CHSAA was doing to hold both GS and slalom — one run each — on Thursday with the weather forecast indicating more than 1 foot of snow on Friday in the Four Corners region.
But this is the inherent chaos which comes in many forms — weather, missed gates or popping a ski — of any state meet, and the local squads seem to be handling it well.
How ’bout them Huskies?
Battle Mountain girls’ Alpine squeaked by Aspen, 171-170, during Thursday morning’s giant slalom. The Huskies’ Gretchen Pavelich finished second in a time of 39.78 seconds, followed by teammates Berit Frischholz (third, 40.07) and Kiana Brausch (seventh, 41.32).
The traditional formula for any Battle Mountain ski team to win a state title is stomp the Alpine and hang on in Nordic. But this year may be different.
The Huskies ladies put on quite the show in the classic, topping the Skiers, 169-158. If the following sounds like Battle Mountain cross-country or track, well, that’s because it is.
Grace Johnson finished in second place with a time of 19 minutes, 27 seconds, followed by Lizzy Harding in third (19:49) and Naomi Harding in ninth (20:25).
A lot can happen with another full day of racing — today is slalom and freestyle Nordic — but, so far, so good.
Shane Cole is your 2019 GS champ, after laying down the only run faster than 40 seconds. Cole finished in 39.81 seconds. That bested Aspen’s Trey Thorpe (40.34).
In a supreme twist of irony, Battle Mountain and Vail Mountain went all the way to Purgatory to tie for the GS team win with 167 points, while Aspen ended up with 166. The Skiers maintain a healthy lead on the boys’ side for the team title.
Wolfe gave VMS its second individual title on Thursday, edging Aspen’s Everett Olson by a few hundredths of a second.
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.