JVCs stand the test of time
The Junior Village Championships was created in 1991 by then Mammoth Mountain Race Department coach Darryl Whitaker. Whitaker, a long time Mammoth coach, developed the JVCs to “promote ski racing among all levels of young racers.” Once known as the Tobacco Free Junior Village Championships, the series has gone through a few changes over the years, but the basic philosophy behind the race series remains the same. It is a team event, often times with participation being the deciding factor as to what team wins the overall trophy.
The overall trophy is the original silver bowl, although it now has a new base to allow for more names to be added. And even after twenty-five years it is still a prized possession of the winning team that gets to display it at their sponsor’s place of business until the next year-end winner is named. Staying with the “team” concept, the individual race overall trophy is a large cookie supplied by Mimi’s Cookie Bar and shared by the members of the winning team. Whitaker was delighted to find out that the same trophy is still being used and that the series has maintained the original principals.
JVC teams are made up of U10, U12, and U14 members of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team. Each of this year’s 13 teams is sponsored by a local business and each race has a sponsor with the first race of the season being sponsored by Kittredge Sports.
The three race series is designed as dual race with a racer’s best time of the day the one that counts. On Sunday, Jan. 17 Lance Davenport was the first racer down the red course and came in with a time of 32.34, the fastest time of the day. The time held throughout the race as the fastest time of the day in the red course, but over on the blue course was another very fast racer. Designs Unlimited‘s Vivienne McGlashan, had blasted out of the blue course and posted a time of 31.95. That left Davenport one more chance to best McGlashan’s time. Unfortunately for Davenport he was one of the last racers to go down the blue course and his time of 32.1 couldn’t beat McGlashan’s time made early in the day. However, Davenport would go on to claim the top podium spot for the U14 boys along with Aidan LeFrancois (Kittredge) in second and Mason Haworth (Burgers) in third. Joining McGlashan on the U14 girl’s podium were Sasha Mueller (John’s Pizza) in second and Sienna Szeto (Two Nil) in third.
Siena Beeghly, Chaney Szeto and Byrn Urdi went one, two, three for the U12 girls, while Parker Gumins in first, Quentin LeFrancois in second and Daniel Steiner in third were the top podium winners for the U12 boys.
Taking the win for the U10s were Piper Wilkison racing for Mono Market and Jersey Mike’s Cooper Hindshaw. Following Wilkison on the girl’s side were Regan Clute in second and Sierra Wight in third. Hindshaw shared the U10 boy’s podium with second place Greg Gazarian and third place Grant Schneider.
Davenport’s superb racing helped the Petra’s team coached by MMSST’s Mike Shenkel take the team win for the first race. Taking second in the team competition were John’s Pizza coached by Chris Domscke in second and Peak Productions led by Scott Saltsman in third. They were followed by: Burgers, Mono Market, Jersey Mike’s, Designs Unlimited, Outdoor 365, GC Firewood, Two Nil, Kittredge, Outdoor Sports and Footloose in that order.
North American Junior Freeride Series
Four Mammoth All Mountain Chargers, Katie Rahmeyer, Carson Dorough, Finn Huggs and Peter Bucklin, competed in the North American Junior Freeride Series #1, Sugar Bowl January 8-10. The Sugar Bowl competition was a two run comp that counted as one regional finish for the overall IFSA North American Junior Freeride Series Ranking
After the competition Justin Richard, Head Coach All Mountain Chargers noted that, “… each athlete really tried hard and improved for their second day of competition.” Rahmeyer finished 24th in the Female 11-14 division, while Dorough, Huggs and Bucklin were 39, 53 and 54 respectively in the highly contested Male 11-14 class. The MMSST coaches complimented their athletes in their report saying, “So big props to Katie, Carson, Finn and Peter for their hard work and amazing skiing.”
The MMSST coaches said they would now work on getting “our skiers to find their own way down the hill. It’s called Free for a reason.”
