Skier opens Far West season with a trio of wins

The Far West downhill ski season got underway last weekend at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, bringing roughly 200 athletes to the mountain for the annual Clifford Mann Classic.

Squaw Valley Ski Team’s Jordan Cashman had a strong four days of downhill racing at Mammoth, capturing wins in three of the four events.

Cashman, 21, topped Sierra Nevada College’s Anton Waller by 1.00 second in the season opener, finishing the slalom race with a time of 1 minute, 29.50 seconds. Sierra Nevada’s Vidar Widing was third with a time of 1:30.71.

Sierra Nevada’s Adrian Rhomberg edged Cashman by 0.37 seconds in the following day’s slalom race, but Cashman came back to top Rhomberg in both the giant slalom events on Sunday and Monday.

On the women’s side, skiers from Sierra Nevada College dominated the first two days of slalom racing. Misel Marovt won Friday’s race with a time of 1:29.49, followed by teammate Saana Ahonen with a time of 1:29.64. Squaw Valley’s Jillian Ferre was third with a time of 1:32.20. Ahonen took the win the next day, followed by Ferre and Marovt in third.

Legendary South Tahoe skier and four-time Olympian Stacey Cook showed up for the final two days of racing, schooling the youngsters and collegiate racers in each of the four heats.

“Well … retirement didn’t last long, but it isn’t about me anymore,” Cook posted to her Instagram account. “Psyched to be a friend, coach, mentor, and teammate to this group of awesome young athletes and am inspired by their effort and passion.”

Cook, 34, is working with the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team and won the first giant slalom race with a time of 2:24.05, topping Ahonen by more than four seconds. The following day’s race was closer with Cook winning by a little more than a second.

Far West Skiing will continue at the end of the month with a pair of night slalom rounds at Auburn Ski Club.

Sugar Bowl Skiers claim podiums out of the gates

Nordic and Alpine skiers from Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy got off to strong starts to the 2018-19 seasons.

In Nordic racing, the club traveled to West Yellowstone to compete on the Rendezvous Ski Trails. Nate Cutler, 18, would have his best finish of the weekend in the 10-kilometer freestyle, capturing 21st overall and fourth out of the junior class.

The club’s Sofia Sanchez, 18, took 20th in the 15-kilometer race and was fifth out of the junior skiers. Sanchez also competed in a Nor-Am Cup event last Wednesday, taking 19th place in the 10-kilometer classic race in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.

In alpine racing, a pair of Sugar Bowl athletes are off to solid starts.

G.G. Wattenmaker and Ainsley Proffit went one-two in the U-19 division of the Rocky Mountain FIS Series race last month at Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado.

Since then Wattenmaker, 17, has raced in Canada on the Nor-Am Cup, and has posted top 20 finishes in four of five events.

Proffit, 17, has also been competing in the Nor-Am Cup, and posted a 23rd place in alpine combined for her best result of the season, thus far.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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