Local skiers help Aspen claim boys and girls state titles
Local Glenwood and Roaring Fork students, competing for Aspen High School, helped the Skiers sweep the boys and girls state skiing championships Thursday through Saturday at Ski Cooper near Leadville. A combined 14 athletes from Glenwood and Roaring Fork helped the Skiers sweep the state championships in impressive fashion after placing third in both boys and girls in the 2017 state ski championships.
The Aspen girls swept the board, scoring the most points in both slalom and giant slalom, as well as in both Nordic races (the classic race was a tie with Vail Mountain). In the end, the Skiers finished with 650.5 points to win the girls title, while Battle Mountain took second (581), Vail Mountain third (540), Steamboat Springs fourth (533) and Summit County fifth (520).
“I can’t believe it. It keeps blowing my mind that we won for both boys and girls,” senior Devan McSwain, a Glenwood Springs High School student who competes for Aspen, told The Aspen Times following the state championship win. “I definitely thought we had a chance since it’s such a strong group. There were times I was kind of nervous we wouldn’t. But mainly throughout the whole races with the different results we had, I definitely thought we had a good chance of winning.”
The Aspen boys finished with 661.5 points, followed by Vail Mountain’s 572, Battle Mountain’s 563.5, Middle Park’s 557.5 and Steamboat’s 549.5.
According to The Aspen Times, it is the eighth state championship for both the Aspen boys and girls in school history. The girls last won in 2016, while the boys’ last title came in 2014.
For local athletes, the state championship got off to a fast start on Thursday as Glenwood’s Lizzy Barsness placed eighth out of 57 racers in the cross country classic race for the girls, while Glenwood’s Jacob Barsness (third), Roaring Fork’s Noah Wheeless (11th), Glenwood’s Henry Barth (16th), Roaring Fork’s Will Rose (41st), Glenwood’s Erik Novy (52nd) and Glenwood’s Andrew Humble (54th) turned in strong performances for the Skiers in the cross country classic race for the boys.
In the giant slalom later in the day, McSwain placed second for Aspen, while Glenwood’s Levyn Thomas finished right behind McSwain in third. Summer McSwain of Glenwood placed 30th in the 94-entry competition. For the Aspen boys in the giant slalom, Glenwood’s Ethan De Moraes placed sixth, while Henry Barth claimed 46th out of 75 racers.
On Friday, Lizzy Barsness got off to another fast start for the Skiers, placing ninth out of 51 racers in the girl’s cross county skate race, while Jacob Barsness placed sixth in the boy’s skate race. Wheeless (7th), Barth (12th) and Rose (33rd) rounded out the competition for local athletes competing for the Skiers.
Devan McSwain continued to dominate the Alpine races, placing third in the slalom, while Thomas and Summer McSwain placed 14th and 33rd out of 82 entries in the slalom, respectively. De Moraes placed 15th in the boy’s slalom, while Barth and Glenwood’s Liam Mazzotta placed 30th and 37th, respectively.
Building off of a strong individual performance, Barth won the state championship in the State Skimeister competition (best combined results for athletes competing in both cross country and alpine), beating out 18 other competitors.
Aside from the state championship, four local skiers earned All-State honors, as Devan McSwain and Thomas claimed honors in slalom and giant slalom.
Ethan De Moraes and Jacob Barsness earned All-State honors for the boys, with De Moraes grabbing honors in giant slalom, while Barsness landed honors in Nordic skate and classic.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.