By Susan Morning/MMCF
This past week local skiers and snowboarders competed worldwide and by Sunday, when all was said and done they had put Mammoth Mountain on the map.
Audi FIS Alpine World Cup super G_St. Moritz, Switzerland
Mammoth’s Stacey Cook, a two-time Olympian continued to make strides in super G as she jumped from the 37th start position to finish 16th in St. Moritz. It was her best World Cup super G result since 2008. Cook commented, “I’m trying to get in that top-30 starting position and get some better starts and then hopefully some tops 10s, maybe top fives by the end of the year.” It’s the second straight weekend Cook has made a big move in super G after vaulting from 38th to 18th in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup super G in Lake Louise.
Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup, Val Thorens, France
Under the looming peaks of the highest resort in the Alps and on an imposing, technical track, the best ski cross racers in the world put on an incredible show at the Audi FIS Freestyle Val Thorens ski cross World Cup. On Saturday, Dec. 14, U.S. Freeskiing reported that it was a wild day in Val Thorens. It started out a little grey and flat for the ladies, which then carried through to the first 15-20 skiers on the men’s side. However, clearing skies and changing snow conditions meant the course got progressively faster with each man down the course. By the end of the day, only four of the top 16 men would qualify for the finals. One of those four was Mammoth’s own John Teller who wrote on his Facebook site after the race, “Solid race today in Val Thorens. Fun course, sun shining, and fast snow. Was hoping to make the top eight, but I’m happy with 11th. Feeling like this season is finally getting on track. Now on to Italy.” Another Mammoth skier Tyler Wallasch, who is one of the youngest on the ski cross World Cup tour ended up 66th. Both Teller and Wallasch rose through the ranks of the Mammoth Ski Team.
Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships, Breckenridge, Colo.
Olympic gold medalist and Mammoth pro rider Kelly Clark edged a little closer to her fourth Olympic Winter Games Saturday when she placed second in the halfpipe snowboarding finals and became the top U.S. finisher in the first Olympic qualifying event at the Dew Tour. After the event was over, Clark said, “I’m so happy with my second place finish. It’s really about getting those points to qualify for the Olympics at these events. I thought Torah rode amazing and coming in second to her is a good day any day. Honestly getting the second place today with those first place Olympic points … I’ve never been so happy to get second.” Australian Torah Bright, who trained at Mammoth as a junior won the halfpipe final, while 13-year old rookie Chloe Kim, a member of the Mammoth Snowboard Team finished third. At only 13 years old, Kim, who is not yet eligible for the Olympics, showed huge potential for the sport after her first Dew Tour performance.
Greg Bretz, who grew up on the slopes of Mammoth Mountain as a Mammoth Snowboard Team member outgunned Olympic gold medalist Shaun White in the halfpipe snowboarding final, taking the top spot in the first Olympic qualifier. Bretz, who is currently on the Mammoth pro team noted, “I’m so stoked it’s an Olympic qualifier and I was able to come out on top. I just try to ride for myself and stay away from what other people are doing and it ended up working out and I’m super stoked about it.”
On Sunday, the snowboard slopestyle competition went down under pristine bluebird conditions with fans lining the bottom of the course. Mammoth junior team rider Brandon Davis, placed seventh in the event, but more importantly Davis was the third American coming in behind two of the heavy favorites Chas Guldemond and Sage Kotsenburg. Ben Wisner, Director of Freeski and Snowboard Teams at Mammoth summed up the week on Facebook writing, “Couldn’t be more proud of all the Mammoth team kids at the Dew Tour this week … nice work gang.”
Clifford Mann FIS GS_Mammoth Mountain
On Saturday, Dec. 14 the first racer in the Clifford Mann FIS GS at Mammoth Mountain went out of the starting gate at 7:50 a.m. By 11 a.m. the race was over and Mammoth Ski Team had four podium finishes in the U18 division.
On Sunday, the schedule remained the same with racers charging down the course before the sun came over the mountaintop. Natalie Riffel won both days for the U18 women. On Saturday, her podium partner was Hannah Everson in third place. On Sunday, it was Nikita Norton in second place.
Lucas Underkoffler was the top finisher both days for the U18 men, while Alex Colby took the bronze for Mammoth in both races. Other top 10 finishers for Mammoth were Erin Maidman, Casey Haveruk and Justin Wallasch, all in the U18 division and Alexa Wehsener for the U21s.