Huskies, Devils and VMS hit the hill
They know this hill.
Golden Peak is home for the Battle Mountain and Vail Mountain alpine teams and Eagle Valley, while it trains at the Beav, is no stranger to this course.
And, it showed in Friday’s high school state-qualifying giant slalom. Eagle Valley’s Ross Herr logged the top local finish in fourth in the boys’ race. Vail Mountain’s Courtney Robinson led all the local ladies in seventh. And, there were numerous good stories on the final day of alpine qualifying with an eye toward the state meet in Steamboat Springs Feb. 20-21.
And, with the traditional disclaimer that your mileage may vary, the news from a busy day at Golden Peak:
Huskies’ parade continues
Battle Mountain’s state numbers just keep growing. It’s getting to the point where there’s going to be a black-and-gold caravan heading up Highway 133 to Steamboat.
The Huskies boys added five more to their GS roster Friday – Kyle Bruntz (16th), Kyle Moore (17th), Mitch Hendrix (26th), Jamie Hijmans (43rd) and Clayton McRory (20th), according to Huskies coach Simon Marsh.
“Kyle Bruntz is great,” Marsh said. “He’s been working hard. He had a crash in his previous race. With each one of these guys, you know they’ve had the talent and the ability. It’s just bad luck. This week was a breakthrough.”
Jeff Green led the Huskies’ boys in eighth with a time of 1 minute, 40.2 seconds. Taylor Roach finished in the qualifying in 14th (1:41.4), as did Chad Shoulders (21st, 1:44.7). Grant Stevenson rounded things out in 34th (1:49.2). In all, the Huskies boys had nine qualifying times.
For the girls, Lauren Arnold led the way in 17th, with a time of 1:46.4. Jane Lettovska qualified in her last chance in 23rd (1:47.8), followed by teammate, Andrea Knight, in 24th. Kelly Scholl (32nd, 1:51.1) put up a state time as did the two Heidis – Lauterbach (33rd, 1:51.9) and Moore (38th, 1:53.3)
“GS is going to be tougher for us for seeding (for state),” Marsh said. “The next two weeks of training is going to be where they can show their strengths and have a good showing at state.”
Herr (ouch) leads Devils
The alpine side of high school skiing is considered the glamorous one. The Nordic skiers are the tough ones, according to the friendly rivalry between the two disciplines.
But score one for alpine in the form of Eagle Valley’s Ross Herr. He’s been skiing for most of the season with a broken hand. The hand was finally healed and Herr led the Devils with a fourth-place finish Friday, but …
“He did really well,” Devils coach Cappie Green said. “Unfortunately he broke his hand again. He hit a gate. He goes to the hospital tomorrow. But he had a couple of good runs.
And will Herr, who clocked in at 1:37.2, be skiing at state?
“I’m sure he will,” Green said. “He’s raced with a cast on for most of the season.”
Tough guy. The rest of the Devils boys were equally formidable on Golden Peak. Kyle Green (22nd, 1:45.1), Chris Brandl (29th, 1:47.9) and Bo Lowe (35th, 1:49.4) all hit state times, a promising showing going into state.
“We actually had a great race last week, with Kyle taking third and Chris taking 11th in slalom,” Green said. “It’s been a good two weeks.”
Hanna Nelson led the Eagle Valley girls in 22nd with a qualifying time of 1:47.7. Cameron Lowe (55th) and Mariah Scott (58th) scored for the Devils.
VMS has tough day
And, in a development as astonishing as the sun rising in the east, Vail Mountain’s Courtney Robinson finished in the top 10, this time in seventh in 1:42.8.
“She’s made (state-qualifying) every time. She’s solid,” VMS coach Liv Pierce said. “She’s going to come around (at state), I think, into the top five. She’s a contender in the GS.”
Katie Wear took 36th (1:53) for a state time. On the boys’ side, the big surprise was Ray Bernardo, who qualified in his last chance for slalom, taking 31st (1:48.1).
“He has never ski-raced,” Pierce said. “He’s a really good athlete. He’s a good hockey player. On skis, he makes it look like he’s been doing it for years. Having never raced, that’s what makes it so impressive.”
The rest of the VMS squad did not fare so well. The boys second and third scorers were Ian Talbot (48th) and Patrick Scanlan (way back). On the girls’ side. Lauren Utzig was 52nd.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.