Keeping their discipline all season
EAGLE-VAIL – In high school skiing, a good run or good race will only take you so far.If you pick up consistent results across the season, however, you’ll be justly rewarded.The Battle Mountain Huskies showed what steady skiing will bring, picking up a handful of all-state honors.On the girls’ side, Jamie Lee Roberts and Kelly VanHee were all-state in both slalom and giant slalom, a feat only four girls were able to accomplish.”It’s great because the two disciplines are so different,” said VanHee, a junior who was dual all-state for the second year in a row. “It’s also great to have two people (selected) – most teams don’t.”Middle Park also had two racers in the double, but its racers combined for fewer total points than Roberts and VanHee. On the boys’ side, Battle Mountain had three all-state nods, with Mitch Hendrix in giant slalom and slalom and Wilder Heuga and Cooper Cartmill in giant slalom. Roberts, who didn’t get in enough races last year to qualify for state, was in the top five in both disciplines. “I’m very happy about it,” said Roberts, who is also a junior. “I didn’t think about (all-state), I just went from race to race.”For the season, the Battle Mountain girls were second in slalom and giant slalom.
Although Roberts and VanHee didn’t have their best races at the state meet, they were still pleased with their results.”I would have liked to do better in giant slalom, but I’ll take it,” said Roberts, who took sixth in the race. “In slalom I had a bad first run and was in 14th, then had a good second run and ended up in seventh. I’m very happy about it.””I usually finish top 10 every year,” VanHee said. “I didn’t finish top 10 at state … on the other hand I had a great season. There was only one race I didn’t finish.”Path to awardsVanHee started the year off with a eighth-place finish at the Cooper giant slalom, and was in the top 10 for the other two races in that discipline.”I’m happy I pulled off all state in giant slalom because I didn’t feel I was so strong in it,” VanHee said. “I think a lot of it is just being aggressive and going for it.”In slalom, VanHee had third-place finish in Steamboat, then was eighth at Loveland.Even with a fourth-place in the opening giant slalom and a ninth in the first slalom, Roberts had a hard path to all-state after failing to pick up points in her second races.
In one race, Roberts fell, but in the other she had a good first run, but then needed to leave before her second. Still, Roberts didn’t feel much pressure heading into the final races before state”I wasn’t thinking about it,” Roberts said. “I was pretty confident.”Roberts didn’t hold back, either finishing second in the final giant slalom and slalom races.Both skiers are back next year, and even though Roberts skis in FIS races, she plans on again giving her full devotion to the high school team. In the meantime, Roberts will continue FIS races, join teammate VanHee for soccer, and also run some track.”I’ll be busy,” Roberts said.Oh captainA good captain leads with words and results. Heuga, the Huskies’ leader, made his way back on the all-state list again, with his second giant slalom selection in as many years. The on-edge skier didn’t finish his first two slalom races, then took eighth in the final one of the year at Beaver Creek.
“I’m not too bothered by it – I had fun,” said Heuga, a senior. “I tried to be conservative at the Beaver Creek and ended up doing really well anyway.”Then at state, Heuga ended his career with a smart and hard-working pair of slalom runs. After grabbing some ground on his first run, Heuga hiked a few steps back up the hill, then finished his run. On the second pass, Heuga battled intense winds and poor visibility to move up to 17th.At the first day of state, Heuga took 11th in the giant slalom, and with Cartmill in fourth and Hendrix in 17th, the team was second overall.”That was my way of ending it with a bang,” Heuga said of the team’s finish.During the regular season, Heuga was consistent in giant slalom, placing eighth, 11th and 10th. While the senior enjoyed being the leader of the Huskies, Heuga enjoyed skiing with Vail Mountain’s only senior alpine skier, Mick Seeman.”He’s one of the first friends I ever had,” Heuga said. “We were on different teams, but we help each other a lot. Now that it’s over, all we do is free ski.”Cartmill, who missed a few races for a National Development Camp and tryouts for the Topolino Games in Italy, enjoyed getting to compete on the high school circuit.”It’s different being with a big team,” said Cartmill, who trains with two FIS racers for most of the season. “I’m going to try and do my best to do (high school) next year.”As a freshman, Cartmill had sixth-place finish at the Aspen giant slalom, and was fifth at the final slalom of the year.
Mr. MeisterNot only did Hendrix pick up the Skimeister title – awarded to the top combined Nordic and alpine skier – but he also was in the top 10 for both alpine disciplines.”That almost meant more to me than Skimeister,” Hendrix said. “It’s a dream come true, really.”Last year, Hendrix was all-state slalom, and was happy especially happy to get a giant slalom bid this year.”I try my hardest in giant slalom, but I don’t depend on the same results as I’ll get in slalom,” Hendrix said.Hendrix was in the top 20 for all giant slalom races, including a sixth-place finish at Cooper, and top 10 in slalom for two regular season races and again at state.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.