MMSA’s freeride team hedges against inflation, hoards gold at USASA Nationals
Austin Powers’ nemesis, Goldmember, once famously said, “I love gooold! The look of it, the taste of it, the smell of it, the texture,” and it appears he might not be the only one. Mammoth Mountain’s Head Freeride Coach Benny Ryerson reported that the Freeride Ski Team has recently returned from the USASA Nationals competition at Copper Mountain with enough bling to make Mr. T jealous.
The once-a-year, invite-only championship consists of more than 1500 competitors from all over the country, competing in events such as half-pipe, slope-style, skier-cross and rail jam. In order to qualify for Nationals, competitors must finish the USASA season with a first place finish in their respective age group, region and discipline.
“Sometimes in our local USASA series [Mammoth Unbound] it’s hard to gauge how we are doing. For the most part it’s our kids versus our kids, and as coaches who ski with these athletes every day we already have a good idea of what is going to happen,” admitted Ryerson. “ But to show up at Nationals and get such great results is beyond rad. The USASA officials and all of the other coaches were really impressed with Mammoth’s performance this year.”
The Freeride Tribe rounded out the week of competitions with a hefty medal count of 3 golds, a silver and a bronze for half-pipe, a silver in slope-style, a bronze and silver in skier-cross and a silver in rail jam.
USASA’s most distinguished award “ Best Overall” went to Mammoth Freeride veterans Hayden Jamieson and Abigail Hansen who cleaned up with a pair of 1st place overalls and Tribe sophomore skier Peter Hensley, who grabbed a 3rd place overall.
“Every year we get good results but this year was outstanding.” Ryerson went on to say, “The motivation of all of our athletes and coaches has really paid off and its great to see this and be a part of it.”
Top place results such as these come as no surprise to Ryerson, who admits that over the past few years, MMSA has made a substantial and visible effort towards athletic training. With the purchase of the new Acro airbags and stout fundraising for the to-be-constructed Mammoth Center of Excellence (an on hill ski and snowboard training facility) Mammoth is poised to produce top tier athletes.
Looking forward to next winter, Ryerson and Head Snowboard Coach Ben Wisner told the Sheet that the teams have recently acquired a “Great Master” Olympic trampoline and a “Double Mini” trampoline which will be housed at Snowcreek Athletic Club. The tramps will be available for training next season to Freeride and Snowboard team members.
Also, the opportunity for “shradical development” will continue this spring with Mammoth’s Ski and Snowboard Progression Camps. The camps provide coaching from top pros like Kristi Leskinen, Kaya Turski, Matt Hammer, Trevor Jacob and Luke Mitrani. Skier and boarders will have complete access to the Acro airbags as well as extensive video review. “It’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in getting into the sport as well as anyone who wants to take their skills to the next level,” claimed Ryerson.
The session dates for Mammoth’s Progression Camps are April 30th- May1st, May 21st- 22nd and May 28th – May 30th. Space is limited and spots are filling up fast. For more information contact Pam Lonza at 760.034.0795 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org