At the USA Gymnastics Region I and II Championships held May 22nd and 23rd in Portland, Oregon, Sugar Bowl Ski Team member Gabbi H. earned the gold medal in trampoline (level 9). She competed with other athletes from the 15 Western States. April 21st and 22nd at the California State Championships held in Reno, Nevada, Gabbi reclaimed her title of State Champion. Gabbi has qualified for the Junior Olympic National Championships this July, to be held in Tampa, Florida. She trains with Marin Elite Gymnastics Academy in San Rafael. Her goal this year is to win the National Championships and qualify for the 2005 Junior World Championships. (Emmitt Hall, posted 5/27/4)
The Western Region Elite Spring Series held in Mammoth April 8-13 capped the season for FIS for the SBST J1/2 athletes. As many as 107 women and 140 men competed each day of the six day series which included included two days each of SG, GS and SL. Selections for this race were very tight so congratulations to Charlie A., Brandy B., Courtney C., Alexa C., Hailey K., Christina K., Amanda G., Hannah W. and Mollie Z. for making the FW team.
The first four days were very warm and spring like for the women's SG and GS. Hailey K. was hot with a 14th day one of the SG. The SG course was very firm day two and many athletes found the conditions challenging. This did not deter Hailey K. who finished 24th.
Courtney C. moved up in the GS finishing 19th on Saturday. Courtney C. had two excellent runs on Sunday's GS giving her an 8th and a point result.
Clouds moved in on Monday the 12th, but the snow remained soft for the women's SL making conditions so difficult only 50 of the 104 starts finished the race. SBST's best was first year J2 Hannah W. in 24th.
The sixth and final day was not only cloudy, but windy as well with weather moving in. The course held up much better with copious salt. Bandy B. turned on the speed and finished 14th. (Kat Calfee, posted 4/18/4)
The end of the year is here and the Far West Grand Prix Championships for GS and SL were held April 2-5. This was a Mid-J3 open race. This meant that anyone from J3 up could register and attend. Awards were given in each age group and the J3's were split into "point" groups of red, white and blue. There was a big field, over 80 women and 130 men, all four days.
The series began on April 2 at Squaw Valley. The weather was classic spring starting the day warm and getting warmer. The course stayed in pretty good shape despite the heat. Women starting in the back of the back and the men had a rough ride. SBST women took five of the top ten finishes. Hannah W. had another great race. She placed second overall and first for J2s. Brooke R. had a smoking run finishing right on H's heels with a third overall and a first overall for J3s and her red group. The men had the rockier ride, but this did not deter Matt P. who took seventh overall and fourth in J-2s. Jake B. placed tenth overall and was second for J-3s and second for red J3s.
Day two found the weather less cooperative. The weather started out clear, but became cloudy and windy before the second start. Rain threatened, but never quite came. The light was flat most of the women’s second run. The men ran first, much to the dismay of the women. Smooth running landed Matt P. a tenth overall and a third in J2s. Jake B. finished 15th overall and second in the J3s and J3 red. Hannah W. was again the top SBST woman finishing fifth overall and third for J2s. Closing the gap was Brooke R. in sixth overall and second for J3s and red J3s.
Day three found us on home ground. Cheers to the race department, lift operations, ski patrol and countless volunteers for making our two day slalom a victory for everyone. The weather was very warm. First day men’s course deteriorated very quickly, however, the race department kept pace. All hands were very busy. For the first men’s SL Matt P. finished tenth overall and fifth for J2s. Jonathan Z. was third for J3s and J3 red. For the women it was again Hannah W. with a third overall and first for J2s. Mollie Z. was fifth overall and third for J2s.
Day four was a very difficult day. Warm weather was hard on the course, athletes were tired and staff was short. There was a lot of cross training as athletes bounced out of the course and hiked. Jake B. finished eleventh overall and second for J3 and J3 red. For the women Alex R. finished fifth overall.
