Stacey Cook recovers to race in World Cup Finals and then heads home to take part in the Mighty Mite World Championships, while the snowboarders compete in the Rev Tour and honor the late Jeff Anderson with the JLA Banked Slalom. The U14 and U19s have great successes on the road, while several of the Chargers compete at Kirkwood.
Cook goes from World Cup Finals to Mighty Mite World Championships
Mammoth’s four-time Olympian Stacey Cook had a very full week. It started out with her return to racing at the Audi FIS Ski Alpine World Cup Finals held in Are, Sweden, March 14 and ended with the Mighty Mite World Championships at Mammoth. Cook, who has been on the disabled list since suffering an accident just prior to the Olympics, hasn’t been able to race until this week when she competed in the downhill at the World Cup Finals held March 14.
She expressed her gratitude on social media for being able to return to racing at Are as her first World Cup Finals were also there in 2006 and “it was a rad feeling to come full circle.” Unfortunately, Cook “missed the direction off a jump and didn’t make the next gate” but, she stated that she felt “results didn’t matter… it was great satisfaction to just be competing.” She admitted she could have given in to “the physical and emotional pain and thrown in the towel after the Olympics, but continuing to work hard and finish the season strong meant more to me.”
She then added, but “I’ve never been more excited to head home, this body and mind needs some rest! Also so happy to be a part of the best women’s downhill team in the world this year which is no small feat even if it isn’t widely recognized.” Cook only had a day’s rest before she was back on her home mountain to help support the next generation of racers in another world championship event, the Mighty Mite World Championships.
The annual race was started years ago by then Mighty Mite Head Coach Starla Cortopassi and has become an annual tradition that all the young MMSST team members, coaches, friends and family look forward to each season.
On Sunday, over 50 Mighty Mites, each representing one of five different countries, started their day by gathering in Roma’s Room for some face decorating with tattoo stickers. The racers then headed to McCoy Station where their coaches organized them by county for team photos with Woolly. Immediately following the photo session the athletes participated in the ceremonial Parade of Nations down Broadway. Leading the parade were two Mammoth icons, four time Olympian Cook and the ever-popular Woolly.
With flags flying and music booming, an announcer called out the names of the individual athletes and the country they were representing. The mini racers came down the hill one right after another weaving back and forth across the mountain until they all arrived at the bottom. Moments later they were back on the lift head to the start of the dual racecourse for a quick inspection and then the highly anticipated competition began.
Taking the honor for being the fastest six-year old girl of the day was Canada’s Lilly McConnell. Flora Wheeler also skiing for Canada came in second and Sweden’s June Beegly followed closely behind in third. In the six-year old Boys class Jack Wright and Jack Stillings, both skiing for Sweden were first and third, with Sandor Jovanovich, Switzerland taking second.
The fastest girl overall for all the age groups was Team USA’s Julia Freestone who was also the quickest seven-year old girl. Switzerland’s Charlotte Campbell was second, followed by Italy’s Emily Sugimura in third. Hayden Ledesma and Gabe Vanderhurst continued their season long battle for the top of the podium with Ledesma, taking the win and Vanderhust placing second. Coming in third was Marco Silvera. The boys skied for Sweden, Italy and the USA in that order.
Rowan Monte (SWE), Tessa Rozanski (ITA) and Neko Morando (USA) were the top eight-year old girls. A mere four-hundredths of a second separated first and second in the eight-year old boy’s division with Garrett Moberly (USA) claiming first and Ryan McConnell (SWE) landing in second. Canada’s Marco Condon came in third.
In the team competition Italy with Vanderhurst, Tessa Rozanski, Chase Cassaw, Lucas Schlumberger, Emily Sugimura, Resi Griffith, Violet Tenedora, Gracie McMahan, Wyatt Woods, Sasha Curtis and Kyle Moxley took first place, followed by Team USA in second and Sweden in third.
Later that evening Cook expressed her feelings about the event saying, “Home just in time for one of my favorite days of the year Mighty Mite World Championships!!! Thanks for letting Woolly and I lead the Parade of Nations. My Olympic sweaters got a second use as Team USA looked good and skied fast this year.”
Link to results: http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187838
MMSST skiers compete U14 Regional Championships
Five MMSST skiers traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyo. for the U14 Regional Championships held March 15-18. Siena Beeghly, Thea Amon-Francheschi, Parker Gumins, Mitchell Parsons, Quentin Le Francois competed in Super G, GS and slalom. Taking top 20 results were Beeghly who placed 20th in the second Super G and 17th in slalom, Gumins earned 19th in the Super G and 13th in the GS and Parsons took 17th in GS race.
