Vail Mountain School boys take slalom at Copper | VailDaily.com

Vail Mountain School boys take slalom at Copper

COPPER MOUNTAIN — A nice little pattern is becoming apparent.

Be it giant slalom or slalom, the Vail Mountain School produces the winner.

Friday at Copper Mountain, it was Peer Carnes' turn to take the top step of the podium. Not that anyone would be counting at home, but the Gore Rangers are 3-for-3 in taking individual honors this season — Carnes' teammate Michael Resnick won GS races at Beaver Creek and Aspen earlier this season.

And so it was that the VMS boys won its second race as a team on Friday. Not that anyone would be counting at home, but Aspen won on its home hill to start the year, while the Gore Rangers have taken down Beaver Creek and Copper, the latter technically being a home race for VMS.

Looking around the state field, some combination of Aspen, Battle Mountain, Steamboat and Summit County appears to be the competition for the Gore Rangers on the alpine side.

VMS cruised on Friday with 174 with Battle Mountain second (158) and Steamboat and Summit tied for third (157). Do note that Aspen only sent two racers to Copper, so the Skiers were not really a factor on Friday.

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But the consistency and depth of VMS and Battle Mountain, for that matter, alpine can't be overlooked when it comes to state next month in Steamboat Springs — ergo, watch out for the Sailors on home snow.

Carnes won going away, notching the top times in both runs on Friday. Resnick was third and sophomore Shane Cole was fifth. VMS also had Peter Mitchell in 13th and Theo Marston in 17th.

Doing the math

For a school of VMS' size, having five in the top 20 is critical depth for the state meet. For the uninitiated, state scoring involves combining the finishes a school's top-three racers in GS, slalom, Nordic freestyle/skate and classic during the two-day meet. State-skiing history is littered with popped skis and straddled gates, which make depth critical. Given VMS' traditional devotion to Nordic, the Gore Rangers have to be encouraged by the alpine team's consistency.

Battle Mountain's depth in alpine is never a question mark. Kedrick Kinsella took sixth, leading seven Huskies into the top 20. Bryce Runckel was ninth and Dale Pistole 10th to complete Battle Mountain's scoring.

For the ladies, Aspen won going away with 174 points with VMS second (160) and Battle Mountain third (158). The question for the Gore Rangers girls, in particular is will that be enough on the alpine side, combining with the Nordic, to overtake Aspen come state?

The Nordic squads had the week off and take on Maloit Park in Minturn on Saturday.

In the meantime, Whitney Merriman was fifth, Catherine Desisciolo eighth and Alyssa Hilb 11th for VMS on Friday. Battle Mountain's Haley Frischholz finished third, with Kiana Brausch seventh and Julia Dramas 18th.

The local schools split up on Friday. VMS and Eagle Valley are at Ski Cooper, while Battle Mountain is at Winter Park. Both races are slaloms.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.