Last little note on Sammy Aucella’s injuries. She lacerated her kidney after falling and hitting a gate on the training course Sunday. She spent three days in the hospital, including ICU and is now at home and doing well. Stacy wanted to thank everyone for the phone calls, emails, visits and general support. You are free to contact the family at their cabin or by email. Photos. Results. (Kat Calfee, posted 4/8/4)
In the championships, the top 15 skiers took home trophies. SBST came home with a total of thirty-two championship trophies! In addition, the Allen Cup is an award given to the best J4 male and female skiers finishing each of the three events, and the Richmond Cup is the same honor for the top male and female J5 skiers. Cate K. and Mara G. took home both female Cups. Congratulations to excellent skiing to these athletes and to the entire J4-J5 SBST.
April 1: The SBST J4 women started the Super G off with a 4th place finish by Cate K. The J4 men had their best finish for the week with five finishers in the top eleven: a strong performance by Ryan C. earned a third place finish. Mara G., on her birthday, took first place in the slalom for the J5 women. William C. was the only SBST J5 man in the top 15, with a 10th place finish, as Heavenly swept the first 4 places in the snowy, overcast conditions.
April 2: Cate K. took first place for the J4s in the rescheduled Super G (a February blizzard cancellation). The J4 men’s best finish was 7th by Ryan C. Mara G. led the field for the J5 women with a great performance with her second straight first place finish, this time in the GS event. For the J5 men, William C. took 7th.
April 3: In the GS on Saturday, SBST women took 4 out of the top 15, led again by Cate K. with a fifth place finish. The men also took 4 out of the top 15, led by Mark E. taking 4th. Sarah W. was the only SBST finisher to break the top 15, in the 9th position for the J5 women in the overcast GS event. Zach A. placed 9th for the J5 men. The Saturday night dance was a fun event for all those who attended. We were advised not to mention who danced with whom.
April 4: The SBST J4 women made the most of the last day of racing, by taking the top three places in the slalom, and placing 5 skiers in the top ten. Cate K. took her second win, with Lizzie K. in second place, and Shannon C. in third. The J4 men were represented by Mark E. with a third place finish. In the dual slalom fun race, the J5 women were led again by Mara G. finishing in third place. The J5 men had their best showing of the championships on this last day. Under sunny conditions, Jeremy J. skied great to take first. Photos. Results. (Jim Conroy, posted 4/8/4)
Seven SBST athletes attended the March 23-30, J1/2 Junior Olympics at Mt. Bachelor as part of the Far West team. Congratulations Matt P., Erika H., Hailey K., Hannah W., Mollie Z., Alexa C. and Elizabeth E. for your participation.
The accommodations at the Mt. Bachelor Village Resort were awesome! Three pools with saunas, high speed internet access and great condos with all the features. Athletes had breakfast as a group each morning on the hill and most agreed that it included plenty of good food.
The week began with DH training runs. The mountain was very cloudy and it was snowing throughout the speed training and races. For the DH and SG race athletes could not see from one panel to the next at the top of the course. This made conditions very challenging. Injuries during training took out Erika H. and Alexa C. for the DH. Hailey K. was our top SBST athlete with a sixteenth. For the SG Alexa C. was still out, but the rest of the SBST athletes came on with strong finishes which included Hailey K. in 7th.
The weather was finally cooperating and it was sunny for both days of GS. Unfortunately, it was snowing and cloudy again by Tuesday's SL. The SL course was so bad for the men that 33 DNF'd the first run. Temperatures ran cooler for the women keeping the conditions better.
The SBST women came on strong on the tech side with GS finishes of 7th for Erika H. Erika H. made her top finish for the week in slalom with a 5th. Hailey K. had an 11th. in slalom with her top finish being the tie for 7th in SG. Hannah W. top finish was on tech side with a 13th in GS.
I should also mention that Michelle D. went to the Western Tech Championships as part of the Far West team held in Red Lodge, Montana, March 27-30. Her top finish for the GS/SL race series was a 22nd. in SL. Results. (Kat Calfee, posted 4/3/4)
The Tahoe League Championships at Alpine Meadows proved to be just as thrilling as anyone could have predicted from the high level of SBST spirit and performance all season. With respect to both the results of the SL and GS races at Alpine and the 2004 overall standings, SBST racers were recognized at the awards ceremonies on March 20th and 21st for their outstanding showings.
