By Sue MorningSix Mammoth athletes were invited to the 2014 X Games from January 23-26. By Sunday night, four of them had climbed the podium.
The first two to take hardware were Kelly Clark and Chloe Kim, who claimed gold and silver respectively in the Women’s Halfpipe. On Sunday, Kaya Turski captured her fourth gold medal in Women’s Ski Slopestyle at the Winter X Games.
The final event of the 2014 Winter X Games was Men’s Halfpipe, and in that event, the bronze went to 23 year-old Mammoth local Greg Bretz. Also representing Mammoth were Mason Aguirre (snowboard halfpipe), Brandon Davis (snowboard slopestyle), and Trevor Jacob (snowboard cross).
Clark, Turski, Jacob and Bretz will now head off to Sochi; Kim, who is to young to go to the Olympics, will continue to compete stateside, as will Davis.
Teller hopes warmup 13 is lucky
More than 110 athletes from 21 nations were at Austria’s Kreischberg resort for the season’s seventh event of the AUDI FIS Ski Cross World Cup tour from January 24-25.
One skier on the radar was Mammoth’s John Teller, who scored his first World Cup win of the ski cross season in Val Thorens, France, the week before. However, another win wasn’t in the cards for Teller this weekend. As Teller explained it on Facebook, “Had a great start to the day. Crossed the line second in the Quarter Final Heat, thought I was solidly in the Semi Finals, but I had straddled a gate at the top of the course, giving me a DNF for the heat. Still happy with 13th place and the momentum I have heading into Sochi!”
While the Krieschberg event didn’t count for Olympic qualification, it is significant for being the test for the first ever combined FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, which will take place in January 2015.
Cooking in Cortina
Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) continued to gain momentum toward Sochi with seventh on Jan. 23 in an Audi FIS Alpine World Cup super G in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) added to the U.S. momentum with ninth, her best super G finish since 2007 in the race, which was a replacement for the canceled super G race last weekend due to a powerful winter storm that sidelined the weekend’s speed events. Cool would go on to post her best World Cup finish of the season on Jan. 24, with fifth in the first of two downhills, and led the U.S. Ski Tean with 13th in Super G on Jan. 26.
On Jan. 27, the United States Olympic Committee announced the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The 230-member team is comprised of 105 women and 125 men, the largest athlete delegation for any nation in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. One of those named was Cook.
Western Region FIS Speed Series
Nine U18 members of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team took part in the FIS Open U18+ Super G and Downhill Series at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Jan. 21-26. Although the race was plagued with inclement weather, most of the athletes were able to race in three events. Several of the Mammoth racers were able to break into the top 15 with Nikita Norton taking 13th in the Women’s Super G and Alex Colby who took 14th in the second downhill. Also, taking part in the series were: Kayleigh MacGregor; Erin Maidman; Natalie Riffel; Campbell Baster; Logan DeAngelis; Lucas Underkoffler and Austin Gumins.
“Sharp Limes” Crowd the Podium at Alpine
On Jan. 25, the talent rich Mammoth U14 ski team took on the rest of the U14s in the North Series Parallel Slalom at Alpine Meadows and the Mammoth “Sharp Limes” crushed their counterparts placing seven boys and one girl in the medals.
On Sunday, the MMST racers had three girls and five boys on the front page. The original race was scheduled as a pair of giant slaloms at Squaw Valley, but was resited to Alpine Meadows and changed to two Parallel Slaloms due to the limited snow conditions throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Top MMST performers on Saturday in the boys race were: Erik Eisen in second; James Gooch, fourth; Charlie Regelbrugge, seventh; Elan Preis, eighth; Luke Davenport, 13; Sheldon French, 14; Connor Staley, 15. In the girl’s race, Mack Carkeet came in ninth. On Sunday, Carkeet who moved up to sixth was joined by Eva Yguico in eighth and Kendall Lach in 15th. Eisen repeated his second place finish; Regelbrugge, Davenport and French moved up to take sixth, eighth and ninth respectively and Barrett Calvin landed in 10th.
USASA Unbound Halfpipe Held Under Perfect Conditions
As the sun shined brightly, the first USASA Halfpipe contest of the 2013/2014 season was held Jan. 25, 2014 at Mammoth Mountain in the same halfpipe that saw the Sprint Grand Prix the week before.
Although the USASA competitors weren’t vying for spots on the 2014 Olympic Team, they were attempting to qualify for the 2014 USASA Snowboard/Ski National Championships.
The First Place Junior Winners, who could easily become our halfpipe stars of the future were: Breaker Boys (12-13) Judd Henke V; Breaker Girls (12-13) Kai Shafer; Grommet Boys (8-9) Jake Langston; Grommet Girls (8-9) Alexandria Simsovits; Junior Men (16-17) Freeman Andrews; Junior Women (16-17) Peri King; Menehune Girls (10-11) Kinsley White; Skier Boys (10-11) Aaron Durlester; Skier Girls (10-11) Maya Weber; Skier Men (13-15) Cameron Broderick; Skier Women (13-15) Hayley Moss; Youth Men (14-15) Joshua Bowman; and Youth Women (14-15) Jordyn Nowakowski. The next local USASA competition will be Rail Jam #2 to be held Feb. 2.
Mammoth Huskies Dominate Giant Slalom Races
The final two giant slalom races for the CNISSF South Two Division were held at Mammoth Mountain on Jan. 24, 2014. Of the eight races held (two for both boys and girls in skiing and snowboarding), Mammoth High School athletes took seven first place finishes and 25 MHS racers placed in the top 10 at least once. In the Girls Ski, Sierra Gilfoy won both races, while Chelsea Foulke took a pair of second place finishes and Lynn Regelbrugge was the double third place finisher. In the Boys Ski, Ryan Foulke was first and third with six of his teammates placing in the top ten in both races.
On the Snowboard side, Fleur Connolly repeated her double win from two weeks ago, and Candice Berger captured a pair of third place finishes, while Tyler Wagner won both of the boys races and Samuel Hein followed him in second and third.
The first two slalom races will be held on Friday, Jan. 31 at Mammoth Mountain.