Dump great for bumps at Far West event
Squaw Valley USA – Squaw Valley USA played host to the Far West freestylers last Saturday. Unfortunately Mother Nature was less than benevolent in her hostessing duties.
It was nasty last Saturday and the moguls lay quiet under 3 feet of fresh powder. The moguls had run, but they couldn’t hide, and the competition would commence all the same.
Squaw Valley’s men put nine in the top 10 with Jesse Jennison, Todd Disbrow and Curtis Tischler placing one, two and three, respectively.
On the feminine fall line, it was Amber Ramos, McKenzy Golding and Jay Teng taking the top three spots. But give it up for 10-year Kendall Jordan who took fifth place.
While the course looked unappetizing to the layman’s eye, and whiteout conditions, coupled with a long sought day of fresh powder made bumps the last thing on this writer’s mind, Squaw Valley coach Duke Peterson said the conditions were somewhat favorable for a lot of the competitors.
“Fresh powder makes the kids a little more excited to ski the course because it’s a little softer,” he said. “You can point the skis a little straighter, ski a little faster.”
The other story of the day was the continuing battle among three Far Westers to qualify for National Qualifiers in March at Kilington, Verm. Kevin Gagne, David Topol and Sean McGee are all on the bubble to qualify. The top 50 U.S. freestylers not including U.S. ski team members will go. Topol is 62nd, Gagne is 63rd and McGee is 72nd. With 20 some U.S. ski teamers currently in the top 50, the cutoff will hover around 72nd place. Mark Kendrick and Justin Self are ranked 39th and 42nd as well and appear to be locks for Killington. The top finishers in Killington go on to U.S. Nationals to compete for spots on the U.S. Ski Team.
Izuna Kogen, Japan -Elsewhere, the World Cup wrapped up in Izuna Kogen, Japan, over the weekend. It was the final moguls event before the World Cup finals in Finland in March. The top 12 men and women on the World Cup standings will compete in Finland. Two hail from the basin.
Tahoe City’s Shannon Bahrke and Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Travis Ramos both ski for Squaw Valley and hope to dethrone the mighty Scandinavians, thus returning glory to the Tahoe shores. Bahrke is ranked 10th in the world and Ramos is currently sitting eighth.
Hannah Hardaway, ranked third, is the other American woman going. Ramos will be joined by Americans Ryan Riley ranked fifth, Evan Dybvig, sixth and Toby Dawson, 10th.
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On Feb. 4, athletes from Truckee and North Tahoe will walk into Beijing’s National stadium for the 2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony.