MMSST News January 26, 2017
Maximum Handicap’s Mike Martyr helping his team take third place in the team comp.

Maximum Handicap’s Mike Martyr helping his team take third place in the team comp.

It’s been a rough winter for the Mammoth Ski and Snowboard Team members whose main goal is competition. All winter long competitions and races have been postponed and or canceled. It seems as though no competition is immune. As reported last week the Junior Village Championships held on January 16 were one of the few races to take place and even those races were postponed a day. But, what was only briefly mentioned in that article was another race that ran that day, the Geriatric Village Championships. The GVCs was started last year by the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation as a fun way for parents and friends of MMCF to hone in on their skiing or boarding skills all the while experiencing what their athletes go through to race. The parents form teams, have several practice sessions and then race between runs of the JVCs. For years parents have lined the sides of courses cheering on their athletes, now it is the athletes’ turn to do the same for their parents. When all is said and done the winners of the JVCs take home Mimi’s Cookie Bar coupons, while their parents are awarded geriatric vitamins and hot packs. In the first GVC race of the season the fastest team of the day with handicaps was Team IRS-Incredible Retro Skiers. Team members are blazing fast skiers Mike Braun, Nora Urdi, Greg Whistler, Tom Szeto and Keith Archer. The Potluckers followed them with team members Caroline McGlashan, Randol Curtis, Melissa Curtis, David McGlashan, Tim Wight, Doug Griffith and Petra Griffith. Holding down the third spot on the podium was the Maximum Handicap Team represented by Liz Barndt, Mike Martyr, Jim Sewell and Tania Rodriguez. Barnt racing on a snowboard and Braun took first place for the women and men respectively. The next JVC and GVC races are scheduled to be held February 12.

Maximum Handicap’s Liz Barnt took the win for the ladies in handicapped time. Barnt is shown here with her trophy vitamins.

Maximum Handicap’s Liz Barnt took the win for the ladies in handicapped time. Barnt is shown here with her trophy vitamins.

This winter it has even been hard for MMSST members to get training time on the hill, much the less race. Harry Blackburn, MMSST Alpine Development Director wrote to his athletes on January 18 saying, “Well after four blue bird days Mother Nature will again point the snow machine in our direction…We have our plan and Mother Nature has hers and right now she is in the driver’s seat. If we look back on the past five years, it will go down as one of the most consistent training scenarios Mammoth and the Far West has ever seen due to the prolonged drought. Now the snow gods are playing catch up…over my many years I have seen plenty of seasons where the weather just doesn’t give us a break to run gates with any consistency and this might be one of those seasons…The drought had it’s positive influences with day after day of hard snow and blue bird days, but let’s face it skiing the mountain when there’s all kinds of snow is way more fun and exciting.” Four days later Blackburn issued the following, “Stay Home! All programs have been cancelled…stay put and be safe!” With the weather clearing it looks like it will be a go this week for the high school races at Mammoth on Thursday and Friday. The Wild West U16 Qualifiers at Squaw Valley, the U10-U12 GS at Alpine, the North U14 slaloms at Diamond Peak are planed for this weekend and for the FIS racers a week of competition at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, ID.

On the road with MMSST

This past week more events were added to the list of changes and in the end only the U19’s got to race and even then their race was reduced from four days down to one. The Elite Tech Astle Memorial was scheduled for January 17-20 at Squaw Valley. The race was to have consisted of two GS races and two slalom races, however after one day of racing GS the series was canceled. In that race that did take place MMSST’s Mack Carkeet was sixth (14th overall) and Sydney Snelbaker 30th for the U16 women. Maia Bickert took second (fifth overall) for the U21 women. In the U16 men’s division Barrett Calvin was 14th, Ben Ellis 26th, Casey Felgar 27th, Luke Davenport 29th, Thomas Knowles 35th, Perry Moyer 37th, Sheldon French 41st and Erik Eisen 42nd.

Several former MMSST members had results in Europe and the U.S. On Friday, January 20 Russell Malm, along with brothers Justin and Tyler Wallasch competed in the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix skicross at Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah. Malm was 25th, Justin 23rd and Tyler was the top U.S. male in seventh place giving him this season’s national titles for skicross. Wallasch, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in March of 2016, was happy with his seventh-place finish. “It’s been amazing. The last time I was here was 2013, the year before the last Olympics. It’s been a long time away from home. It was almost foreign to come back, but having my family here and friends was awesome. I’m coming back from injury this season so it’s been a tough season at the World Cup level, but it’s nice to come home and get in the heats and racing like I know I can. Still some ways to go but I know I can do it. Obviously I want to win, but coming back from injury, the goal has been delayed. It’s been more set around my recovery and not just going out every day and sending it to try and win. I have to take it a little slower (but) the goal still remains the same: win races and try to get an Olympic medal.” The next day in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany Stacey Cook raced in the World Cup downhill where she was 18th in a race won by another American Lindsay Vonn.

