Local schools prepare for Alpine skiing season
Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley and Vail Mountain School ready for 2021-2022 Alpine skiing season
2021 State Alpine results
|2021 CHSSL State Meet results – Boys|
|School||Classic (Nordic)||Skate (Nordic)||Giant slalom||Slalom||Total|
|Vail Mountain School||135||156||158.5||104||553.5|
|2021 CHSSL State Meet results – Girls|
|School||Classic (Nordic)||Skate (Nordic)||Giant Slalom||Slalom||Total|
|Vail Mountain School||118||143||153||132||546|
The inside scoop ….
The boys came close to a state title, and in order to challenge Aspen again in 2022, the Huskies will need slightly improved Nordic and alpine contributions. “We are aiming for a state championship and are actively seeking to build a community among the alpine and Nordic athletes,” said head coach Erik Gilbert in an email. Even though the snow has been slow to arrive and half of Gilbert’s team was involved in a fall sport, dryland training began in early November with enthusiasm. “We are gaining momentum and kids seem excited for the winter!” Gilbert said. In early November, twice-a-week morning sessions during the split-season demonstrated the team’s fervor for flurries to begin falling. “Athletes are committed and they are getting their blood going before school — it’s awesome to see their energy thus far,” Gilbert said.
Will Bettenhausen is the top returning skier from the state championships, where he placed fourth in the giant slalom. The veteran, along with fellow senior Aaron Galehr, will be charged with pulling up junior Andrew Conley, who was 17th in the giant slalom as a sophomore. In the slalom, it was Jakub Pecinka and Andrew Conley who led the Husky men at state, with Pecinka just cracking the top ten.
On the girl’s side, Battle Mountain’s alpine team may have done enough to catapult the Huskies to a team title. If Robin Pavelich can replicate her fourth place giant slalom finish from a year ago and the Huskies can figure out how to replace graduated Hailey Harsch’s contributions in the slalom, they’ll be in good shape.
Vail Mountain School
Vail Mountain graduated four of the top girls skiers last year in Emma Kate Burns, Quinn Kelley, Emma Ferrer, and Bryce Ellen Johnson. On the boy’s side, they lost Alexander Viola, Will Brown, and Mackay Pattison. “There is plenty of opportunity for this year’s team to establish some new leaders,” head coach Greg Kissler said.
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Both squads do have state experience in their returners. Camille Johnson, Tegan Sharfstein, Ava Crowley, Anika Shikverg and Annabel Dorf all qualified for state in 2021, as did Cole Pattison, Mack Dorf and Austin Morris.
Kissler is thankful for a full league schedule in 2022. “The biggest news going into the 2022 season is the expectation that things will be back to normal,” he said. They will use a schedule league slalom race to scope out the Winter Park course Jan. 21, the site of the state championships at the end of February. Kissler’s squads have their sites set on the podium. “The boys team right now looks to possibly have a legitimate shot to challenge Aspen with the returning state qualifiers all being seniors this year,” he said.
“The girls team is also excited about the returning state qualifiers and also the incoming freshman class to offset the strong group of graduating seniors.”
They’ll have a chance to sneak a peek at the Aspen squads at the giant slalom in Aspen on Feb. 4.
Eagle Valley High School
The inside scoop….
Eagle Valley’s alpine team is a small but spirited group. Tanner Essex, who finished 53rd at state in the giant slalom is gone, as is state qualifier Olivia Dusenberry. The Devils do return seniors Kassandra Karas, who finished 52nd in the slalom at state, Olivia Ferzacca, who finished 56th in the giant slalom, and the Skiba sisters. Zofia was 48th in the giant slalom and Evalynn was 52nd. The sisters, both of whom also race for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s mountain bike team, will look to transfer their aerobic base and terrain reading skills to the slopes to bolster a unit which has the Nordic chops to contend for an overall team title.
Jan. 5, Jan. 7 – Loveland – Giant Slalom
Jan. 13 – Howelsen – Slalom
Jan. 21 – Winter Park – Slalom
Jan. 28 – Beaver Creek – Giant Slalom (Battle Mountain host)
Feb. 4 – Aspen – Giant Slalom
Feb. 11 – Beaver Creek – Slalom (Eagle Valley/Vail Mountain host)
Feb. 17 – 18 – Winter Park – State Championships
Mar. 1 – Howelsen – Skimeister Championships