Pursuit Race Transition Zone – Coach Alana Levin, Carson Bold, Jack Roten, Claude Fiddler (Photo: Pam Bold)
By Pam Bold and Karen Small
The Mammoth High School Nordic ski team raced well at a pursuit race at Auburn Ski Club on Friday, Feb. 10. A pursuit cross-country ski race entails switching ski style and equipment mid-way through the race. The team skied a 2.7 km difficult classic course, came into a transition area where they changed skis and quickly headed out to a 2.5 km challenging skate course. Mammoth’s skiers had strong technique in classic skiing; fast, but calm equipment transfers, good stamina as well as speed in their skate race and were rewarded with good race results. For the girls’ team, Amanda Kirkeby placed first in the Open Division and 8th overall for females. Jody Meads and Kylie LaFramboise placed 4th and 5th respectively in the Open division. For the boys’ team, Carson Bold placed 4th and Jack Roten, Nick Damico and Phillip Oxford placed 6th, 7th and 8th, respectively in the Open Division. Currently, the Mammoth High School Team is ranked 1st for the open girls and 2nd for open boys.
The Mammoth Middle School Nordic Team competed in its toughest skate race of the season at Auburn Ski Club on the same day. On an approximately 3 km course that consisted of multiple steep uphills, sharp downhill turns and snow that had turned to a peanut butter and melting snow cone consistency by the afternoon race time, the boys and girls teams fought hard for every finishing place. The boys’ team top finisher was Cameron Small in 10th place, followed in 18th by Connor Kusumoto. Trace Calvin had to deal with multiple falls during the highly competitive race and still took 32nd place, while Calvin Forsythe skied strongly into 39th. Malachi Schrager placed well in 46th, as did Jacob Mahler in 48th and Harrison Manzano in 56th place.
Coach Robin Morning and Marie French awarded the ‘sportsmanship’ team award to Martin Thompson (59th) because he skied nearly the entire difficult race with only one skate pole, after breaking the other pole broke in a fall early on in the race. Jack Peckenpaugh finished with determination and the best attitude in 73rd. Currently the Mammoth boys Nordic team is ranked third in the league this season. The Mammoth girls’ team had one racer attending, Meaghan Thompson. She finished her race strongly in 43rd, and skied in even tougher snow conditions than the boys.
Individual and Team League Standings were posted after the Feb. 10 races. Many Mammoth High School and Middle School athletes and teams are in the race for top league recognition going into the last school competition of the season at the State Championship races Saturday, Feb. 18.The championship races will take place back on the challenging Auburn Ski Club (ASC) Nordic racecourses!
The last Junior National Qualifier race (JNQ) is set for Monday, Feb. 20 at ASC and results there will determine which Nordic athletes will represent the Far West Team at Junior Nationals in March. Please visit www.farwestnordic.com for more information.