At the FIS World Cup held Jan. 16-21 in Laax, Switzerland. Mammoth Pro riders Brock Crouch and Bradon Davis finished 24th and 44th respectively in the Laax Open Men’s Slopestyle comp. Chloe Kim won the qualifying round and then on Saturday, Jan 21 she came back to win the finals for the ladies’ halfpipe. Another local pro rider Kelly Clark was fourth. Greg Bretz took ninth for the men. After also winning the season opener at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain in December, Kim made it back-to-back World Cup wins by taking top honors in Laax. She now leads the FIS halfpipe rankings, and isn’t expected to slip from the top anytime soon—Kim is absolutely dominating the competition; she used a run to win at Laax that was almost exclusively switch, featuring only one frontside spin and it was a 1080. “I’m so stoked that I was able to put down some good runs today,” Kim said of her win. “I couldn’t be any happier.” She went on to add, “I was really excited about my victory lap but obviously I wanted to do better than in my second run but unfortunately I fell on the 1080. But you know, I’m just trying to beat myself in every possible way.”

GALLERY

Mike Braun and Kevin Turner on the podium for first and third respectively in the men’s handicapped time division. Missing is Greg Whistler who took second.

Mike Braun and Kevin Turner on the podium for first and third respectively in the men’s handicapped time division. Missing is Greg Whistler who took second.

Tom Szeto and Nora Urdi on the podium representing their team, IRS-Incredible Retro Skiers. The team took first place in the team division. Missing are Keith Archer, Greg Whistler and Mike Braun.

Tom Szeto and Nora Urdi on the podium representing their team, IRS-Incredible Retro Skiers. The team took first place in the team division. Missing are Keith Archer, Greg Whistler and Mike Braun.

Team 4’s Heather Crall was fifth in the women.

Team 4’s Heather Crall was fifth in the women.

David McGlashan racing for the Potluckers. The team took second in the team competition.

David McGlashan racing for the Potluckers. The team took second in the team competition.

Cath Wynn racing for Team 4 may not have had the fastest time of the day, but her son Benjamin racing for Designs Unlimited had the fastest overall time of the day for the JVCs.

Cath Wynn racing for Team 4 may not have had the fastest time of the day, but her son Benjamin racing for Designs Unlimited had the fastest overall time of the day for the JVCs.

Enginerd for Speed’s Tom Painter in his first GVC race.

Enginerd for Speed’s Tom Painter in his first GVC race.

Gordon Clute racing for Team 4.

Gordon Clute racing for Team 4.

MMSST News January 19, 2017

Junior Village Championships get underway

The Footloose Flyers were the big winners of the day for the first Junior Village Championship race of the season. Shown here is the Footloose team with coach, Eric Smith. Members of the team who raced on Monday were: Erica Lynch, Aidan LeFrancois, Kaelyn Hindshaw, Cooper Hindshaw, Dylan Jefferies, Lauren Ziontz, Payton Sewell, Tessa Adler, Lyra Desario, Sara Jefferies, Lyra Manning and Trystan Lee.

The Footloose Flyers were the big winners of the day for the first Junior Village Championship race of the season. Shown here is the Footloose team with coach, Eric Smith. Members of the team who raced on Monday were: Erica Lynch, Aidan LeFrancois, Kaelyn Hindshaw, Cooper Hindshaw, Dylan Jefferies, Lauren Ziontz, Payton Sewell, Tessa Adler, Lyra Desario, Sara Jefferies, Lyra Manning and Trystan Lee.

The first of three scheduled Junior Village Championship races was held on Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The race, sponsored by Footloose Sports was originally scheduled for the previous day. But, a last minute decision was made to move it back to give the soft snow a chance to set up, giving the young competitors an opportunity to race in more favorable conditions. The Mammoth Mountain Ski Team U10-U12-U14 athletes were pre-assigned to one of ten locally sponsored teams and awards were given out for both fastest times for men and women in each age division and for team combined times. To add more excitement for both the athletes and parents the race is set up in a dual format with two racers going head to head.

Stella Vanderhurst racing for John’s Pizza took the win for the U10 girls. Peak Productions’ Elinor Crall was second, followed by Sophie McMahan representing 365. In the U10 boy’s division Alexander Freestone, Fritz Griffith and Noah Nguyen took first, second and third places respectively. Both Freestone and Griffith raced for the GC Firewood team, while Nguyen represented the 365 team.

