J4’s at Purgatory
The Crested Butte Ski Club headed for Purgatory January 24 for the J4 Jesse Scott Memorial Super G race. This was the 13th annual race held in honor of Jesse Scott, a Purgatory Race Team athlete who had been free skiing and had fallen into an old vertical mine shaft, which led to his unfortunate death.
His family had always been involved with ski racing and wanted to honor him and support the future athletes of ski racing. Each year they donate prizes, provide a barbecue and always show their support. This year, in addition, they offered cash prizes for the top three in each gender for the first of three races.
Friday was a training day for these athletes, to get used to the hill and provide additional training for such a speed event. For many of these athletes, this was their first Super G race, which included four of our fine racers Ali McGuire, Solon Gray, Nicolas Koch and Tristan Kraatz. Purgatory was hit with eight inches of snow before Friday morning, and with the help of everyone on hand, the training day was pulled off without a hitch.
Saturday was a beautiful day for racing, which involved two race runs. The course was held on a nice pitch with rolling terrain and was definitely set for speed. The field included 29 women and 57 men, including teams from Aspen, Monarch, Purgatory, Taos, Powderhorn and Telluride.
Nerves were a bit high, considering this being their first speed event of the year. It was a big change, dealing with different terrain and continuing to learn all aspects of a speed event. Some athletes from all of the teams took full advantage of a straighter course, while others were a bit timid, but improved during the day.
Sunday all hats were off. There was a new course set; kids were pumped and definitely comfortable with the terrain. The Crested Butte athletes really shined this day. Confidence was seen in all aspects of their skiing! The Crested Butte athletes finished all three races, with some bruised and upset egos, but all in all it was a great weekend. We are so proud of all of our athletes! Thank you to all the parents who helped this weekend. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Fri. a.m. Fri. p.m. Sat. a.m.
2nd 3rd 6th
20th 19th 12th
13th 20th 13th
17th 17th 18th
19th 18th 26th
9th 11th 6th
21st 19th 20th
24th 24th 13th
33rd 33rd 26th
44th 44th 43rd
J3’s at the Junior Olympics
The Aspen Valley Ski Club hosted the first of two J3 Junior Olympic Qualifier weekends January 19-21. For all 13- and 14-year-olds in the Rocky Division, there are a total of six race runs in which to qualify for the J3 Junior Olympics to be held in Vail in March.
Two Super G races were held on Sunday and Monday at Tiehack, preceded by a training run held on Saturday January 19.
The Tiehack Super G course is very technical. It is a hill with numerous terrain changes, rolls and compressions and a fall line that drops off to the left. Combine that with a difficult course set and you have a true test of skills for these athletes.
Skylar Kraatz and Renee Geary traveled Friday evening to Aspen. Renee, being a J2, foreran for both the men’s and ladies’ runs all three days, which was excellent training and great support for Skylar. Skylar had a tough day on Saturday, going down hard four gates from the finish during the training run. But despite getting the wind knocked out of her, she picked herself up and gave it her all in the race runs on Sunday and Monday. Skylar finished 34th and 36th with times of 1.22.63 and 1.25.19 respectively. Currently, Skylar is posed in 31st place out of 89 J3 ladies in the qualifying standings—great job, Skylar!
J5’s to Winter Park
While the J4 team was tearing up the Super G course in Purgatory, three of our J5 athletes traveled with Frank Mesiti, our J5 coach, to Winter Park for the J5 Festival. Maddie Redden, Aiden Truettner and Ansley Potoker enjoyed two days of meeting other J5 athletes from around the state, skiing in a NASTAR race, seeing how fast they can go in a speed trap (some of these athletes top out at 45+ miles an hour!), choreographing their own synchronized skiing contest and numerous other activities. Patrick Curvin has traveled the past two years to this event, but unfortunately could not join his teammates this year due to illness. Hope you’re feeling better, Pat!
Our other J5 athletes, Ashton Mabry, Summit Wallace, Derek Shomler and Tyler Koch, had to make the hard decision between their commitment to ski racing and their commitment to hockey. It can’t be easy being dedicated to two wintertime sports. Hope the hockey games went well, boys—I know your teammates and Frank missed you up in Winter Park.