As they have done all season, the SBST 7/8 girls and boys took home medals and season trophies. Chase H. won a bronze medal for the girls. 7/8 girls took an astonishing seven of the top fifteen spots in the season’s League standings, with Natalie D. placing second and Kaelyn Y. placing fifth for the season! Congratulations, girls – you’re amazing!
Calvin B. led the 7/8 boys in Saturday’s race, taking fifth place, and was joined by teammates Riley P. and Chris F. in the top ten. The dynamic trio also placed in the top seven for the season, with Calvin B. placing third and Chris F. placing fourth. Way to go, boys!
Brigette L. led the 9/10 girls in an 11th place finish in the Championship race, and Allene K. led this group in the League standings, placing nineteenth. There were two top ten finishes for the 9/10 boys, with Devin D. and Dylan M. earning seventh and ninth in Saturday’s race, and Devin D. placing fifth for the season. Three SBST 9/10 boys placed in the top fifteen for the season.
Katie G. once again took a medal for the 11/12 girls, this time winning silver. For the season, she tied with Jacqueline L. for fifth place, and was joined in the top thirteen by Katie F. In the 11/12 boys category, James C. took fifth, and Ethan H. took sixth in the race, and Ethan H. led the SBST boys in the season standings, with a tenth place position.
Congratulations to all our racers, many of whom participated in every Tahoe League event this season! Results. (Ellen Reier, posted 3/25/4)
The Race Department didn't get a break after two long days of NCAA Championship racing as these events were immediately followed by four days of FIS racing. Sunny, warm, and sometimes windy conditions made course maintenance a challenge as the 90+ men and 60+ women racers competed in the Race Arena and on McTavish.
Charlie A. led the men each day, with his best finish coming in the opening Slalom with a 21st. Brandy B. had an outstanding performance leading the team each day with a 9th (SL), 4th (SL), 8th (GS), and 4th (GS). Congratulation! Photos. Results. (DDH, posted 3/14/4)
Brilliant blue skies and warm temperatures greeted the racers both days at the Northstar course, with the GS taking place on the Challenger run on Saturday, and the SL on Surprise on Sunday. The courses needed to be salted repeatedly to keep the course firm especially on the steeper pitch. At the awards ceremony Sunday, nine SBST racers were recognized for top five finishes with two victories for the women skiers.
The J5 Sugar Bowl women were led by Sarah W. on Saturday, in the eleventh position. The J5 men had better success with strong performances by William C. with a fourth place. The J4 women surged with 4 women in the top ten, with Lizzie K. taking second. The J4 men saw Ryan C. take the 3rd place medal with another stellar race day.
Sunday’s races saw strong performances again with the J5 women blazing with Mara G. winning the race. Not to be outdone, the J4 women were led by Shannon C. with her first ever victory in the Far West. William C. skied to a 5th place finish for the J5 men. Mark E. got on the podium with a fine third place finish for the J4 men. Results. (Jim Conroy, posted 3/17/4)
The Alpine NCAA Championships were held at Sugar Bowl, returning to California after a 40 year absence. Conditions throughout the week were unusually warm with daytime highs approaching 60 degrees. The Race Department did an outstanding job (as we have come to expect) keeping the course in shape by using a seemingly unlimited supply of salt and wedges. The Nordic events were held at the Auburn Ski Club, and they too have an excellent race crew. Congratulations to Tom Arnstein, Head Coach of UNR, for organizing the Championships and to George Brooks, Head Coach of the University of New Mexico for his first national title in 34 years of coaching. This was also the first national title of any kind for UNM. More. Photos. (DDH, posted 3/14/4)
It was sunshine and heat for the two day Mid-J3 SL at Diamond Peak March 6th and 7th. By all accounts the course did not hold up all that well making the "ride" pretty exciting for the late seeds. Second year J3 Ryan M. had a great Sunday with a 3rd overall and a point result under 100! Way to go Ryan! Saturday's top SBST finisher was also Ryan M. with a 16th.