U12 girl’s podium winners Siena Beeghly (Designs Unlimited), Piper Wilkison (Petras) and Regan Clute (Mono Market) were all smiles as they posed for a photo

U12 girl’s podium winners Siena Beeghly (Designs Unlimited), Piper Wilkison (Petras) and Regan Clute (Mono Market) were all smiles as they posed for a photo

The U12 girls had a tight race for first and second place with Piper Wilkison (Petras) winning the first run in the red course while Siena Beeghly won the first run of the blue course. The teams switched courses and this time each of the girls had the second fastest time in their respective courses. Beeghly’s combined time came to 53.54, while Wilkison’s time was 53.36 giving her the win by a mere .18 seconds. Regan Clute (Mono Market) grabbed the third place spot. Greg Gazarian (Burgers), Jace Urdi (Peak Productions) and Cooper Hindshaw (Footloose) claimed first, second and third for the U12 boys podium. The three racers combined timed were only separated by a total of .30 seconds.

The fastest girl of the day was Mono Market’s Neave Anderson. Anderson’s time of 24.58 in the blue course was the fastest run of the day for all racers.

The fastest girl of the day was Mono Market’s Neave Anderson. Anderson’s time of 24.58 in the blue course was the fastest run of the day for all racers.

In the U14 division Neave Anderson (Mono Market) had a blazing fast first run that put her in first place going into the second run. She came back to have a solid third place run in the red course, but her combined times couldn’t be beat. Anderson’s time for the blue course was the fastest time for all competitors in that course. And her combined time would have put her in third for the U14 boys. Erica Lynch (Footloose) was right behind Anderson taking second in both runs to give her a second place podium spot. Although Byrn Urdi (Burgers) had the fast time in the red course, her combined time put her in third. Benjamin Wynn (Designs Unlimited) had the fast time overall in the red course. Wynn whose combined time was 49.97 was the only racer to break the 50-second mark. Quentin LeFrancois (GC Firewood) and Mitchell Parsons (John’s Pizza) rounded out the podium in second and third respectively.

Keeping in the fun theme that the JVC series is know for, “trophies” for first second and third were gift certificates to Mimi’s Cookie Bar. The prize for the winning team was the highly coveted “Big Cookie” also from Mimi’s that was shared by the Footloose Flyers team. Another fun component of the JVCs that was introduced last year is the Geriatric Village Championships. This race is for the adult teams who come out to support the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation. Team IRS-Incredible Retro Skiers with Mike Braun, Nora Urdi, Greg Whistler, Tom Szeto and Keith Archer was the fastest team of the day. Liz Barnt racing for Maximum Handicap and Braun took first place for the women and men respectively. The second JVC race is planned for February 12, weather depending.

On the road with MMSST

Over the past few weeks a number of local athletes have been on the road representing their home mountain. Here is brief synopsis of the events they participated in.

Alpine

On January 2-5, 2017 MMSST’s Maureen Lebel and Maia Bickert were at Burke Mountain, VT for four Nor-Am Cup events. Lebel was 29th and 24th in the two GS races. Bickert was 41st in the first GS and placed 20th in the first slalom. On January 7-9, team member Alex Colby joined them at Big Sky Resort, MT for the FIS University Race. Here Lebel was 15th and 13th in the GS and 27th in the slalom. Bickert was 39th in the slalom. Colby was 38th and 40th in the GS races and 39th in the slalom. On January 15, after several days of weather challenges the World Cup downhill at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, AUT finally got off with Mammoth’s Stacey Cook taking 29th.

Ski Cross

Three former members of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team have been hitting ski cross tours across Europe and Canada. On January 11-12, 2017 Justin Wallasch competed in Val Thorens, France Europa Cup placing 50th and 53rd. two days later his brother Tyler raced in Watles Italy World Cup placing 47th and 41st. Meanwhile, Russell Malm who spent his holidays back in Mammoth training with the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team was in Canada taking part in the Nor-Am Cup tour. On January 7-8, 2017 Malm was at Sunridge, AB where he placed 14th and 19th. A few days later on January 13-14, 2017 he was at Tabor Mountain, BC where he came in 13th and ninth.

Freeski and Snowboard

The 2017 Toyota U.S. Revolution Tour headed to the East Coast January 9-12, 2017 making its second stop at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. At the second of four stops on the tour, Waterville Valley played host to two separate slopestyle competitions for both snowboard and freeski athletes with some of the world’s best junior athletes, including nine MMSST athletes competing on the sculpted jumps and jibs of Waterville Valley’s Exhibition Terrain Park.

U.S. Freeskiing rookie slopestyle team member Caroline Claire (Wilmington, VT) hit the podium twice in the back-to-back slopestyle competitions; Claire was first on Monday and second on Tuesday.  On Monday, Claire was joined on the podium by local girl Grace Henderson (Waterville Valley, NH) in second and Marin Hamill (Park City, UT) in third. On Tuesday, the same ladies owned the podium, but in a different order: Henderson first, Claire second, Hamill third. Mammoth Freeski Team’s Haley Moss and Kathryn Alexander represented MMSST with Alexander claiming eighth in both competitions.

