Team Breck skiers dominate Aspen podiums
summit daily news
Another week, another dominating performance from the Team Breck moguls squad.
Led by 13-year-old phenom Kaitlyn Harrell, the local club ski team racked up awards at a three-day Rocky Mountain Division event in Aspen.
The course was set on Aspen Highlands’ Thunderbowl, and Harrell, despite being much younger than the top competition, made quite a bit of noise. She swept all three events, earning what her coach, John Dowling, referred to as the “Triple Crown.”
In Saturday’s race – an open competition for all age groups – Dowling said Harrell actually backed off her blistering pace that she set in Friday’s training but still threw a spread and twist spread on her two jumps and took the title. She picked it back up in Sunday’s singles competition, throwing a backflip on one jump and showing off her speed throughout the course with crisp, tight turns. After picking up that win, she went on to barely edge out Telluride’s Kealey Saumseil in the dual finals for her third win of the weekend.
Although her performance was certainly head-turning, Harrell wasn’t the only local to have a big weekend.
Dylan Walczyk, the team’s top J1-level skier, repeated as champion in the overall event Saturday, having won the Aspen title last year as well. Dowling said it was Walczyk’s strong skiing on the course’s middle section that separated him from the competition. And, his gold medal put him right above teammate Bruce Perry Jr. on the podium. The 15-year-old Perry pulled a 360 off the bottom kicker and finished second overall while winning his J2 division.
Perry finished second in the J2 category on Sunday and had a great performance in Monday’s dual competition, finishing fourth.
Walczyk was fifth in duals.
Kira Wright, Lindsay Eckhoff, Sean Scanlan, Pierce McCrerey, Alex DeBonville, Stepan Jaltmar, Gabe Johnson, Bryce Sawhney and Jake Salter also had strong showings for Team Breck.
The team heads to Vail this weekend for another RMD competition, before hosting an event Jan. 29 through March 1 at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Led by Katy Harris and Kaitlyn Socket, the Team Breck alpine squad had a strong weekend at a Smartwool Speed series at Aspen’s Buttermilk Mountain.
The two female skiers, along with Patrick Gruber and Max Armstrong, put up performances in the J3 category that could earn them trips to the Junior Olympics.
Harris won three of the four races, finishing second in the other, for her age category. She swept both downhill competitions, and was first and second in the super-G.
Socket, meanwhile, never finished worse than fourth. She was second and third in the two downhills, and third and fourth in the super-G.
On the boys’ side, Gruber was fifth in one of the two super-G races, and Armstrong was sixth. The two finished ninth (Armstrong) and 10th (Gruber) in the other super-G.
The team has races starting Friday at Breckenridge, skiing super-G off Peak 10’s Cimmaron run.
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