Footloose sets Speed Trap, KTLA points cameras at Juniors team
On Feb. 14, Olympic gold medalist and Mammoth Unbound team member Kelly Clark took a dominating win in the Sochi Olympic halfpipe, winning with an 88.25 on her first run in the FIS Snowboard World Cup. It was the first World Cup in the Sochi halfpipe at Rosa Khutor near Krasnaya Polyana in the mountains outside of Sochi. Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) led his qualifying round but had issues with speed and fell on both runs. Louie Vito (Sandy, Utah) had great amplitude but also struggled with the slow conditions.
In skiing, John Teller (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Tyler Wallasch (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) had to wait for the weather to clear to push out of the starting gates of the Sochi 2014 Ski Cross Course. Teller wrote via mobile, “Qualifications cancelled due to weather. Hoping we get to race tomorrow. I’ve been looking forward to trying out this Olympic track and get an idea of what to expect next year.” Wallasch posted this message: “The track here is super fun and exciting! Just wish it would stop snowing so we could run it!” On Feb. 19, Teller and Wallasch got their chance to test out the Ski Cross run, with Teller coming in 14th and Wallasch, the youngest regular competitor on the Audi FIS Skicross World Cup tour, taking 51st. On Tuesday evening, Teller posted the following on Facebook: “A slow start and lack of passing opportunities in the Quarter Final landed me in 14th place, but I am looking forward to get another chance in Sochi next year! For now just focusing on the rest of this World Cup Season.”
USASA Ski Cross/Boarder Cross
The second of this season’s two USASA Ski Cross/Boarder Cross events was held on Saturday, Feb. 16, with 78 skiers and snowboarders competed in their respective age groups, many striving not just to win, but also to qualify for the USASA National Championships to be held at Copper Mountain, Colo., March 30-April 9. McKenna Latt (Venice Beach, Calif.), 12, acknowledged that one of her challenges in the Skier Cross was the start, which she regards as one of the key elements of the event. “I needed to get a really good push so I would be the first one out and be ahead of the pack,” she said. After finishing well ahead of the other competitors in the first run, Latt went into the second race of the day fairly confident of a win. Partway through the race, she said, “I became a little worried as I had two girls gaining on me, but I was able to stay ahead of them and take the win.” As she hoped, her win in the Skier Girls (10-12) division qualified her for the USASA National Championships.
Other Mammoth Junior Team athletes who won their class: John Connolly (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) in Ruggie Boys (7 and under); Daniel Schneider (Dana Point, Calif.) in Skier Boys (9 and under); Tessa Maud (Carlsbad, Calif.) in Grommet Girls (8-9); Judd Henkes V (San Diego, Calif.) in Menehune Boys (10-11); McKenna Latt in Skier Girls (10-12); Mason Forsythe (Crowley Lake, Calif.) in Skier Boys (10-12); Brandon Lam (Laguna beach, Calif.) in Breaker Boys (12-13); Torrey Patrie (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) in Skier Women (13-15); Ryan Foulke (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) in Skier Men (13-15); Corrah Phillips (Wanaka, NZ) in Youth Women (14-15); Freeman Andrews (Tauranga, NZ) in Youth Men (14-15); and Connor Albright (Redondo beach, Calif.) in Junior Men (16-17).
Footloose Speed Trap
The annual Footloose Speed Trap challenges Mammoth Mountain U10-12-14 Ski Team members, the All-Mountain Chargers and any parents who feel daring enough, to point their skis straight down Fascination and hit speeds over 74 mph. On Saturday, Feb.16, Erica Lynch, 9, a fourth grade student at Mammoth Elementary School, and her mom, Joani Lynch, Mammoth Mountain Communications Director, were 2 skiers who took the challenge. Erica, the fastest of all the U10 racers, said 65.535 mph “felt really fast.” Her mom Joani, who grew up in Mammoth and raced on MMST as a junior racer, proved that she hadn’t lost her touch for speed. The older Lynch, who was the fastest of the 10 adults who signed up for the Speed Trap, was clocked at 66.510 mph. She acknowledged that she was not sure if this was the fastest she had ever gone on skis, but it did surprise her to know she had gone over 66 mph that afternoon. When asked what it felt like when she flew down the run, she replied, “Fun. It was loud [from the wind] and I had to resist the urge to stand up or turn!”
On the U10 Men’s side, Shane Kapan (Oceanside, Calif.) reached a speed of 64.839 mph in his very first Footloose Speed Trap. “It was like the speed of light,” Kapan said. In the U12 age bracket, the top speed in the Ladies went to Anastasia Seator-Braun (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) who was clocked at 71.927 mph, and for the U12 Men, Jake Bleil (Laguna Beach, Calif.) took home a certificate documenting that he hit 72.004 mph. 19 members of the All-Mountain Chargers Team raced down the hill, 2 of them beating their coach Cameron Day, who posted a speed of 72.237 mph. Sophia McKee burst through the sensor at 72.943 mph and Jack Lampert tore through at 73.989 mph.
The honor of being the fastest of the U14 ladies went to Lynn Regelbrugge (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Cary Walker (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), who tied in their division and overall Ladies with a speed of 74.071 mph. The top speed of the day was recorded in the U14 Men’s division when Russell Hicks (Bishop, Calif.) hit 74.914 mph. “I was surprised I got first without the longest skis,” Hicks said. “I could feel the wind blowing against my face like a skydiver. Time slows down when I am going fast.” -Press Release (Thanks to Sue Morning for text compiling and photography)
KTLA TV Films Junior Team
On Thursday, Feb. 14, Head U10-12 coach Lindsay Barksdale wrote in an email, “I was just told that KTLA will be on the hill tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 a.m., and they would like to film lots of orange jackets ripping some turns.” As promised, the following morning KTLA TV cameras were stationed by the Super Sign. Shortly thereafter the “sea of orange” was seen making its television debut. After their voyage into stardom the athletes loaded the lift and began some serious speed training.