Finishing the year with a busy week Mammoth Mountain Ski and Snowboard teams ended the year with a very busy week. On Dec. 27 friends and family gathered at the Mammoth Mountainside Conference Center to honor the Dec. 2017 A Team athletes. The next two days, Dec. 28-29, the Snowboard and Freeski athletes had back-to-back slopestyle contests. On Dec. 30, it was the Alpine U10-U12-U14 teams’ turn to compete in the long running Kittredge Cup. The year ended with the Mighty Mites taking part in their annual Kittredge Fun Cup on Dec. 31.
December 27, 2017 MMCF A Team Awards Wednesday, Dec. 27 MMSST coaches, athletes, friends and family gathered at Mammoth Mountain to honor the forty-six athletes who were selected as A Team awards winners. MMCF executive director, Lindsay Barksdale explained, “Athletes are nominated for this award by their coaches for demonstrating performance above and beyond normal efforts. “A Team” athletes exceed the goals we set in an environment of high expectations. They may achieve a significant result in competition, or they may make a major personal breakthrough in their training on the mountain. The coaches look at academics, athletics and achievement.” Mighty Mite head coach Lisa Hickson told the group, her young skiers who range in age from six to eight years old, are “learning ski management, with a little racing and all terrain skiing.” The Mighty Mite athletes presented with A Team sweatshirts were: Chase Casaw, Eve-Ana Charbert, Noah Geffre, Mather Koegle, Emily Sugimura, Tori Newman, Sara Tomaier, and Leah Crall. MMSST Head Director Carl Underkoffler announced both the U10s and U12s adding the two groups were working on their hands referring to the term, “NLH.” Moments later Underkoffler asked his group what NLH stood for and they responded loudly with “no lazy hands.” His U10 athletes were Lila Creasy, Addison Koenig, Payton Norman, Vance Khamsi, and Oliver Finnegan. The U12s were Tristan Barnt, Elinor Crall, Gregory Gazarian, Daria Hajimiri, and Celso Nguyen. When U16 Head coach Jimmy Whiteley brought up his athletes Sasha Mueller and Keely Podosin he told the crowd that they are, “Always setting an example, always early, always putting effort in, have a great attitude. We are proud of them, they are great role models for our team.”
The following additional athletes were named to the A Team. Freeski: Jack Sloacek, Hayden Higashi, Gavin Higashi; Snowboard Jr. Elite: Makayla Kellogg, Keyser Murphy; Snowboard Junior: Paige Lary, Connor Burrows; Snowboard Mini: Jeffrey Anderson; Snowboard Devo: Natalie Partridge, Sebastian Markman; U19: Evin Haworth, Bruno Amon-Franceschi; U14: Ian Ferguson, Jack Lackey; Siena Beeghly; Thea Amon-Franceschi, Mitchell Parsons, Kendall Spieler; All Mountain Chargers: Caity Rahmeyer, Kaylie Kokado, Calista Yun, Vaughn Wilson, Mia Williams, Martin Walker, Emma Smith, and Silas Wilson.
December 28, 2017 Unbound Series Slopestyle WSPL The following day close to 100 skiers and snowboarders turned out for the first Unbound Series slopestyle contest. With blue sky and warm temperatures the contestants, had perfect conditions to hit the rails and jumps that were positioned at the top of Main Park. The majority of the athletes are members of MMSST, however with this contest taking place over the holiday break and due to the lack of snow at many other areas there were a number of participants visiting from other series.
By the end of the day the following athletes went home with gold medals around their necks. Freeski Breaker (12-13) Boys: 1 Sawyer L. Coll; Freeski Grommet (8-9) Boys: David Gray; Freeski Jams (18-22) Men: Sammy Stevenson; Freeski Junior (16-17) Men: Aaron Durlester; Freeski Menehune (10-11) Boys: Campbell Burrows; Freeski Menehune (10-11) Girls: Kathryn Gray; Freeski Open Class Women: Eileen Gu; Freeski Youth (14-15) Men: James Kanzler; Freeski Youth (14-15) Women: Lizetta Dardenne-Ankringa; Snowboard Breaker (12-13) Boys: John Connolly; Snowboard Breaker (12-13) Girls: Riley Rivera; Snowboard Grommet (8-9) Boys: Ewen Tomaier; Snowboard Grommet (8-9) South LAkeGirls: Reese Rivera; Snowboard Jams (18-22) Men: 1 Joshua Agnew; Snowboard Junior (16-17) Men: Cody Beavers; Snowboard Junior (16-17) Women: Taney Anne Doll; Snowboard Legend (40-49) Men: Tsuyoshi Komiyama; Snowboard Menehune (10-11) Boys: Jacob Burrows; Snowboard Menehune (10-11) Girls: Sonora Alba; Snowboard Open Class Men: Denver Orr; Snowboard Open Class Women: Tessa Maud; Snowboard Ruggie (7 & Under) Boys: Tanoa “TJ” Weygand; Snowboard Ruggie (7 & Under) Girls: Jeffrey Anderson; and Snowboard Youth (14-15) Men: Kolman Lecroy.
