Norton, Underkoffler to U.S. Ski races

Mammoth’s Lucas Underkoffler and Nikita Norton are in Colorado this weekend, after having won spots in the under-18 U.S. Nationals ski races this weekend at Copper Mountain.

Underkoffer and Norton both won spots as a result of their performances in the FIS Elite Wild West Classic at Snow King Mountain, Wyo., last weekend.

Seven other Mammoth Mountain Ski Team racers participated in the Wyoming event.

Norton placed fifth for the U18 ladies in the first slalom and Underkoffler was fifth for the second slalom and seventh in the final GS.

For Underkoffler the results didn’t come easily.

In his first GS, Underkoffler bashed the panel and suffered a bad bruise on his arm. He was unable to take his second run.

He went on to race in the slalom next day and was having a solid second run, which might have earned him third place, when a race worker two or three gates from the finish interfered with him.

Underkoffler fell and slid through the finish. He was granted a provisional re-run.His third slalom run was slower for him but it was still a decent time and put him in fifth place for U18s.

Conditions were tough, said Underkoffler’s mom, Emily, who was at the races.

“On the second day of racing the snow was so wet,” she said, “the women could not see, as they could not wipe their goggles for the GS. The men’s GS was postponed to Wednesday so the race series was extended by another day.

“The standard was very high with U.S. team members and international racers such as Sepi Stiegler,” she said.

Other Mammoth athletes in Wyoming were Kayleigh MacGregor, Erin Maidman, Alexa Wehsener, Alex Colby, Logan DeAngelis, Casey Haveruk, and Nicholas Glavatsky-Yeadon.

Meanwhile, and closer to home …

MMST Sharplimes on podium at Squaw Valley

A large group of U10-12 racers represented Mammoth Mountain Ski Team at Squaw Valley, February 22-23, for the Far West North Series GS and Parallel GS series, with a number of the group taking medals.

In the Parallel GS U10 Girls, Chaney Szeto was third; Byrn Urdi fifth and in the U10 Boys Parker Gumins was second; Bjorn Karlen, third; Quentin LeFrancois, seventh; and Daniel Steiner eighth. Mitchell Parsons was 16th, just missing making the front page by .01. In the U12 GS Girls, Sasha Mueller placed eighth; and Siena Szeto 15.

For the U12 Boys, Lance Davenport was third and Aidan LeFrancois 12. In the Sunday race, nine MMST members made it to the standings.

U10 Girls Chaney Szeto was seventh; Byrn Urdi eighth; Siena Beeghly ninth; and Thea Amon-Franceschi 14.

For the U10 Boys Bjorn Karlen captured first; Parker Gumins, third; and Quentin LeFrancois was fourth.

In the U12s Sasha Mueller took 15th for the girls and Lance Davenport was second for the boys.

Marathon USASA Halfpipe Contest

In what could be called a marathon event, the second and third USASA Halfpipe contests were held February 23 at Mammoth Mountain.

The event, which was a double header for both the USASA Mammoth Unbound Series and the South Lake Tahoe series, had a total of 102 competitors taking over 400 starts for the two separate contests. Although the first competitor dropped in the halfpipe at 9:30 a.m., the lifts closed before the final contestant finished.

Local athletes taking first place in at least one event were: Justus “Judd” Henkes; Kai Shafer; Alexandria Simsovits; Freeman Andrews; Peri King; Trent Wallentine; Tessa Maud; Jenise Spiteri; Kaden Klassen; Aaron Durlester; Haley Moss; Joshua Bowman; Jordyn Nowakowski; Tyler Inn; and Danielle Broderick.