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All the world's a stage for Mammoth Mountain athletes

December 24, 2013

Mammoth Mountain skier Natalie Riffel runs the gates. Photo/Susan Morning

 

With the world as their stomping ground, the Mammoth Mountain Ski and Snowboard teams were in full stride these pst couple of weeks.

Here are the results:

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 AM, by 11 AM 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.

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’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. Cook commented, “It’s okay to just do the one random super G race here because I know the hill so well. We’ve raced here for so many years in a row that it was kind of nice and to have the week off and not have to do training runs.”

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. 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. She exclaimed, “I’m so happy with my second place finish (for the Americans.) It’s really about getting those points to qualify for the Olympics at these events.”

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, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to hold onto first for two runs, but it was extremely nerve-wracking. Seeing Shaun mess up was very uncharacteristic of him. I’m ecstatic right now.”

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 Guldemondand 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.”

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. 

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