December 29, 2017 Unbound Series Slopestyle WSPL The following day the event became a Rev Tour Qualifier and there were many of the same athletes on top of the podium along with a few new names in the first place column including: Freeski Breaker (12-13) Boys: Sawyer L. Coll; Freeski Grommet: David Gray; Freeski Jams (18-22) Men: Sammy Stevenson; Freeski Junior (16-17) Men: Aaron Durlester; Freeski Menehune (10-11) Boys: Campbell Burrows; Freeski Menehune (10-11) Girls: Kathryn Gray; Freeski Open Class Men: Reece Rulep; Freeski Open Class Women: Eileen Gu; Freeski Youth (14-15) Men: James Kanzler; Freeski Youth (14-15) Women: Marea Adams; Snowboard Breaker (12-13) Boys: Jake Langston; Snowboard Breaker (12-13) Girls: Riley Rivera; Snowboard Grommet (8-9) Boys: Devon Smead; Snowboard Grommet (8-9) Girls: Sunny Walder; Snowboard Junior (16-17) Men: Cody Beavers; Snowboard Junior (16-17) Women: Taney Anne Doll; Snowboard Legend (40-49) Men: Tsuyoshi Komiyama; Snowboard Menehune (10-11) Boys: Luke Leal; Snowboard Menehune (10-11) Girls: Beatrice Kim; Snowboard Open Class Men: Denver Orr; Snowboard Open Class Women: Taylor Morgan; Snowboard Ruggie (7 & Under) Boys: Walter Kim; Snowboard Ruggie (7 & Under) Girls: Sage Smead: Snowboard Youth (14-15) Men: Chad Carlson; and Snowboard Youth (14-15) Women: Morgan Just
December 30, 2017 Kittredge Cup The Annual Kittredge Cup was held Dec. 30 at Mammoth Mountain. The race has been going on for so long that even Tom Cage, owner of Kittredge Sports and sponsor of the event doesn’t remember what year it started, but he did say, “If I had to take a guess it would be in the mid 80s, making it over thirty years ago.” The race, that started out as a local event for all 18 and under Inyo/ Mono county students, has changed a bit over the years. It originally consisted of an elimination round in the morning and a head to head event in the afternoon. Although the head to head format was very exciting, the field got so big that Cage, said, “the last year the race was held that way, it finished in the dark after the lifts closed. Kids had to be towed to the top of the course by snowmobiles.” Cage went on to explain, “That’s when I decided we had to change the format. We made the race a dual course for the older kids and then added a second day with a single course race for the younger set.” This year the two day event had a total of 100 U10, U12 and U14 competitors in the Kittredge Cup and 49 nine and under racers in the Kittredge Fun Cup. Cage spent Saturday morning registering the competitors, handing out tee shirts and then he returned for the afternoon to announce the race and hand out awards. The race went smoothly with all 100 competitors completing their two runs in just a little over an hour. At the awards, Cage being the forever coach said, “We will start out with a few little footnotes. It’s not to make anybody feel bad, it is to encourage you to all ski a little bit faster. We had some kids miss out on trophies by just mere hundredths of a second. So that just means you are that close. Just a little bit better next time you make that turn, a little bit better, have that wax a little bit better and you’ll be right in there. So when I do call you out, don’t feel bad about it.”
In the U10 Female race, Cage said, “We also had some unique things happen. Our U10 female winner beat out all the (U10) boys as well. So the girls can ski as fast as the guys.” Cage introduced the winners of the U10 girls by saying, “With blistering speed and beating out the boys by over a half of a second” in first place “with a fast, fast time of 50.90 Margaux Schlumberger…I’ll tell you what, she skied well today.” Following her were Addison Koenig and Payton Norman in second and third respectively. For the U10 men Fritz Griffith took third place, Alexander (Kimi) Basamakov came in second by less than a half of a second and Heath Rodriguez was .4 of a second faster to take the win.