Women had "second start" both days. Saturday's race included three SBST J3's in the top fifteen overall results led by Kelsey C. in 10th. Sunday found Alex R. the top SBST finisher with a 13th overall. Photos. Results. (Kat Calfee, posted 3/25/4)
Competing in their only Big G contest of the season, SBST Tahoe League racers showed they could earn medals in events where participation numbered, in some cases, more than 60 racers. Skiing a steep course most kids described as “rutty”, SBST racers nonetheless managed some big smiles at the finish: they had skied fast under tough conditions.
Kaelyn Y. earned a bronze medal in the girls 7/8 competition and for the 7/8 boys, Calvin B. once again won a medal, placing third. Melissa D. led the SBST 9/10 girls with a fifth-place finish. In the 9/10 boys category, Devon D. placed fifth.
Katie G. won the only gold medal for SBST at this event, in the 11/12 girls category. Ethan H. took seventh in the 11/12 boys competition. Richard O. took twelfth among the 13/14 boys.
SBST is poised to win big at the Tahoe League Championships March 20 – 21! Good luck to all of our racers! Results. (Ellen Reier, posted 3/25/4)
Max W. threw down a fantastic last run to win the recent Snowbomb.com Slopestyle event held at Sugar Bowl. Max stunned his fans by attempting his first back flip in competition on his first run. After losing his skis, everyone thought he would back it down a notch on his last run but Max calmly stomped the back flip while his teammates roared their approval. Max won a pair of Line Maverick skis for his solid performance. Andrew H. took third with another excellent show of aerial ability and stylish grinding skills. Luke G. deserves an honorable mention for the huge 720's he was throwing off the first jump. Unfortunately, Luke scared the ski pants out of all the spectators by bouncing off the second table while attempting a corked 7. He was rushed to the hospital for x-rays which thankfully showed no broken bones. The whole team is looking forward to seeing Luke back on the slopes soon. (John Stanley, posted 3/14/4)
Eleven members of the Steep and Deep Team skinned their way out to the Benson Hut last weekend for a couple of days of backcountry skiing. Shouldering large packs, the young skiers had the look of seasoned experts as they made their way out of bounds off the Lincoln chair even though many of them were on their first overnight ski excursion. Head coach, Eric D. had trained them in how to use skins, avalanche beacons, shovels and probes to ensure their safety in the magnificent terrain that surrounds Sugar Bowl. The unseasonably warm weather created less than ideal skiing conditions for the trip but everyone had a great time sleeping in the wilderness and climbing Mt. Anderson. Coach Eric D., Ski Patroller Courtney, parents Julie R. and Larry P. went above and beyond the call of duty in leading the expedition. (John Stanley, posted 3/14/4)
By being rated 30th in the nation, Andrew H. became the lone Sugar Bowl freestyle skier to qualify for next weeks Junior Olympics to be held in Silver Mountain, Idaho. Since hearing of his acceptance into the event, Andrew has been working hard with Steep and Deep Coach Sean Carey to perfect the landing of his huge 720's and to add a couple of off axis spins to his bag of tricks. While nothing is predictable in the wild, wild world of Big Air skiing, the one thing you can count on is that Andrew will continue to add to his reputation as an outstanding skier and a fine young man. (John Stanley, posted 3/14/4)
A mighty field of 20 boys and 18 girls competed in the second of three Intersquad races last month and the results showed the dramatic improvement in racing technique and corresponding fast times.
Taking the top three places for the girls where Natalie B., Hanna D. and Brooke H. respectively, with Natalie finishing with a combined time of 1:11.33.
For the boys, first place went to Thomas A. with a combined time of 1:03.90. Second and third places went to Luke R. and Griffin K. respectively.
In just two weeks the third and final inner-squad race will take place during the annual and very popular Silver Belt Weekend. Results. (Elissa Hambrecht, posted 3/9/4)
Stormy weather forced the cancellation of the J1/2 JO downhill at Mammoth and the rescheduling of the SuperG. A foot of new snow the day before the "rescheduled" first race forced Mammoth to reschedule the start a second time to Thursday, March 4. Racers were given the morning of March 3 to "practice" on the course. Everyone agreed that the morning was great fun!
