Racing to the finish at Ski Cooper

AHS girls, at the top of the course at Ski Cooper.

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Morandi-Benson.

AHS girls, at the top of the course at Ski Cooper.

Heavy snow greeted AHS Alpine skiers during their race on Feb. 2 at Ski Cooper. According to coach Jennifer Morandi-Benson, there were seven girls who finished in the top 20 and three boys in the top 15. Morandi-Benson said the new student athletes are diving right into the sport of ski racing.

I am in awe of the learning progression of the athletes that are both new to the sport and developing,” Morandi-Benson said. “Their dedication really shows up in training. Our athletes are so coachable that we can literally see what we say in the course. They make me want to race again.”

Sophomore Mckenna Kiker was among the top 20 finishers in the girls race. She said in spite of the blizzard conditions and flat hills, Aspen performed well in the GS gates.

Aspen did amazing,” Kiker said. “Our team really came together and pulled off a good race especially when the mountain is extremely flat and what we are not used to training because we usually train on thunderbowl on steeper pitches.”

Races this 2016-2017 season are qualifiers for the CHSAA ski championships on Feb 23 and 24 in Steamboat. Teammate Jane Marolt said that Aspen has had some fast times and good results this year.

“Aspen as a team has won multiple races this year and we have had a couple first place finishers,” Marolt said.

With good results and camaraderie the team has had a positive dynamic.

“We have a ton of girls and we all get along super well there are only a few boys but they always cheer and carry jackets and the girls always carry jackets for the boys runs and we make sure to cheer the boys on as well,” Marolt added. “It’s a super supportive group and we all have a lot of fun together.”