Mammoth Ski Team’s Erin Maidman, shown here taking ninth for the U16 women in the Kerry’s Challenge Super G race on Friday, Feb. 22, went on to pull off a double win in Sunday.
Courtesy Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation
The 2012 Kittredge Cup was cancelled on Dec. 27 due to extreme weather conditions. So when the winds at the top of Broadway were clocked at 124 mph on Saturday, Feb. 23, the question that was on everyone mind was “what is the weather going to be like tomorrow?” But, when the Mammoth U10-12-14 racers woke up on Sunday, Feb. 24 they were greeted with brilliant blue skies and outstanding racing conditions. In the morning, over 115 athletes competed in the qualification rounds with 48 racers advancing to the afternoon competition. The race, which was run with a ladder elimination format, provided some very close rounds with one U10 boys match up being separated by just .019 seconds.
In the U10 Girls category the win went to nine-year old Tasman Mullins (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) Mullins who took second last year in her first Kittredge Cup, said her toughest opponent this year was Jordan Whistler (San Marcos, Calif.) “As she was the fastest qualifier.” Then she added, “Erica Lynch (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Neave Anderson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) also skied fast, and did not want to give it up without a fight.” Lynch placed second to Mullins, while Whistler was third and Byrn Urdi in fourth. When asked if she did anything different in this race, since it was a ladder format, Mullins replied, “In the qualifying runs I just tried to ski fast and not make any mistakes after my pole got stuck at the start of my first run. I used the time differential in the elimination rounds to know how fast I would need to ski in the next run. It helped me know when I had to ski ‘lights out’ and when I had to ski ‘smart and safe.’” After only qualifying in the middle of my group, my Dad said to me “It doesn’t matter that you made some mistakes, it matters what you do next…” Mullins added, “The Kittredge Cup is one of my favorite events of the season. Tom (Cage) is a fun announcer and the racers can hear every word he says, so if he says good things about your opponent, it makes you try to ski faster and if he says good things about you, it also makes you ski faster.”
In the U10 Boys Parker Gumins (Santa Barbara, Calif.) who ended up in fourth place after several hard fought runs said “It is fun dual racing” his toughest opponent was, “Liam Gooch, because he’s the best.” Gooch was the best as he won all of his runs and the U10 Boys division, beating out Bjorn Karlen (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) in second and Aidan LeFrancois (Crowley Lakes, Calif.) for third.
In the U12 Girls Anastasia Seator-Braun, who hails from Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand, but currently lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. battled Kendall Lach (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) in the finals with the win going to Lach. Seator-Braun explained how she skied the ladder format race, “I did do something different in this race at the top of the course, each eight times I ran it, I was not nervous, I studied the gate keepers rhythm/timing, so I knew when and how quick I could get out of the gate, in my mind I knew I could win it, so therefore I did the best I could.” Jade Steiner (Santa Monica, Calif.) went against Sasha Mueller (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) for third and fourth respectively.
Elan Preis (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) who came in second for the U12 Boys, stated his toughest competition came from the first winner Charlie Regelbrugge (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) When asked what made racing Regelbrugge difficult, he responded, “He’s real fast.” Regelbrugge was indeed fast as he won all eight of his runs leaving Jake Bleil (Laguna Beach, Calif.) to take third and Lance Davenport (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) in fourth.
The U14 Girls Rylie Whistler (San Marcos, Calif.) and Mack Carkeet (Bishop, Calif.) were the last two female racers to push out of the horse gates. Whistler a very experienced Kittredge Cup participant having raced in the last seven events, said in the past she had taken, “a couple firsts and a couple seconds and some times nothing at all.” Whistler admitted that she didn’t approach the ladder style race any differently, she just skied it, “like a race and had fun,” but she also thought she was, “was going to be eliminated.” Her advice to others, “You can’t give up you always have a chance to get back what you lost.” Coming in behind Whistler and Carkeet, in third was Sarah Ellis (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) and Delaney Kearns (Fresno, Calif.) in fourth.
Duncan Reid (Bishop, Calif.) who won the Kittredge Cup title for his division in 2011 came back this year to win all of his runs against the other U14 boys and the win. After making eight runs against various opponents, Reid felt that his greatest challenge came from Ryan Foulke (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) who ended up taking second. When asked why, Reid explained, “Skiing with the high school team this year Ryan is really improving and coming on very strongly.” Reid said, because the race was a ladder format he “conserved/played it safe when I was ahead after the first run and concentrated on learning the course better.” Sharing the podium with Reid and Foulke was James Gooch (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) in third leaving Erik Eisen (Simi Valley, Calif.) in fourth place. Additionally, Reid said he was aided in the starting gate, when “Coach Jimmy (Morning) taught me a warm-up routine that I used. It helped. I think it will help me with my future racing.”
Maidman and Kelly land podium spots at “Kerry’s Challenge”
The race was named Kerry’s Challenge, but the real challenge belonged to the Mammoth Mountain Race Department to hold two super G races on Sunday, Feb. 24, after losing the previous day’s race due to extremely high winds. But, the world renowned MMRD pulled it off and the races ran seamlessly on Sunday, allowing the athletes a final chance to acquire points toward making the Far West team going to the U16 Championships in Alyeska, Alaska in March. The race on Friday saw Mammoth’s Erin Maidman (Ventura, Calif.) come in a respectable ninth, but it was on Sunday that she made a name for herself by taking first in both races and claiming a spot on the team heading to Alaska. Maidman wasn’t the only Mammoth racer to take the top podium spot. On Friday, Zac Kelly (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) owned that position and then in the first race on Sunday he was second. Other MMST racers also had top results including: Elizabeth Heit (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) 11, 16, 14 tie; Hannah Everson (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) 15, 10, 29; Kayleigh MacGregor (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) 17,11; Alex Colby (Malibu, Calif.) 13, 16, 12; Kevin Wolfe (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) 15, 21, 18; Logan DeAngelis (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) started out with a 26th place result on Friday, but, turned it on Sunday taking 15th and then fifth; and Cody Underkoffler (Crowley Lake, Calif.) with 14th and 10th place finishes on Sunday.
