Aspen women finish 6th in team race at ski mountaineering world championships
Jessie Young of Aspen and Lindsay Plant of Carbondale joined forces to finish 6th in the two-member team competition at the International Ski Mountaineering World Championships, which concluded Thursday in Verbier, Switzerland.
Max Taam and John Gaston, both of Aspen, finished 15th in the men’s team race. Their previous best at the World Championships was 10th.
Young and Plant hadn’t previously raced together in a team race.
The race featured 2,200 meters of climbing for the men and 2,000 meters of climbing for the women as well as steep and rocky descents, according to a posting on the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association website. The climbs were mixed in with descents.
The third descent was particularly icy and rocky, according to the association’s website. “This course was not for the feint of heart or those that were not very strong skiers,” the association reported. “It was on this descent that John Gaston broke his boot in half. That only fazed him briefly and he continued to charge down another 1,200 meter-plus of descents with only one functional boot. There are not many racers who could have accomplished this.”
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In the individual men’s race, Gaston placed 27th out of 91 starters. In the women’s race, Plant was 20th while Young was 23rd out of 140 starters.
In the Vertical Race, informally known as King of the Hill, Plant finished 14th, according to the association’s website. Young was part of a three-women relay team that placed fifth out of seven teams.
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The teams aren’t vying to one up the other in the rankings or looking to get a leg up in the league standings this fall, but that will hardly make the stakes any less meaningful for Basalt and Glenwood Springs high schools when they meet on the football field Friday night.