With partly sunny skies overhead, temperatures hovering in the mid-20s, and firm snow beneath her skis, Platte Canyon High School’s Alyana Cooke fearlessly rang in a new season of competitive high school racing on a giant slalom run Jan. 10 at Beaver Creek Ski Area.
The Huskies also raced at Loveland Ski Area Jan. 17, where a bevy of PCHS participants pushed ever closer to top-third qualifying times that would assure them of a spot back at Beaver Creek in the State competition Feb. 27-28.
The 2020 Huskies have a roster of 11 skiers competing under the watchful eye of head coach Bob Feroldi, whose teams traditionally produce their fair share of state-qualifying talent.
This season it was Cooke, a senior who also happens to be the lone female on the PCHS squad, who was the first to reserve a highly coveted ticket to State. She finished 55th among 122 skiers at Beaver Creek, setting the stage for a 17th-place state-qualifying effort at Loveland. That quick trip down the hill came against a field of 90 racers – easily placing Cooke amongst the top third.
At the Beaver Creek event, where participating high schools included Evergreen, Battle Mountain, Aspen, Durango, Colorado Rocky Mountain and Lake County, it was Palmer Lyons who led the way for the PCHS boys by finishing 40th in a field of 110 racers.
A host of other Huskies finished as follows: Chris Long (49th), Sean Lucas (54th), Joe Melero (67th) and Liam Bailey (73rd).
Bavin Geiger, Sam Hatz and Tucker Sussenback did not finish the race, but almost all of the boys’ results improved considerably in the Loveland race.
In fact, with weather conditions on the mountain deteriorating due to increased winds and heavy snowfall, Long (25th), Lyons (28th), Geiger (30th), Hatz (33th) and Dean (34th) just missed qualifying for State in a field of 90 racers. Teammates Melero (42nd), Hatz (49th), Sussenbach (55th) Bailey (56th) and Jordan King (58th) also posted respectable times. Lucas suffered a mishap in his first run and did not finish.
Weather conditions prevented the boys from making their second runs down the course, which is customary, so only the first runs were used to compile final results from the Loveland event.
Teams at the Loveland competition also included Clear Creek, Evergreen, Aspen, Durango and Lake County.
The Huskies were back on the snow Jan. 24 at Ski Cooper, and Jan. 30 at Winter Park. They will wrap up their regular season with a Feb. 6 event back at Ski Cooper, and a Feb. 14 race at Eldora.