Links to results: http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187586, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187597 http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187607, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187606, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187686, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187685
MMSST U16-U18s have success at Heavenly
Thirteen MMSST U16 and U18 racers competed in the Emily Clothier Memorial slalom race at Heavenly on March 18. The event was originally scheduled as a standard two day weekend race, but at the last minute due to a strong storm hitting the Sierra, it was changed to a Sunday double-header. The entire group had a very successful day. The U16 women saw Anastasia Seator-Braun take fifth and seventh; Bailey Sokol, eighth and 10th; Keely Podosin, ninth and eighth; Isla Lackey 14th and 15th; Skylar Wilkison 15th and 19th; and Chiara Lorico Rappa finished with a pair of 20th place results. Madison Jayne stood in 10th place after finishing the first run of her second race, unfortunately she wasn’t able to hold her position and ended up in 26th. The U18 women had Frances Lackey land two podium finishes in second and third; Silvia Lorico Rappa was seventh and fifth; and Sabina Brink was seventh in her second race.
On the men’s side U16 Michael Brink wrapped up his weekend ending up in fifth and seventh; Kian Sadat was fourth in his first race and Nicholas Eppotito was fifth in his first race and then moved up to take fourth in the second race.
Link to results: http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187694, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187836, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187693, http://www.live-timing.com/race2.php?r=187835
Smith and Pretti podium at Western Region Junior Championships
MMSST coach Allie Ace recently announced, “MMSST has 17 U19/21 FIS athletes headed to Western Region Junior Championships next week. This is the most out of any team in the Far West Division.” The following athletes represented Mammoth at the event held at Schweitzer, Idaho March 13-18: Mack Carkeet, Evin Haworth, Kendall Lach, Liz Gammariello, Nikki Sadat, Gabby Smith, Lachlan Anderson, Barrett Calvin, Winston Pretti, Luke Davenport, Connor Staley, Erik Eisen, Charlie Regelbrugge, Bruno Amon-Franceschi, Tommy Teslaa, Cole Williams and Casey Felgar.
Several Mammoth skiers earned top-20 results during the weeklong event. They include Calvin and Anderson who were ninth and 15th in the first men’s Super G. The following day the two again raced Super G and were separated by only one tenth of a second giving Calvin 18th and Anderson 19th. Davenport landed in 20th in the first slalom.
On the women’s side Haworth, who was 20th in the first GS, moved up to take 12th in the second race; and Carkeet had five out six front-page results coming in 11th and sixth in the GS; eighth in both Super G races and seventh in the first slalom.
Although these skiers produced outstanding results, two other MMSST athletes landed top podium spots going against some of the best competitors in the Western Region. Pretti, was sixth and fifth in the GS races, but came back to take a hard fought second in the first slalom against Squaw Valley’s Jordan Cashman. In the first run Pretti could only manage 13th, while Cashman was third. In the second run Pretti had a blazing fast run that ended up being the fastest run of the day, unfortunately for Pretti it wasn’t enough to overtake Cashman who came down just 16 hundredths of a second slower to take the win. Pretti had to settle for second in the race.
Unquestionably, Smith was the top performer for the Mammoth contingent. She won three out her four GS runs to place first and fifth; she took two podium spots in the Super G placing third and second. It the first slalom, Smith was ninth in the first run, but came back to win the second run and place second overall. In her final race of the Championships she crossed the finish with a time of 47.77 seconds, 26 hundredths of a second ahead of the second place finisher. But in the end, for her first time during series Smith was unable to finish her run, leaving her with five top-five results out of six races.
JLA Banked Slalom bigger than ever
There was another annual event at Mammoth this week, the JLA Banked Slalom held March 17-18 returned for the sixth year. The event helps celebrate the life of professional snowboarder, Jeff Anderson. It’s been 15 years since the untimely passing of the local snowboarding legend Anderson. And this event is designed to help “continue to keep his legacy alive with a fun day of shredding with Jeff’s friends and family on the mountain he grew up on.” Five members of Jeff’s family including Jeff’s mom Jane Anderson-Baer and his brother Billy were on hand to participate and help with this year’s event that they deemed the “biggest and best,” of all. They went on to say they look forward to next year’s competition being even bigger.
More than 200 snowboarders took part in the two-day event on Lower Dry Creek. The competitors ranged in ages and abilities from pro riders and legends to groms. And there were even two special divisions one for moms and one for the coaches.
The following athletes took first place in their divisions: Boys 6 and under, Tora Komiyama; Boys 7 to 9, Jonah Johnson; Boys 10-12, John Connolly; Boys 13-15, Levi Brown; Girls 6 and under, Kinsley Klassen; Girls 7 to 9, Spencer Anderson; Girls 10-12, Natalie Partridge; Girls 13-15, Super Applebaum; Coaches, Morgan Medove; Moms, Yuki Tomiyama; Am Men, JJ Johnson; Am Women, Sandra Sperry; Pro Masters, Billy Anderson; Pro Groms, Cody Beavers; Pro Men, Harry Kearney; Pro Women, Mariah Dugan.
The event was organized by the JLA Project. The JLA Project was founded in 2003 after Anderson’s tragic passing. One of the original goals of the foundation was to build a Skate Park in Mammoth Lakes. The newest goal will focus on a renewed nurturing support of the sport of snowboarding from a grassroots level. “A movement to remind the community that snowboarding is an entire lifestyle. It’s been growing into the mainstream for so long, and we feel that Jeff’s influence is needed now more than ever. We must care for snowboarding again, in ways that only snowboarders can.”
