This article was originally published by Austin Colbert in The Aspen Times. A few more athletes have qualified for big races in the time since: Dylan Fiore will be joining her teammates in Sugarloaf for US Nationals, and Sam McDermott and Stella Johansson made it to U14 Can-Am's.
With March comes the madness, and we're not talking basketball. The rest of this month will be highlighted by many end-of-season feature events for Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club alpine skiers, starting this weekend with the U16 and under kids.
"For all of these age groups, these are the events they aspire to make at the end of the season," AVSC Executive Director Mark Godomsky said. "When you look at the kids and think about the time and energy they put forth in training, these are the goals they aspire for so it's the pinnacle of their season."
Beginning Saturday in Vail, seven AVSC skiers will compete in the U16 Rocky/Central regional championships. Qualified athletes include Allyson Cornelius, Margo McHugh, Levyn Thomas, Elle Murphy, Ethan De Moraes and Max Godomsky.
The U14 Rocky/Central regional championships take place March 15-20 in Steamboat Springs. Qualified athletes for the girls are Riley Puckett, Eleanor Hicks, Samantha Edelman, Alexandra Engelmann and Taylor Laing. Qualified AVSC boys are Tyler Thomas, Samuel McDermott, Topher Davenport, James Kelly, Garrett Dollahan, David Colon, Benjamin Godomsky and Christian Kelly.
The U10 and U12 skiers will compete March 11-12 in Telluride and March 18-19 at Powderhorn, respectively. Racers don't need to qualify for their regional championship races at this level.
Benjamin and Max are the eldest sons of Mark Godomsky. He also has a third, 11-year-old Nick, who competes in the U12 division but has opted to skip the competition so he can stay home and watch the World Cup Finals in Aspen.
"The two kids from Maine snuck in there in the back of the pack, so they are pretty fired up," Mark Godomsky said of his two oldest sons, who grew up in Maine and only moved to Aspen with their father in the summer. "This was their goal, and when they get there, now it's their opportunity to go see how they are against the best in their regions."
The larger events will take place later this month. The signature event is the U.S. National Championships, held March 25-28 in Sugarloaf, Maine. Numerous members of the U.S. Ski Team often compete at this event.
Qualified for the U.S. nationals out of the AVSC are Isabella Wright, Hanna Mass, Sky Kelsey, Cooper Cornelius, Bronson Wright, Devon Toribio, Dexter Edelman, Cameron Cain and Ben Throm.
These same nine skiers, with the addition of A.J. Chabot, also are qualified for the U.S. Junior National Championships, held March 29-30, also in Sugarloaf. Those competing in the regional events this week could possibly qualify for junior nationals.
"It's a great accomplishment for the older kids. They have to go all the way back to Maine. I was going to jump on the trip with them and go visit my family, but I won't," Mark Godomsky said. "It's huge for kids in this program to have the opportunity to ski against the best in the country, from the U.S. Ski Team to all the kids from the east and the far west. It's certainly the best of the best in the U.S."
Also of note, two AVSC skiers will compete in the Whistler Cup in Whistler, Canada, from April 10-16. Elle Murphy will represent Ireland, while Calder Bain will represent New Zealand.