By Thursday morning everyone was anxious to race. The weather was cool and clear with "packed powder" on the course. Everyone agreed that the course was very "turny", especially at the top. The women skied two races on Thursday and one on Friday. The men skied one race on Thursday and two on Friday. First year J2 Hannah W. lead the women with a third in the first race while Hailey K. finished fifth in the second race. On the men's side it was Charlie A. with the top SBST result with a fourteenth.
Friday was also sunny with the same "packed powder". The course was straighter and faster, although still "turny" at the top. The SBST women were happy with new comer Christina K. finishing first. For the two men's races Charlie A. finished ninth both morning and afternoon.
This race concluded the JO qualifiers for the J1/2s. The series was short one GS and the DH's both canceled due to weather. Eight of the seventeen women selected to compete at Mt. Bachelor are from SBST, with Brandy Barna number one in Far West race points. Congratulations Brandy B. and other selections Christina K., Courtney C., Hannah W., Amanda G., Erika H., Hailey K. and Ruthie G. Good work everyone! (Kat Calfee, posted 3/8/4)
SBST seven and eight year olds once again took gold medals and captured numerous top ten spots at a snowy and very exciting match on Donner Summit February 22. In the 7/8 girl category, Natalie D. won the contest, and currently holds a second-place standing in the League for the season! Kaelyn Y. took the bronze, and four other SBST girls took top 10 honors in this split GS event.
In the 7/8 boy category, Chris F. won the gold, and was joined in the top 10 group by four of his teammates. Chris is fourth place in the League and Calvin B. is third. There’s no denying that the SBST 7/8 racers are the Tahoe League’s best!
The snowfall intensified just as the 9/10 girls began their second runs, and the audience sadly watched three racers take big tumbles at the top of the course as SBST racers prepared to start. During some tense moments, with visibility quite low, the SBST girls executed their runs, fortunately without any mishaps. The 9/10 girls had two top 10 finishes, with Danica S. taking sixth.
Devin M. won a bronze medal in the 9/10 boy category, and was among four SBST racers who placed in the top 10. Devin now stands at fourth in the League, and his teammate Devon D. is just a few points behind, at sixth.
Jacquelin L., who is currently tied for second place in the League among the 11/12 girls, won silver at Boreal, and Katie F. won bronze. Among the 11/12 boys, Max A. took tenth place. Results. (Ellen Reier, posted 2/27/4)
This past weekend was the last of the J3 JO qualifiers. The Super G course set on Squaw's KT-22 was demanding, both because of the technical skill required and the weather conditions. This was the last of a series of JO qualifiers with points assigned World Cup style. The top five finishes for each athlete were assigned points that ranked them among all the Far West competitors. The top 23 men and the top 17 women were then selected as part of the Far West team to compete in the multi-region, Western States JO's being held in Sun Valley, March 18-21.
The pressure was on to do well. The snow conditions varied on the course,
with the top being very soft and the bottom much firmer. The light also
varied from one start to the next. On the first day both men and women ran
the same course. This made things even more challenging for the men as the
light was also very flat by late morning. One racer described the course
as riding an "invisible bucking bronco". Both the men and women placed two
in the top five. Paris T. and Jake B.
finished with a second and a fourth. On the women's side Kelsey C. smoked the field with a first and a full two second margin.
Day two, the weather was still not cooperating with intermittent snow showers. The men were set a separate course before their start. Paris T. and Jake B. liked that with a one and two. Alex R. was the top SBST women's competitor with an eleventh.
Day three, more snow! Jake B. took second and Paris T. fifth, making the third day to place in the top five for the pair. Kelsey C. took first again.
With the race over the JO selections were final. Sugar Bowl took the number one spot for both men and women in points with Jake B. and Kelsey C. Also, representing the men's side will be Ryan Macken, Paris T., Corey B., and Jonathan Z. For the women Abby G., Alex R., and Sammy A. will join the Far West team in Sun Valley. (Kat Calfee, posted 2/25/4)
On a snowy Saturday, the J5 Giant slalom took place on Fascination at Mammoth. For the women, Mara G. took the sixth spot, and Jeremy J. came in 9th in the men’s division, the only Sugar Bowl racers to crack the top 15.