According to MMSST Freeski coach Jimmy Greenleaf, the competition was a “learning experience for both” of his athletes. “The East is difficult for Mammoth athletes. With the icy conditions they are out of their element. It’s tough, I had the same problem when I competed.” Greenleaf went on to say, “The East Coast and Park City athletes dominated the competition with only a handful of West Coast athletes at the event. The West Coast athletes just don’t get a chance to train on rough, icy take offs, especially since Mammoth has the smoothest and softest take offs.”

Unfortunately, Alexander tweaked her knee while in New Hampshire. But once she got home she saw her physical therapist that feels her knee will be fine, it just needs some rest. So she is planning to take a week off before the Mammoth Grand Prix. Greenleaf said he is confident she “will come out swinging.”

Thursday’s snowboard competition faced weather challenges, and the course was abbreviated due to visibility. Athletes did well considering the conditions, laying down their best performances on one jump and three rails. Julianne O’Neill (Breckenridge, CO) won the event for the women, with Samm Denena of Canada in second and Taelor Mattingley (Sandy, UT) third. Mammoth Snowboard Team’s Kinsley White, was 18th. According to her MMSST coach Michael “Nacho” Vaz White “the youngest and smallest” competitor, but he let it be know that she “didn’t let that bother her” in her first Rev Tour slopestyle event. Even though the weather was “really bad and foggy she had a good practice, overcame her fears and landed her first run.”

On the men’s side Lukas Caye (Minneapolis, MN) was the winner for the men, with Luke Winkelmann (Blowing Rock, NC) in second and Kirk Teare (Essex, VT) in third, while MMSST’s Liam Whiley made finals in the first comp to finish 11th, Judd Henkes was 14th, Cody Beavers 32nd, Kolman Lecroy 45th, and Denver Orr 51st.

Friday’s weather was cold but clear, and competition organizers were able to offer a full course to the athletes. For the men, U.S. Snowboarding pro slopestyle team member Mack topped the field, rookie slopestyle team member Farrell was second and Caye scored his second podium of the week in third. For the women, rookie slopestyle team member Healey was first, Haliee Soderholm (Salt Lake City, UT) was second and Anna Valentine (Sparta, NJ) was third. On this day, White moved up to take 10th for the women. Orr had a big move up to place 15th, Beavers took 18th, Lecroy was 40th. Although they did well the day before both Henkes and Whiley this day were unable to repeat their results on the “firm, bullet proof” course. Another MMSST rider who traveled to New Hampshire was Matthew Romanowitz. Regrettably, Vaz reported, “he suffered a knee injury” and was unable to compete. He is currently waiting for an evaluation and Vaz added, “Hopefully he will be back soon.” The next stop for a few of the elite members of the team will be the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix, Feb. 1-4 to be held at Mammoth Mountain. Immediately following that event will be a USASA Slopestyle comp on February 5 open to all team members.

GALLERY

Peak Productions Snow Monsters

Peak Productions Snow Monsters

Benjamin Wynn racing for Designs Unlimited had the fastest overall time of the day.

Benjamin Wynn racing for Designs Unlimited had the fastest overall time of the day.

Peak Productions Snow Monsters’ Elinor Crall charges down the course to take second place for the U10 girls.

Peak Productions Snow Monsters’ Elinor Crall charges down the course to take second place for the U10 girls.

Greg Gazarian representing Burgers Restaurant had the fast time for the U12 boys.

Greg Gazarian representing Burgers Restaurant had the fast time for the U12 boys.

The U10 boy’s podium had Fritz Griffith in second place, Alexander Freestone in first place and Noah Nguyen, third place

The U10 boy’s podium had Fritz Griffith in second place, Alexander Freestone in first place and Noah Nguyen, third place

Stella Vanderhurst was the fastest U10 girl

Stella Vanderhurst was the fastest U10 girl

Footloose Flyers’ Dylan Jeffries in the red course comes over the “Coaches’ Knoll” just ahead of his opponent in the blue course.

Footloose Flyers’ Dylan Jeffries in the red course comes over the “Coaches’ Knoll” just ahead of his opponent in the blue course.

Nevin Vanderhurst (Kittredge Sports) came in fourth for the U12 boys

Nevin Vanderhurst (Kittredge Sports) came in fourth for the U12 boys

Alexander Freestone

Alexander Freestone

Erica lynch

Erica lynch

Noah Nguyen

Noah Nguyen

U10 girls_SM1_9625 U12 boys_SM1_9630 U14 boys_ SM1_9637 U14 girls_SM1_9634