Archive - Sports Article
May 20th, 2011
It‚Äôs been a long winter up here in the northern Eastern Sierra; eight months of snow, a cold, cold April, flowers frozen on the bud in May.
Even the most ski-crazy winter fanatic is beginning to feel cheated, as May gives way to June with more snow predicted for next week.
But there is hope.
It‚Äôs called a car. Yes, cars are gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing monsters that we should feel guilty for driving. But they are also the essence of freedom and adventure and in this case, escape.
As it turns out, we‚Äôre too high for our own good up here.
Not really, but when it comes to World Cup biathlon, Mammoth is way over the limit in terms of elevation regulations, according to Mammoth Winter Biathlon Director Mike Karch.
That does not take Mammoth out of the winter biathlon universe, by any stretch, he said.
But it might make it difficult if Mammoth has any designs on conducting a World Cup event.
There are times when a hike is just not a hike. It‚Äôs something else, maybe many things else; an adventure, a discovery, a meditation, a love song.
So it is with the hike up Hilton Creek in early May after the biggest winter on record; a winter when the Long Valley area received 195 percent of its normal snowfall.
The fact that most people don‚Äôt even know there is a Hilton Creek hereabouts only adds to this hike being a bit more of a mystery.
On April 2, Toby Qualls, a sophomore at Mammoth High School, traveled to Lancaster, Calif., to run in the very competitive, Michele Perry Invitational. Many California high schools travel to this invitational, because of the high level of competition.
Qualls began competition in the varsity 1600 meter event. Because of his previous fast times in the 1600, he was then bumped up automatically into the elite championship race.
Ryan Hall, one of Mammoth‚Äôs great distance runners, on Monday set a new American record for the Boston Marathon.
Hall, formerly a member of the Mammoth Track Club but who still trains here, ran the 26 miles in 2:04:55.
It is not a formally recognized record because the Boston Marathon is a kind of an odd duck in marathon circles, not quite conforming to world or national standards.
He led for much of the race before being overtaken near the end.
More to come as details roll in.
Mammoth is good at fund-raising. We‚Äôve got a million of ‚Äėem, it seems.
But at the top of the heap right now is the Mammoth Invitational, a race-filled weekend featuring pro skiers and boarders that went off last weekend on behalf of the Mammoth Community Foundation.
Foundation executive director John Armstrong said the event on Mammoth Mountain raised nearly $500,000 on behalf of the town‚Äôs kids.
The foundation is committed to raising funds to provide an added margin of excellence for academic and athletic programs for youth in our community.
The Andrea Lawrence Award for passionate engagement in community and the land will be given to the Eastern Sierra Audubon Society in recognition of its critical efforts to support the Owens Lakebed Master Plan, the Mono Lake Committee announced today.
As if by magic, Sunday morning dawned clear.
And Mike Karch‚Äôs vision of winter biathlon shone in the morning light.
‚ÄúIt was an amazing vision,‚ÄĚ said Alana Levin. ‚ÄúHe (Karch) created the whole thing.‚ÄĚ
After a week of heavy snows in the Eastern Sierra, volunteers cleared the course and the fourth annual Mammoth Winter Biathlon got under way.
Three divisions of two waves each came out for Sunday‚Äôs race: Intermediate, Elite/National Guard and Advanced.
Everyone wondered if the massive amounts of snow falling on Mammoth last week would jeopardize the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink Roxy Chicken Jam.
Mammoth Mountain crews worked heroically on the halfpipe, but the greater challenge for the competitors seemed to be whether to compete or ride the rich pow.
The seventh annual Roxy Chicken Jam arrived at Mammoth Mountain amid snow, wind and a flurry of Facebook postings and Tweets.
Mammoth‚Äôs Recreation Department has embarked on an ambitious summer schedule.
At least six new camps were announced on the town website last week, including two mountain bike camps, two skate camps and a ‚ÄúExperience a Bit O‚Äô Britain!‚ÄĚ camp.
In the ‚ÄúChallenger British Sports Camps,‚ÄĚ campers will learn from British coaches games like Tag Rugby, Cricket, Rounders, Kick Ball, British Bull Dogs and team relays and obstacle courses.
Local resident Tomas Rodriquez has won the National Masters half marathon championship, held in Melbourne, Florida, on Feb. 6, 2011.
He won the national title for his age group (55-59) with a time of 1 hour, 24 minutes, and eight seconds for the 13.2 mile course.
Rodriguez, who splits his time between Mammoth Lakes and Laguna Beach, came out of retirement two and a half years ago, after a 30-year break from distance running. Although very successful during his college running days, a national title eluded him. His highest NCAA finish was 11th.
Despite having a tiny campground right on it, despite being only a mile from Mammoth, little Sherwin Creek Road just to the southeast of town has a wild and lovely feel that makes it a great cross-country ski destination for an afternoon, or even for a day-long adventure.
The gravel road is covered in snow right now, making it a perfect place for skiing Mammoth‚Äôs spring snow.
On a blue-sky Sunday in New York City Mammoth runners scored high points in the New York Half-Marathon, March 20.
Meb Keflezighi finished 15th overall and second in his age group.
Alistair Cragg finished sixth overall and second in his age group.
Ryan Hall finished 21st overall and eighth in his age group.
For complete results, go to http://www.nyrr.org/races/2011/nychalf/
Try a trip down ‚ÄėThe Hose‚Äô
As if you didn‚Äôt notice, spring skiing more or less opened this past week, with warm temperatures and longer hours of daylight.
For backcountry skiers, it is the best time of the year. The gullies and canyons are filled in with about as much snow as they‚Äôre going to get, making the steeps a little less steep, with wonderful corn snow on the way shortly.
There are hundreds of great spots to ski in the spring around here.
But the Sherwins keep drawing us in.
Partly it‚Äôs because they‚Äôre so darned accessible ‚Äď right out our back door.
One look at the course map for the 2011 Mammoth Winter Biathlon and you know this is serious business.
It resembles an Olympic course.
It has a stadium built into the hill that looks out to the shooting lanes and across the lanes where competitors will pass three times during the course of the race.
Thus, spectators will be able to keep up on who‚Äôs in the lead, how often the lead changes, who is shooting when and who‚Äôs taking their penalty laps.
‚ÄúBiathlon is changing and becoming much more spectator friendly,‚ÄĚ said Race Director Mike Karch.