The J4 super-G on adjacent Cornice Bowl/Terry’s fared better for the Sugar Bowl team, even with the poor visibility, with 4 women in the top 15, led by Cate K. in third. The men had similar results with the best finish a sixth by Ryan C.
The Sunday event occurred under heavy snowfall, with Coach Jim Hudson exhorting the teams to ski the course more aggressively in the slower conditions. The J5 women had improved results with Mara G. grabbing second place. The J5 men were represented by William C. in 10th.
The J4 forerunner went down, followed by course maintenance help, then more forerunners and then scores of course maintenance and coaches to try to get the course ready, but to no avail. The J4 super-G race was canceled due to the difficult conditions. (Jim Conroy, posted 2/25/4)
SBST racers had some great runs and a terrific time under beautiful sunny skies at Diamond Peak Tahoe League Race Series, February 7th and 8th. For many of the younger racers, this was their first dual slalom event. Racers and coaches reported “fabulous” free skiing in the afternoon.
Calvin B., in the 7/8 boy category, once again grabbed a medal, coming in third this time while Dana F. led the 7/8 girls Among the 9/10 boys, Devon D. led the SBST team with a fourth place finish. Brigette L. led the 9/10 girls with a 24th place finish.
Sunday saw excellent runs as well. In the 11/12 boy category, Ethan H. took fourth and Kate G. led the 11/12 girls, finishing eighth. Richard O. led the 13/14 boys in his tenth place finish. Results. (Ellen Reier, posted 2/13/4)
Conditions were almost perfect for the second Steep And Deep Big Mountain Freeride Competition of the season. The wind howled out of the East, blowing the soft snow into drifts on the course, and the young skiers were ready to show the judges how much they had improved since the last competition in December. At the last minute, a decision was made to move the competition from the West Palisades to the Nose of Disney. Parents lining the course would have their hands full keeping the rest of Sugar Bowl off the best conditions on the mountain.
In the 11 to 13 year old group, Luke G. pounded the fall line, throwing himself off some rocks to take first place. “I skied aggressively and caught a little air,” commented Luke, summarizing his key to victory. Galen R. repeated his solid outing in the first contest by claiming 2nd place. Nick S., skiing fast and smoothly, went from being out of contention in the first compettion to earn 3rd place.
In the 14 to 16 year old division, Andrew H. dethroned the reigning Big Mountain champ, Max W. who once again showed his solid form by taking 2nd place. “Max was going really fast,” said Andrew, “so I knew I had to go even faster.” This time Andrew’s skis stayed on his feet and with some air and a few grabs he was a well deserved winner. Alex S. improved to 3rd place by skiing cleanly and hucking a couple of rocks on the way.
Everyone attending the competition marveled at the improvement made by all the young athletes. Thanks go out to the coaches, parents and athletes for making this a celebration of the young skiers new found talents. Results. Photos. (John Stanley, posted 2/12/4)
Both Saturday and Sunday were clear and cold, however, Saturday had a couple inches of powder from a light storm the night before. The SL and GS courses were set on Fascination and were in good shape. Generally the points for Mid-J3 races are pretty good, however, with many athletes out of town things were looking pretty sparse. Thank you to the coaches from SBST and Auburn/Alpine who jumped in to help lower the points for the athletes. (The penalty points for a race are determined by the USSA point standing of the top five starting athletes and the top ten finishing athletes. These are the penalty points assigned to the race. Your athlete gets a point result based on the penalty points combined with their race points - their finish in relationship to the number onefinisher. For a complete description look at the USSA manual.)
Second J3 year Kelsey C. is coming out strong from her injuries leading the SBST women with a fourth on Saturday's SL and a second on Sunday's GS. Way to go Kelsey! SBST's women put four in the top ten and six in the top fifteen finishes both Saturday and Sunday. Way to go women!
On the men's side Cory B. was the top SBST finisher both days with a sixth in the SL and a tenth in the GS. The men also placed six in the top fifteen in Saturday's SL and Sunday's GS found four in the top fifteen Good work men! (Kat Calfee, posted 2/11/4)