DURANGO — Though the weather was unpredictable at the condensed two-day state skiing championships in Durango, as they say, the show must go on.
With powder dominating the landscape of Chapman Hill and Purgatory Resort, the Aspen boys and Battle Mountain girls ended an exciting couple of days with some hardware to take back home.
With the highest score of 676 total points, Battle Mountain's girls defeated last year's champion, Aspen, by 33 points.
The Aspen boys totaled 675 points, 97 more than-second place Battle Mountain.
Starting at 9:37 a.m. at Chapman Hill, the boys slalom kicked of the day. Vail Mountain School's Shane Cole (45.24 seconds) won, Aspen's Trey Thorpe (45.42), and Vail Mountain's Mackay Pattison (47.76) was third.
With an impressive 20.87 second run to cap the victory over Thorpe (who finished .18 behind Cole), the senior veteran finally had his time to clinch what he had worked so hard to achieve.
“This is my last time ski racing in high school, and it means a lot because I fell both runs at states last year at Ski Cooper,” Cole said after learning the results. “It also means a lot because the conditions were difficult and it really was just anyone’s race. I’m really glad to come out with the win.”
As snow mounted across the mountain all morning, the top five finishers all posted quicker times in their second run compared to their first. With the snow playing faster and more compact to the surface, these elite skiers all took their game to the next level.
“The run was straighter the second go-around,” Cole said. “I started a little earlier the second run, so the snow conditions were a little bit better than the first run, not as rutted. The top of the hill was pretty icy and a pretty good surface while the bottom wasn’t as soft as I expected, so it was great, nothing really to it, just better conditions.”
Individually in fourth and fifth place, Battle Mountain's Will Bettenhausen (46.29) and Nederland's Talus Lantz (46.69) concluded the top five.
The girls category was owned by Battle Mountain's dynamic duo: Gretchen Pavelich and Berit Frischholz.
Both of Pavelich’s runs led the girls with times of 23.49 (first run) and 22.10 (second run) as the senior won the event in 45.59.
Frischholz, a junior, put up a total time of 47.22 to finish second.
Middle Park placed three girls in the top 11 in Ella Wiser (third, 47.31), Bethanne Droll (ninth, 49.45) and Sofia Olsson (11th, 49.99).
The fourth and fifth individual finishes came from Steamboat’s Ella Pietras and Summit’s Olyvia Snyder.
As the alpine race completed, fans, teammates, and parents packed their bags and headed to Purgatory Resort at the Nordic Center. Snow continued to fall as 3 p.m. arrived.
Aspen’s Everett Olson, and Vail Mountain’s Emma Blakslee came out on top individually.
In the boys team race, Aspen repeated as champion with 675 points. It is the program's ninth championship.
Battle Mountain's boys finished second (578 points), Vail Mountain (563) was third, Middle Park (560) was fourth, and Summit (546) was fifth.
On the girls side, the championship is Battle Mountain's fifth. The Huskies led the field with 676 points. Aspen (643) placed second, Summit (597) was third, Steamboat (578) was fourth, and Vail Mountain (525) was fifth.