Rev Tour returns to Mammoth Mountain
The 2018 Toyota U.S. Revolution Tour came to Mammoth Mountain, March 12-16. The event featured a halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air competition for both freeski and snowboard athletes. The Rev Tour series is focused towards riders 13-19 years old. And it implemented an all pre-qualified athlete field for all Halfpipe and Slopestyle events. Athletes qualified for the Tour through a variety of criteria including their competition results from the prior season. Athletes also had the opportunity to qualify in-season through selected USASA and US Ski and Snowboard regional events. Fifteen Mammoth freeski and snowboard athletes met those qualifications, with several of them going on to earn podium spots.
In the Nor-Am Cup-Ladies’ Ski Slopestyle, Mammoth’s Sienna Manning took eighth. The following day her teammates Lauren Drexel and Lizetta Dardenne-Ankringa competed in the Nor-Am Cup-Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe and they took eighth and 10th respectively, while Aaron Durlester was 13th in the Men’s Halfpipe.
On the snowboard side in the Big Air contest three MMSST athletes placed in the top 15 with Korman LeCroy taking fourth; Denver Orr, seventh; and Cody Beavers, 11th. The Mammoth ladies showed their real strength in the No-Am Cup-Ladies’ SB Halfpipe with Tessa Maud placing first; Emily Arthur, fifth; Kinsley White, seventh; and Alexandria Simsovits, 11th. On the men’s side Joshua Bowman was third; Freeman Andrews, eighth; Kolman LeCroy, 16th in the Nor-Am Cup Men’s SB Halfpipe. The Nor-Am Cup Ladies’ SB Slopestyle was moved up a day as all forecasts predicted a storm moving in. In that event MMSST’s Makayla Kellogg earned fifth and Kinsley White was 11th. Unfortunately, the final event of the tour, the Men’s Slopestyle fell victim to the storm and was cancelled on Friday morning.
The final honors to be announced were the year-end awards with Mammoth Snowboard Team’s Tess Maud taking both the Rev Tour Ladies Overall title and the FIS NorAm Overall title.
According to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, “the ‘Rev Tour’ has proved to be a progressive venue for today’s top junior riders to take the competitive stage in halfpipe, slopestyle, skicross and big air. The tour is designed to serve as a stepping-stone for athletes making the transition from competing at the grassroots level to the elite level.”
Links to results: https://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/event-details.html?event_id=41740&cal_suchsector=FSh, ttps://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/event-details.html?event_id=41741&cal_suchsector=SB, https://usskiandsnowboard.org/events/toyota-us-revolution-tour-mammoth-mountain
Chargers take part in Tahoe Junior Freeride Series at Kirkwood
According to MMSST Charger Skyler Low, “The event was IFSA Junior Nationals in Kirkwood. The venue was called Eagle Bowl. Charger athletes who participated were Cian Smith, Exie DeFelice, Kieran Gilmore, Carson Dorough, Kai Bir, and myself, Skyler Low. Both Carson Dorough and Kai Bir qualified for Nationals, which they competed in on Sunday, March 11th on the same venue.”
When asked how he felt about the competition, 14 year-old Bir replied, “Stoked to make finals with my team mate, Carson Dorough. It’s great to finally see Mammoth on the map in National Big Mountain events!”
MMSST results for the event are as follows: 3/8/2018 in the M12-14 Class Cian Smith 23rd and Bir 25th. The following day in the M15-18 class Dorough was 21st, Kieran Gilmore was 28th, and Exie DeFelice was 36th. I the M12-14 division Bir placed 20th and Smith was 25th. Low took 11th in the F15-18 division.
A few days after the event Low commented, “It was an amazing experience to see Mammoth athletes sending it and the comradeship that goes along with the event. I love seeing Mammoth athletes being recognized as Big Mountain skiers!” Then she added, “We also have an Instagram, (@mammothchargerskiteam) which I run. There are photos regularly posted from the activities of our team.”
The Tahoe Junior Freeride Series (TJFS) originated in 2007 as a friendly big mountain competition between Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl ski teams. Since then it has grown into a four stop regional series that boasts over 270 competitors and includes 17 ski and snowboard teams. Each comp has a three-day format with every competitor skiing/riding two runs over three days. There are no cuts after the first day and competitors can earn points from TJFS comps toward national IFSA ranking.
The TJFS was conceived and created by Sean Carey and Eric DesLauriers. As the head coaches of Sugar Bowl Freeride Team and the Squaw Big Mountain Team, they saw growing interest in the sport and a need for additional junior events. The tour is now a staple of junior freeride competitions. Carey and DesLauriers are both still members of the TJFS board of directors.
Mighty Mite World Championships_Photos by Susan Morning/Magic Memories
MMSST U16-U18s have success at Heavenly_Photos by Susan Morning/Magic Memories
JLA Banked Slalom bigger than ever_Photos by Susan Morning/Magic Memories
Chargers take part in Tahoe Junior Freeride Series at Kirkwood
Photos by Chris Saito/@chris1089
Photos by Skyler Low