Diamond Peak U19 racers kick off 2015-16 ski season | SierraSun.com

Diamond Peak U19 racers kick off 2015-16 ski season

Special to the Bonanza

Re-upped last winter under the stewardship of head coach Tom "Arnie" Arnstein, Diamond Peak's U-19 ski racing program exploded from four to 20 skiers in just one season. Also new to the team this season is assistant coach Kayla Wieczorek.

The U-19s opened their season with a two-day USSA slalom competition at Heavenly on Dec. 5-6.

The first day of the event, Annika Hansen finished sixth (second for the U-19s), Erica Kennedy 12th (sixth for the U-19s), and Becka Padgett 19th (ninth for the U-19s).

On the second day of the competition, Erica Kennedy completed the women's slalom in seventh place overall (fifth for the U-19), and Becka Padgett finished the women's runs in 20th place (ninth for the U-19s).

For the men, Alec Jobbins completed his first day of competition in 20th place overall (seventh for the U-19s), and the second day in 18th place (eighth for the U-19s).

Dec. 10-13, Diamond Peak sent a contingent of 14 qualifying U-19 men and women to Mammoth Mountain for their first FIS series of the season.

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The women's team consisted of first-year FIS racers Mia Consentini, Madison Idso, Rachel Meyer, Nicole Postelwaight, Laurel Taylor and Allena Thompson, as well as second-year FIS racers Annika Hansen, Erica Kennedy, Becka Padgett and Amanda Pretti.

The men were represented by first-year FIS racers Tommy Corcoran, Jeff Miller and WInston Pretti, and third-year FIS racer Alec Jobbins.

High winds, white-out conditions and challenges with Mammoth's timing system resulted in the elimination of the series' GS races. For once, it was the East Coast that was suffering from a lack of snow and, consequently, many East Coast teams added to the already challenging FIS competition.

Nonetheless, Diamond Peak's Erica Kennedy took 20th place (14th for the U-19s) and 11th place (ninth for the U-19s) in the women's slalom races.

The following weekend, Dec. 19-20, the Diamond Peak U-19s returned to Mammoth to finally compete in a GS series.

The first day of the USSA weekend, Erica Kennedy owned the course with her first-place finish in the initial run. Unfortunately, she was not on the list of finishers for the second run.

However, Annika Hansen flew down the course to finish in second place — both overall and for the U-19s.

Becka Padgett completed the race in 11th place overall (fourth for the U-19s), Amanda Pretti was 14th (fifh for the U-19s) and Madison Idso was 16th (sixth for the U-19s).

On the men's side, Alec Jobbins finished in 10th place (fourth for the U-19s). On the second day of the series, Erica Kennedy owned the women's race once again, this time skiing to first place in both runs, and topping the podium.

Annika Hansen again flew down the course to a third-place finish overall (second for the U-19s). Becka Padgett skied to seventh place (fourth for the U-19s) and Amanda Pretti completed the race in 18th place (seventh for the U-19s).

On the men's side on the second day of competition, Winston Pretti topped the podium, skiing to first place in both runs, and Alec Jobbins finished eighth (fourth for the U-19s).

— This article was submitted to Sports Editor Sylas Wright at swright@sierrasun.com.