AVSC skiers sweep podium in J3 JO giant slalom
The Aspen Times
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado – After three races in three days, Travis Lundin, still recovering from a recent bout with pneumonia, told coaches he was looking forward to a day off.
His Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club cohorts likely would disagree – especially after another banner performance at Buttermilk.
Club skiers swept the podium for a third consecutive day in Thursday’s Rocky/Central J3 Junior Olympics boys giant slalom. This time, Colby Lane paced the squad with a gold-medal winning, two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 10.06 seconds.
Andrew Hancock (2:10.60) and Benjamin Throm (2:10.84) finished second and third. Lundin (2:12.62), Tristan Lane (2:13.23) and Xon Baker (2:14.35) wound up fifth, seventh and ninth.
The AVSC has produced three different winners and compiled nine medals at these JOs. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail each have two.
“Another great day. It just keeps rolling at this point,” said AVSC alpine coach Pat Callahan. “I never know day to day who is going to win – it could be everyone.”
Lane stepped to the forefront Thursday, thanks largely to a dominating opening run. He led his nearest competitor by nearly a half second after his first run down Javelin, a Tiehack run that has not hosted a race since 1976’s World Series of Skiing, according to Callahan.
“There was almost a second between him and third [place],” the coach said of Lane, who was fifth in both Tuesday’s downhill and Wednesday’s super G. “He’s a very consistent skier. He’s so fast and smooth and never really makes a mistake.
“From where I was standing, it was tough to tell who was faster, Colby or Andrew. They both looked really good.”
Hancock steadily has worked his way up the leaderboard this week. He was 13th Tuesday, then sixth Wednesday.
“The more turns the better for Andrew,” Callahan said. “He is so strong in GS.”
By virtue of his win, Lane secured a spot in next month’s Whistler Cup international races in British Columbia. The top finishers in the girls and boys super G, giant slalom and slalom races will join a total of 12 other skiers from across the country in Canada.
Lundin, the top U.S. finisher in Wednesday’s super G, will compete in Whistler. Teammate Dean Travers, the super G winner, will race for the Cayman Islands. (He was disqualified on his first run Thursday.)
A final spot will be up for grabs in Saturday’s slalom at Aspen Highlands.
“It’s going to be a shootout,” Callahan said. “I’m sure they all want a shot at Whistler and are going to go as hard as they can. … Each of these guys deserves that chance. Someone’s going to be left out, which is too bad.”
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