Armstrong tops podium at Breck

Chris Freud

But the story of the 2002-03 high-school skiing season locally has been the Nordic side of the things – the emergence of Eagle Valley’s program, VMS’ depth and, of course, Haleigh Armstrong, who’s attempting to repeat as Skimeister.The VMS sophomore certainly took a step in that direction Saturday at the Breckenridge Golf Course, winning the Gold Run Classic Qualifier. Armstrong won by 13 seconds with a time of 17 minutes, 55.9 seconds.The Lady Devils continued their rise through the state ranks. Katie Wick finished eighth with a time of 20:08.8, while Audrey Powell was three seconds behind in 10th.But the red wave didn’t stop there. Jill Ewing finished 11th, with Ellie Comerford in 14th and Kirsten Degroat in 22nd.Other qualifiers in the girls race included Battle Mountain’s Maddie McCaulley in seventh and VMS’ Courtney Robinson in 21st.Speaking of Robinsons, her brother, Duncan, was the last of five qualifiers for the Gore Rangers’ boys team Saturday. Taylor Sheldon (17th), Brad Bingham (19th), Sylvan Ellefson (20th), Josh Smith (27th) and Robinson (30th) all put up state times for VMS.For Eagle Valley, Dan Lewis was his usual self with a time of 17:29, good for 21st. And don’t forget Wes Minett, who captured the 32nd and final state spot.Meanwhile, on Friday, the three alpine teams charged down Howelsen Hill in the Steamboat Springs Slalom, putting up good times.The Robinsons led all locals – Duncan was third in the boys’ race, while Courtney took fourth on the girls’ side.The VMS boys had a particularly good day on the hill with Tyler Kjesbo in sixth, followed by Max Avery (14th), Sylvan Ellefson (18th), Michael Busenhart (31st) and Josh Smith (32nd).Tyler Roach carried the banner for the Huskies in seventh. Four others – Dak Steiert, Grant Stevenson, Jeff Green and Chad Shoulders – from the Battle Mountain contingent made the state cut. Eagle Valley’s Kyle Green, Matt Herr and Matt Luczkow all cracked the top 42, good enough for state.On the girls’ side in alpine, other qualifiers included Battle Mountain’s Lauren Arnold, Heidi Lauterbach, Keegan Garnsey, Brittany Peterson, Jenna Hughes and Heidi Moore. From VMS, Armstrong, Katie Wear and Alex Delude made it, while Eagle Valley qualified Hanna Nelson and Annie Vogel.The three Nordic teams were scheduled to compete Monday at the Leadville CMC, but, as of press time, no official results were available.Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at

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