Athletes Faced with Challenging Weather Conditions at Competitions
U16-U18s race at home Mammoth’s snow sports athletes had another winning weekend this past week, despite new snow, dangerously high wind and bitter cold temperatures the last week of February. But first, there were some delays, as winter returned with a vengeance, after three months of dry conditions.
On Feb. 22, over 150 U16-U18 and U21 athletes prepared to compete in the Far West Open Series Sunshine Cup super G races at Mammoth Mountain the following day. But, then just before the three-day WR Qualifier started, the athletes received the news they dreaded; “Due to the current weather conditions and lift closures due to wind, which are delaying the set-up of the race venue…”
Still hoping, team coaches gathered the next morning but by 8:21a.m., a jury decision was made to postpone that day’s races due to over a foot of new snow and venue conditions. Saturday morning, the Sunshine Cup was back on schedule, but not for long. The women had barely finished their second race when the men received a notice stating, “Due to wind, weather conditions and lift closures, there will be no Men’s SG race today.” It was a good thing, because shortly thereafter the wind at the top of Broadway was recorded at 106mph.
It was not until Sunday morning that the skies had cleared and the winds lessened, allowing the men to get in two of their three races and the women to have their third race. When they finally got to race, the results were impressive. In the first race on Saturday morning, Mammoth’s Erica Lynch took fourth for the U16 women with teammate Sasha Mueller coming in ninth. Neave Anderson, Anastasia Seator-Braun and Madison Jayne followed in 23rd, 24th, and 29th respectively. In the second race Mueller, Seator-Braun and Anderson were 18th, 20th, and 22nd. Sunday it was Lynch in 13th, Mueller 21st and Seator-Braun in 24th.
In the first race for the U19 women, Mammoth’s Evin Haworth was second with Nikki Sadat, seventh; Elizabeth Gammariello, eighth; Frances Lackey, ninth; Sabrina Brink, 10th and Silvia Lorico-Rappa took 11th. Haworth took the top spot on the podium in the second race with a time of 1:11.42. She was followed by Kendall Lach just eight hundredths of a second behind in second place, Sadat was sixth; Gammarielo, seventh; Lackey, 10th; Lorico-Rappa, 11th and Brink was 12th. On Sunday afternoon Gammariello, Sadat, Lackey, Lorico Rappa and Brink took fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th.
That same day in the U16 men’s first race Benjamin Wynn was the top MMSST racer coming in 21st. Wynn was followed by Aidan Le Francois, Benjamin Wolfe and Daniel Schneider in 25th, 26th, and 27th respectively. In the U19 division, Mammoth racer Connor Staley climbed on the podium in second. Lachlan Anderson, who just missed making the podium by 7 hundredths of a second, finished in fourth place. Six other MMSST U19 racers also took top 15 spots including: Charlie Regelbrugge in fifth; Barrett Calvin, sixth; Luke Davenport, eighth; Tommy TeSlaa, 10th; Bruno Amon-Franceschi, 11th; and Cole Williams was 13th.
In the men’s second race, Le Francois, Wolfe and Schneider took top 30 results for the U16s coming in 20th, 24th, and 30th, while Anderson, Calvin and Staley swept the U19 Men’s podium taking first, second and third respectively. Regelbrugge was fifth, followed by Davenport, Amon-Franceschi, Williams and Teslaa in eighth, ninth, 11th and 12th.
Links to results: http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=185724, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=185725, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=186021, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=185987, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=185990
Snowboard and freeride athletes compete in USASA double-header At the same times as the Super G races were going on, Mammoth also held two USASA events. On Saturday, skiers and snowboarders competed in an abbreviated slopestyle contest at South Park. The competition had to be cut short after one run due to the dangerously high wind that closed down part of the ski area. As director of the Mammoth Unbound Series, coach Ben Wisner told his athletes and their parents at the awards presentation, “We wanted to make it a two run event, but Mother Nature had her own ideas.”
The following day the weather was much better and the rail jam participants got in a full contest. Mammoth athletes who took first in their division of the slopestyle event: Aaron Durlester, Campbell Burrows, Sienna Manning, Natalie Partridge, Ronan Price, Logan Leggette, Cody Beavers, Tsuyoshi Komiyama, Jacob Burrows, Makayla Kellogg, and Peter Tonkel.
The athletes that placed first in the rail jam are: Alexis Molina, Lizetta Dardenne-Ankringa, Sonora Alba, Ocean Roberts, and Sunny Walder. Five athletes captured first for their divisions in both the slopestyle contest and the rail jam; Cody Lambert-Klein, Kathryn Gray, David Gray, Dillon Henricksen, and Tanoa “TJ” Weygand.