Cage said, “so I don’t have a trophy for fourth, but we’ve got a couple that were so close, so we are going to recognize” them. In the U12 ladies third and fourth place were separated by .2 of a second. Sierra Wight took fourth place and in third place missing out of the second place spot by 15 hundredths of a second was Piper Wilkison. Edging her out for second was Jenna Lynch who Cage acknowledged as “someone vastly improved over last year.” First place in the U12 female class by .6 of a second was Maya Eisner. They were all so close that the top six of these girls on any given day could have taken the win and Eisner would have been fifth against the U14s. In the U12 men’s .17 of a second separated third and fourth. Third place went to Dylan Jeffries with Grant Schneider just missing the podium. The battle between first and second was separated by .7 of a second, in two runs combined. Tristan Barndt claimed second place battling it out with someone not unfamiliar with the podium Gregory Gazarian. Gazarian, a second year U12 would have finished fifth overall if he were up against the U14s. Cage commented, “So next year you’ve got to step it up. All right gentlemen good job, good racing.”
The “real speedsters” were in the U14 category. The U14 ladies were only beat by the boys by a couple of tenths of a second. The closest and just out of the trophy competition by .05 was Reagan Sewell in fourth place. In third place was Sara Mueller. Taking second place was Thea Amon-Franceschi. And with the biggest margin of victory was Siena Beeghly in first place by two seconds. “Someone was on fire today…absolutely ripp’n it, my goodness, what kind of wax did she use?” said Cage, who went on to add, “And I’ll tell you what, we’ve got a bumper crop of all age groups, but the U12s and U14s were just amazing today.” In the U14 men’s category third and fourth were separated by less than .2 of a second, first and second were separated by .2 of a second exactly. Unfortunately, finishing in fourth was Quentin Le Francois by .17. A “blistering pace” was set by the top three, in third place was Iain Ferguson, “skiing way, way good this year,” added Cage. Taking second with a 42.31 was Mitchell Parsons. And his “nemesis and friend” in first place was Parker Gumins. “Second place was separated by .2 of a second. The two competitors have been going at it for a number of years and will probably go at it for a number more. One of them had a time of 42.11 combined and one of them had a time of 42.31 combined. And I’ll tell you what I’ve never seen it this close between these two. So that’ll mean somebody’s getting better. Somebody better look in the rear view mirror,” observed Cage. Then Cage threw out the question, “Are you guys first year or second year U14s?” “Second year,” said the two. “So you are all second year, so I don’t get you next year, you’re done. It’ll open up wide open. All right, Gazarian did you hear that Quentin’s last year too, oh man.”
Cage rounded out the day by giving thanks to: “Mike McGrale for setting the coarse today and Mammoth Mountain Ski Team and all the coaches who had to get all the kids up and down inspecting the course…and parents, grand parents, friends, relatives and college recruiters, you name it.”
December 31, 2017 Kittredge Fun Cup The following day Cage was back for the 16th Annual Kittredge Fun Cup. This race too, went swiftly and without incidents other than a few very young racers questioning which way to go. Some figured it out and a couple simply chose the “straight line” to the finish.
In the six year old and under female category “the racing competition was fast and furious and very close on the times.” Third place, following in her older sister’s footsteps the day before, was June Beeghly. Second place went to Marina Llaca and Lily McConnell who Cage referred to as the “toothless wonder,” since she lost a tooth earlier in the day, took first by three seconds. In the men’s class for the same age division Cage gave a shout-out to the most improved racer Spencer Nguyen, who improved his time by almost 10 seconds. He also noted the twins Weber and Lauden Meade-Sofield battled it out “with both of them improving a lot and being very fast.” Third place went to Noah Geffre, second to Jack Wright and in first place was one of the youngest competitors five year old Jake Silvera.
In the ladies seven year old category all three podium winners were “one, two, three in their first run and in their second run they were also one, two, three but they each skied faster in their second run.” Taking first, second and third were Julia Freestone, Charlotte Campbell and Jade Peterson, respectively. The seven-year old boys jockeyed back and forth for first, second and third. Ultimately, after the two runs it was Hayden Ledesma, who had the fastest first run, taking third. Gabriel Vanderhurst was second by .03 of a second and claiming the win was Andre Gazarian.
Rowan Monte was third for the eight year-old ladies, followed by Neko Morando in second and Tess Rozanski, who skied within .02 seconds for both of her runs, was first. On the boys side Lucas Polo was third, Ryan McConnell was second and Marco Condon was first with two consistent runs. Following the trophy presentation Cage thanked everyone for coming out and finished with, “We’ll see you next year.”
Kittredge Cup http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=177815
Kittredge Fun Cup http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=177956
PHOTO GALLERY by Susan Morning/Magic Memories
2017 Kittredge Cup
2017 Kittredge Fun Cup
MMSST Unbound Slopestyle podium winners