MMST U18-21 athletes compete in Elite FIS Tech Races at Snow King, Wyo.
Before the six U18-21 Mammoth athletes left for Wyoming, FIS coach Kevin Francis pointed out that, “This is an elite race that is a US Nationals and U18 Nationals Qualifier,” thus indicating the level of competition his athletes would be facing. For Danica Hagen (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); Nikita Norton (Ashland, Ore.); Natalie Riffel (Crowley Lake, Calif.); Alexa Wehsener (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); Kirk Carlson (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Lucas Underkoffler (Crowley Lake, Calif.) the races proved to be extremely challenging. Seventeen-year old Underkoffler, stated very honestly that he did not meet the goals he had set for himself before the series because, “I didn’t ski well consistently.” He reflected, “I had a good run in slalom on the last day moving up from 109th to 47th place, then I DNFed second run. That’s ski racing!” It is a well known fact that race results like these can inspire athletes to come back even stronger. Underkoffler said this experience taught him, “how to bring up the intensity,” and that it helped to read Stacey Cook’s comment, after she had a couple disappointing finishes, that she would attack her next race, “with my chin up and ready to fight back!” MMST results: Hagen_GS_67, DNF-1; SL_55, 49; Norton_GS_DNF-2, DSQ-1; SL_DNF-1, DNF-1; Riffel_GS_60, 56; SL_DNF-2, 39; Wehsener_GS_DNF-1, 61;SL_44, DNF-1; Carlson_GS_45, 97;SL_DNF-2, DNF-1; Underkoffler_GS_69,64, SL_DNF-1, DNF-2.
Stacey Cook is ready to “fight back” after her finishes at Meribel, France
After two disappointing World Cup races at Meribel, France on Feb. 23-24, Stacey Cook (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) wrote on Facebook in her typical upbeat manner, “Not my weekend but my career has always been modeled after the ‘one step back, two steps forward’ saying. “Her comment was in response to her placing 27th in the downhill on Feb. 23. And the fact that she didn’t finish the downhill portion of the Super combined race the following day. But, certainly don’t count Cook out, as she is well known for coming on strong at the end of the season. As she puts it, “Moving on to Garmisch” for three speed events Feb.27–Mar. 3, “with my chin up and ready to fight back!”
Championship Teams announced
In some ways the ski and snowboard competition season seems to just be getting started, but in reality it is already coming to a close for some teams. During the past week a number of local athletes were named to take part in the following: High School States, U18 Nationals, Nordic Junior Nationals, and U16 Championships.
Wormhoudt will race in U18 National Junior Championships
Mammoth Mountain Ski Team’s Tyler Wormhoudt (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) was one of just 16 men and women to be named to represent the Far West at the prestigious U18 National Junior Championships, to be held at Mammoth Mountain, March 5-12, 2013.
Kirkeby heading to Fairbanks, Alaska for Nordic Junior Nationals
This season there were seven Junior National Qualifiers. Junior racers had to ski in four of the seven races, and have a qualifying time in three races, including both a classic and a freestyle (skate) race. Local racer Amanda Kirkeby (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) was one of the J2 racers named to the Far West Nordic Junior National Team for 2013. The Team and eight coaches head to Fairbanks Alaska from March 8-17th. In the OJ Girls division, former Mammoth racer Joelle Romo (Crowley Lake, Calif.) will also represent the Far West.
Ten from Mammoth make U16 Championships Team
“Far West would like to congratulate the 23 ladies and 26 gents that will be representing this outstanding division at the U16 Championships in Alaska, March 19-23.” Ten of those athletes are from the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team. Including: Erin Maidman (Ventura, Calif.); Hannah Everson (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); Katherine Brown (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); Elizabeth Heit (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); Zac Kelly (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); Alex Colby (Malibu, Calif.); Logan DeAngelis (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.); Cody Underkoffler (Crowley Lake, Calif.); Kevin Wolfe (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Justin Wallasch (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.)
Mammoth High School sends 20 athletes to State Championships
Twenty Mammoth High School students earned the right to represent their school at the 2013 High School State Championships to be held at Mount Shasta, March 4-7, 2013. Skiers named to take part in both giant slalom and slalom races are: Becca Albright; Chelsea Foulke; Ryan Foulke; Sierra Gilfoy; Liz Heit; Russell Malm; Kyra McKee; Justin Wallasch; Everest Webber; Kevin Wolfe. Additionally, Perry Moyer and Jimmy Wehsener will race in the giant slalom. On the snowboard side, Cole Brosgart; Fleur Connolly; Sam Hein; Tyler Searles; Kenny Schreiber; Devin Tubbs will compete in both giant slalom and slalom, while Emmett Hugelman will race in the giant slalom. Chance Thompson, who suffered and injury mid-way through the season qualified for the giant slalom, but he will be unable to attend the championships due to his injury.
(Photo: Susan Morning/MMCF)