Inyo/Mono High School Slalom Races
Mammoth High School skiers and snowboarders continued to dominate the South Division Two races, with the most recent slaloms held Jan. 30 at Mammoth. Grayson Dozier, competing for the Huskies in his first race of the season, won all four runs, with teammates Hayden Mannetter and Brenden Torrance taking second and third in the first ski race. Torrance and Griffin Covert were the second and third place finishers in the second slalom for the skiers.
On the girl’s side, MHS’s Sierra Gilfoy matched Dozier for a double win. Victoria Patrie and Lynn Regelbrugge were third and fourth for the first race and flipped their positions in the next race. Kimmy O’Connell racing for the first time as a Husky was sixth in both races.
The Husky skiers weren’t the only ones to come out strong: Devin Tubbs and Fleur Connolly both won their pair of slaloms. Tubbs was followed by teammate Tyler Searles, who took second on both boys races, while Sam Hein took a third and fourth. Julia Cage joined Connolly in the top three for the girls with two third place finishes.
The athletes will compete in two more slaloms at Mammoth Feb. 6 for their final chance to make the team for the State Championships to be held at Mammoth March 2-5.
First USASA Banked Slalom
Mammoth held its first USASA Banked Slalom on Saturday, Jan. 31 and it was a huge success. Sixty competitors ranging in age from eight to fifty year-olds tackled the banked slalom tucked away in Gremlins Gulch. Freezing temperatures and high winds didn’t dishearten the adventurous skiers and snowboarders.
12 year-old Sean Walker of Mammoth Free Ski Team was the fastest competitor. Walker, who attends Mammoth Middle School, pushed the limits on his second run to come across the finish line with a time of 0:30.99. But he didn’t just beat everyone in his class; his time was 1.85 ahead of the first place finisher in the Skier Men (14 and Over) division, Mark Grimes. Other skiers who won their divisions were: Cody Lambert-Klein and Lauren Drexel.
On the snowboard side, the fastest result was brought in by Bishop’s Carson Reid, with a time of 34.01 in the Snowboard Men (14 and Over) division. The highly competitive class had 19 athletes ranging in age from 14 to 50+. Coming in second was Mammoth Snowboard Team’s Liam Whiley. Whiley, one of three snowboarders to be hurt two weeks before during a freak wind gust, had two solid runs, ending up just .23 behind Reid. Not far behind them was 12 year-old Trent Wallentine. The MMST competitor made his winning run in his second pass through the course, after it had developed into a much more demanding run.
Several other MMST snowboarders had winning runs in their class including: John Connolly, Snowboard Boys (9 and under); Skye Inn, Snowboard Girls (10-13); and Zeia Rose, Snowboard Girls (9 and under).
Burton European Open
Four Mammoth athletes were in Laax, Switzerland for the Burton European Open, Jan. 29 to Feb. 1. Brandon Davis and Brock Crouch were the first local athletes to compete. Nineteen year-old Davis, and the younger Crouch, who is only 15, placed 14th and 25th in the men’s slopstyle event on Jan. 31.
The following day, Kelly Clark and Chloe Kim continued their battle for queen of the hill, taking first and second respectively in women’s halfpipe, flipping the results from X Games a week ago. Heavy snowfall had been a factor for the entire week, causing cancelled practices and challenging competition conditions. Nevertheless, Clark put down a run with a crippler and backside 540 along with back-to-back 720s, a conservative run for Clark, who’s known for landing the only 1080 in the business. “Today was more about smart snowboarding than progressive snowboarding,” she said after. “It was just one of those days, and my experience paid off.”
Kim, 16 years Clark’s junior and the 2015 X Games gold medalist, opted for a more progressive route, putting together a run that included a switch straight air and a switch backside 540. Their next competition was at home, at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix Feb. 4-7.