Diamond Peak U16 athletes sweep age class
Diamond Peak Ski Team racers Belle Johnson and Winston Pretti each won their respective age classes in a Far West slalom event at Mammoth Mountain on Dec. 6 and 7.
Johnson, a first-year U16, finished with a combined time of 1:33.33 to place 14th overall for the U16-U21 females on Saturday, posting the fastest U16 time.
Teammate Madison Idso was second (1:35.87) Saturday but crashed and did not finish Sunday.
DPST athletes Laurel Taylor finished the weekend with a seventh and eighth place and was followed by Rachel Meyer in 14th and 11th, Allena Thompson in 15th and 19th, and Katie Fischer in 25th, improving upon Saturday’s disqualification due to missing the last gate.
Mihaela Kosi of Sierra Nevada College won with a combined time of 1:23.79.
U18 athlete Annika Hansen placed sixth overall (1:30.12) and fourth among the U18s.
Although she crashed on Sunday, teammate Erica Kennedy gave a strong performance by placing 11th and eighth. She was followed by sister Aly Kennedy with a pair of 17th-place finishes. Teammate Becka Padgett was unable to continue racing due to an injury.
For the boys, Pretti topped the podium both days, placing eighth and 12th overall Saturday and Sunday while posting the fastest U16 times.
DPST teammate Payton Norton had equally impressive runs, placing 15th and 13th overall just behind Pretti to place fourth and second for the U16 boys, with Noah Cleary on his heels with a pair of sixth-place finishes. Barrett Calvin of Mammoth was third.
“To have Winston and Payton go one and two last race and then again this weekend is just awesome,” said coach Mats Boehkne.
Pretti’s teammates also gave a good showing, with Jeff Miller placing 15th and 25th, Thomas Mercogliano 16th and 28th, Nick Fischer DNF and 16th, Trent Funke DSQ and 23th, Tommy Corcoron 24th and 30th, Sebastian Fouassier 27th and 34th, and Blake Action placed 33rd and 29th.
“Slalom is a tough event; it requires cat-like reactions, so just to finish is an accomplishment,” said coach Raquel Norton. “It’s about minimizing your mistakes. There are a lot of good kids racing, so to do well really is something.”
Athletes head back down to Mammoth for an open GS race series Dec. 20 and 21.
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The second round of high school Nordic racing was held Wednesday at Auburn Ski Club, and for the second straight week, a skier from North Tahoe stood atop the podium.