U14s have two days of tight racing at Squaw Valley A contingent of Mammoth U14 ski racers also traveled to Squaw Valley Ski Resort for the California U14 Challenge Series Super G on Feb. 24-25. According Harry Blackburn, MMSST Program Director, it was a “crazy weekend of weather.” The weather conditions were “challenging” with Saturday’s weather “down right nasty, very windy and very cold. They don’t call that lift Siberia (where the race took place) for no reason, it was just that.” Blackburn added, “But the snow conditions were outstanding considering they received 12-14 inches of new snow Thursday.”
On Saturday, Mammoth’s Siena Beeghly took third for the women behind Squaw’s Allison Mollin and Amber Hansford, who took first and second. The following day, Squaw again took first and second with only one hundredth of a second separating the two racers. That day MMSST’s Byrn Urdi also made the front-page with her 15th place finish.
On the boy’s side, Squaw’s Nicos Bournakel, who started 83rd (second from last) came down the course in 39.03 seconds and turned in the fastest time of the day. Sugar Bowl’s Lukas Hendricks was just four hundredths of a second behind to capture second and Jason Roth (SVST) was third. Coming in fifth was Mammoth’s Mitchell Parsons.
Blackburn was proud of he team’s performance, especially given the weather. “Saturday’s conditions were pretty gnarly,” he said. “The last 30 boys who raced on Saturday should get a medal for courage for sending it down the hill! Flat light, windy ground blizzard, rough top section” made for some tough skiing, he said. But the boys persevered and on Sunday, Mammoth’s Parker Gumins came in sixth, with Parsons following in 15th.
“It was tight racing both days with one second separating many of the top of the field,’ Blackburn said. “You could tell the Squaw athletes were very comfortable on their home hill. Our home training did pay off. We were prepared for the race, it was a matter of executing the play and hitting the marks tactically!” He pointed out the Quentin Le Francois had “solid skiing and acquiring valuable world cup points for his bid for Jackson Hole,” and “Iain Ferguson had a personal best SG finish on Sunday.” Thea Amon-Franceschi, who moved up 10 places “had a much better run on Sunday,” he said.
So it was that on Monday, Feb. 26, Far West Skiing announced that Mammoth athletes Beeghly, Amon-Franceschi, Urdi, Gumins, Parsons, and Le Francois that made the team for the U14 Regional Championships, an “invitation only” event to be held in Jackson Hole, Wyo. later in March.
Links to results: http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=185655, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=185656, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=185657, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=185658
Justin Wallasch competes in Nor-Am Ski Cross MMSST U21 racer Justin Wallasch recently traveled to the East Coast to compete in two Nor-Am Cup Ski Cross Races held at Sunday River Resort, Maine. On Feb. 13-14, Wallasch took 12th in both races. Four days later he took part in another Nor-Am Ski Cross series, this time at Calabogie Peaks, ON CAN. Wallasch again took 12th place in the first race. He came back the next day to place sixth.
KEEPING UP WITH OUR ALUMNI
Underkoffler leads Coyote men to take 2nd at regionals, off to Lake Placid Three Top-20 finishes helped the College of Idaho place third overall in the giant slalom on Day 1 of the USCSA Western Regional Championships at Snow King Mountain Resort. Northwest Conference champion and former member of MMSST Lucas Underkoffler placed ninth in both runs. The Coyotes had all seven skiers complete both runs on the day, with their two-run team time of 4:45.70 behind only Rocky Mountain (4:29.43) and Colorado (4:42.20), finishing two seconds clear of Washington State (4:47.50) and Montana State (4:48.31) in the 15-team field.
The following day, battling tough conditions throughout the day, the College of Idaho men’s alpine ski team grinded out six quality scoring runs to place second in today’s slalom and second overall in the alpine combined, punching their ticket to the USCSA National Championships. Led by seniors Lucas Underkoffler, who placed eighth in his two runs and Brady Nilsson, the Yotes clocked a two-run team time of 4:54.67 – second only to overall champion, Rocky Mountain (4:33.91) – but well ahead of the University of Colorado (5:09.14), Air Force (5:23.09) and Washington State (5:25.32). C of I earned the silver medal as a team by having fewer place points (77), than the Buffaloes (79).
In 2017 Underkoffler earned All-NWCSC honors after placing fourth in the individual standings, including a victory in the second giant slalom qualifier at Tamarack Resort; placed in the Top-10 in seven of the eight league qualifiers; placed 14th in both the slalom and giant slalom at the USCSA Western Regional; took 18th in the slalom and 22nd in the giant slalom at the USCSA National Championships. In baseball, did not see game action.
Tyler Wallasch Podiums in Germany On Feb. 24-25 Mammoth Ski Team alum, Tyler Wallasch competed in two Europa Cup Ski Cross competitions held at Grasgehren, Germany. Wallasch had two podium finishes taking third on the first day. The next day he moved up to take second.
Images from U16-U18 super G by Susan Morning/Magic Memories