Early-season Far West racing wraps up | SierraSun.com

Early-season Far West racing wraps up

Courtesy Far West Skiing

Far West alpine ski racers enjoyed a busy early season.

The season kicked off in late November with a U16-and-older giant slalom at Mammoth Mountain. With a strong field, including the Sierra Nevada College (SNC) team, it was a point’s bonanza.

The SNC athletes battled it out for the podium spots while top junior honors went to Madison Idso and Annika Hansen of Diamond Peak, with Katherine Brown of Mammoth taking third in the first women’s race.

In the afternoon race, Diamond Peak’s Belle Johnson and Erica Kennedy went 1-2, while Brown held on for another third-place finish.

On the men’s side, SNC battled it out for the top spots with top junior results going to Mammoth’s Alex Colby and Scotty Lebel and Diamond Peak’s Payton Norton in both GS runs.

The Emily Clothier Memorial Slaloms the first weekend in December were moved to Mammoth Mountain for better snow coverage.

In sunny weather on Saturday, top women’s honors went to SNC’s Mihaela Kosi, Sugar Bowl’s Mikaela Fitzgerald, Mammoth’s Maureen Lebel and Sugar Bowl’s Natalie Williams. Sunday’s race had similar results, with Kosi taking first, followed by Williams, Fitzgerald and Lebel.

A guest from the Eastern Region took the top spot in the first men’s race and was followed by the Sugar Bowl Ski Team sweeping the next four spots: Cody Winters, JP Fourie, Griffin Knorpp and Chase Ganim.

Sugar Bowl then took the top four spots on Sunday: Louis Muhlen, Fourie, Michael Cooper and Luke Rodarte, while Squaw Valley’s Kye Moffat placed fifth.

The weekend prior to Christmas, Far West skiers had the opportunity to run one of the first Western Region Jr. Champs qualifiers of the season. This GS challenged athletes in the morning with wintry weather that gave way to sunshine and warm temperatures in the afternoon.

Northstar’s Sabrina Futral, Heavenly’s Whitney Gardner and Mammoth’s Erin Maidman went 1, 3, 4 in the women’s race, and former Mammoth athlete Amie Lonza, now racing for St. Lawrence University, took second.

On the men’s side, Sugar Bowl’s Andrew Elder, Mammoth’s Calvin Barrett and Cody Underkoffler finished 2-3-4, while former Far West athlete Patrick Romano, now racing in college in the north, earned top honors.

In other racing outside of the region, Erik Arvidsson of Squaw Valley won the super G and super combined at the Panorama Nor Am, and Squaw Valley’s Keely Cashman took fourth in the Longines Future Ski Champions 2014 held in Val D’isere.

The new year will be busier yet, with the younger age classes — U10s, U12s and U14s — taking to the slopes.

— Information for this article was provided by http://www.fwskiing.us.