Nordic Skiers Race Twice at Tahoe
The CNISSF Freestyle race was held January 15 at Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge with several Mammoth athletes producing outstanding results. In the 5km mass start race, MHS Varsity boys Trace Calvin, Connor Kusumoto and Calvin Forsythe came in fifth, seventh, and 10th respectively with brothers Jared and and Jacob Mahler following in 12th and 20th. The strong finishes earned the MHS boys second place in the team point standings.
In the High School JV Boys Mammoth’s Tanner Bissonett was 10th and Lucas Strazzere 20th. While, MHS Alexia Craven took the win for the JV girls with a time of 18:33.6 and Robin Romagnino was third, with a time of 21:44.2
Two days later the Comp Team including some of the same athletes traveled back to Tahoe for the Sierra Skogsloppet, a Junior National Qualifier race at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Center. The “Skoogs” is an important event for many racers. For the younger set the race is a Junior Nationals Qualifier, with just about every young racer participating, eager for a chance to make the Far West Nordic National Team in either the 10 kilometer or 5 kilometer distances.
Coach Nancy Fiddler said after the race on Monday that “We had a good day for some and not so great for others, but that is ski racing.” Meaghan Thompson, Calvin Forsythe, Connor Kusumoto, and Trace Calvin “qualified in this race for Junior Nationals. Lexi Craven just missed and Jared Mahler was not qualified. Now Connor, Trace, and Meaghan have their tickets punched to go, having qualified in three races. They just need to complete one more qualifier. Calvin and Lexi need one more race each, and it looks like Jared will have to keep trying! He is in a tough age group of fast skiers.”
Local boarders earn invitations to Burton Finals
Four local snowboarders competed in The Bash at the Stash, a Burton Qualifier at Northstar, CA January 9.
The Burton website reported that the course was “full of options including a pole jam, a rainbow tree jib, and the Craig Kelly cabin, which had a wooden down rail and flat-down rail outside it (with exposed stairs between them), and could also be ridden itself. After an hour long open practice to allow the riders to get a feel for the features, the contest got underway with the 15 and under division.”
Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team’s Dusty Henricksen “sent a huge one-footer off the Craig Kelly cabin, seemingly aiming for the moon.” While teammate, Judd Henkes “transferred from the cabin roof to the down rail multiple times, proving that he had no fear of huge gaps, along with enviable accuracy.”
Dylan Okurowski landed in first place when all was said and done, with Henkes following in second, and Henricksen in third, each going home with some cash and an invitation to finals in Seven Springs, PA. Joining them at finals will be MMSST’s Kolman Lecroy, and Jake Langston (Mammoth Lakes) who came in 4th, and 6th respectively.
Maureen Lebel shines at FIS Series
A strong contingent of Mammoth FIS racers joined their Far West teammates for four days of racing at Sugar Bowl, Jan. 14-17, for the FIS Western Region NJR battling both the weather conditions and stiff competition from other talented racers from PNSA, Rocky Central, Intermountain, Northern division, the East and several foreign countries.
Mammoth’s Maureen Lebel produced the best results of both the MMSST group and the Far West Team taking second place in the first three races. On Thursday, Lebel led after the first run of GS with Kathryn Parker, Australia, in second and Intermountain’s Haley Cutler in third. However, things changed during the second run as Cutler produced a blazing fast time to take the run and the win. Lebel dropped down to second and Parker came in at third. Day two of GS racing saw Cutler win the first run, with Parker in second and Lebel in third. Cutler came back to take the second run and the win with Lebel ending up second and Parker third to repeat the same finish order as the day before. The battle lines were clearly drawn as the women moved into the slalom portion of the series. Only day three saw some slight changes. Cultler won her fourth run in a row, and held the lead going into the second run, Madison Ostergren was in third, Lebel sat in fourth, and Mammoth’s Maia Bickert was in seventh. A quick change occurred when Cutler didn’t finish her second run, while Lebel and Bickert moved up in their standings to take second and third overall.
The fourth and final day had some familiar names on the finish sheet, but they didn’t include Cutler or Lebel. This time it was Parker’s turn to take the win and Bickert who finished right behind her, moved up to take her second podium finish in as many days. MMSST’s Katherine Brown was the only other local racer to land on the front-page placing14th.