Vail Mountain School Gore Rangers alpine boys win opener
BEAVER CREEK — Not bad for an opening volley.
Vail Mountain School boys alpine opened the season in grand style with an easy win over the field on Friday, Jan. 5, during the season-opening giant slalom at Beaver Creek. The Gore Rangers racked up 174 points, ahead of Evergreen (169) and Battle Mountain (157).
As the Gore Rangers saw last year, it’s general pretty helpful to have a powerful 1-2 punch. Last year for VMS, Peer Carnes and Michael Resnick traded the honors. VMS started 2018 with Shane Cole winning the race and “old man” Resnick in second.
Everyone in the state has known that Cole can be fast. Putting two runs together has been the issue for junior.
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“Shane has incredible talent, but lost his confidence a little,” VMS alpine coach Francois Nanin said. “It’s coming back.”
Cole laid down the fastest time of the day — 1 minute, 2.43 seconds, more than a second faster than Resnick — in his first run. Resi got top honors in the second run, trimming Cole’s margin of victory.
The happy “discovery” of the day for VMS was sophomore Robert Harnick, who blew into sixth place.
“The boys are really going to push each other this year,” Nanin said.
Both VMS skiing teams are defending their state titles this season. The Gore Rangers are a traditional Nordic powerhouse, so their state dreams usually are determined by the alpine side, a rare contrast to most of the other schools in the state.
The VMS ladies did not have their best day. The Gore Rangers were fifth with 140 points behind Evergreen (172) and Battle Mountain (162) among others. Nanin attributed it to nerves, as the Gore Rangers did not have good first runs.
Renata Alvarez, Kristen Anderson and Emma Farer all made charges in the second run.
Huskies girls second
Battle Mountain’s girls enjoyed home snow, finishing second at Bear Trap. Sharon Rodney (fourth), Christina Lettovsky (ninth) and Kiana Brauch (10th) all punched into the top 10.
For the gents, Dominik Lettovsky, Alex Strude and Quinn Peterson were in the points for Battle Mountain. The Gore Rangers had six of their seven boys racers punch their ticket to state. Battle Mountain’s boys qualified nine.
The Huskies girls also had nine for state, while the Gore Rangers ladies qualified five.
Battle Mountain and VMS head to Aspen next week for the second GS of the season. One thing everyone can agree on is that man-made snow is good. The other half of the alpine circuit had to cancel its GS up at Ski Cooper because of a lack of the white stuff.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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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.