Archive - Sports Article
‘Slopeside Center’ revamped; hundreds of athletes here
Sometimes, dreams really do come true.
Dave McCoy’s vision of a high-altitude training center at Mammoth Mountain—a dream that has passed through generations of racers and coaches—will come to fruition Thursday afternoon (Dec. 27).
The sleet poured down in great, slanting sheets as I walked the narrow, unplowed road. I bent my (hatless) head into the wind and picked up my drenched and booted feet and kept walking. Cars passed me, casting off heavy chunks of rain-soaked snow from their spinning tires, soaking me even more.
It didnâ€™t really matter at that pointâ€”it was impossible to get much wetter.
â€śWhat a @# $@ idiot,â€ť I mumbled to myself, rain dripping off my face, not one word in three fit to print.
In one of the more enduring traditions that Mammoth has to offer, the Village Championships rank among the top.
For 37 years, the locals in Mammoth have raced each other on the racecourses at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, and itâ€™s no time to stop now.
With good snow cover expected throughout the season, the VCs open Jan. 8 and continue through the Finals on April 9.
The old hands will be at it again, with new faces once more popping into view.
The theme this season is â€śCOLOSSAL,â€ť said Drew Krempel of the ski areaâ€™s race department.
It might be the most madcap carnival ride in all of California.
Chair 23, a fixed-grip triple that recently was named among the â€śTop Seven Iconic Chairlifts in the Worldâ€ť by a notable ski website, rises to the top of the Mammoth Mountain crest as one of the hairiest rides on any ski hill anywhere.
â€śItâ€™s definitively a sphincter-tightening ride,â€ť said Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO Rusty Gregory, who as a young strapper on his way up the chain of command helped build the lift in 1982.
After a hiatus of three seasons, girls basketball is back at Mammoth High School.
In the first tryouts for the new program, 33 girls took a stab at the nets under the watchful eye of new coach William Bauman, a 26-year-old long, tallâ€”really tallâ€”drink of water from Minnesota.
â€śBasketball is turning a corner in town,â€ť said Bauman, who was recently married to Mammoth local John Eastmanâ€™s daughter, Danielle.
â€śItâ€™s just the greatest sport ever invented.â€ť
Bauman said he played a bit of college hoops before arriving in Mammoth, and is familiar with womenâ€™s basketball in particular.
The new track on Benton Crossing Road near the Whitmore Animal Shelter is ready to go.
Its Grand Opening is Saturday, Nov. 17, at noon with members of the Mammoth Track Club, town officials and the track’s main proponent, runner Elaine Smith.
In the dark November night, the snow-struck silence is broken by a cacophony of noise and the floor of the bedroom erupts.
My border collie Skye slams up on top of the bed from the floor, bouncing on her toes, barking at the closed window.
We pull the curtain back, and shine the big flashlight, hastily retrieved from its home under the bed, toward the cars and parking lot just 30 feet from the window.
Plunging one sandaled foot into the knee-deep snow, the other sliding on icy slush and mud, tired from the last two hours of the same, I was starting to dream about warm summer beaches.
I had climbed up this remote canyon north of Bridgeport last Saturday with the devil at my heels, running from winter, chasing gold.
A few months more than a hundred years ago, in the small French village of Megeve, a baker’s wife had a son named Emile.
In the last week, a lot of newspapers and some television news have chronicled the death of 100-year-old Emile Allais. They write about him winning two world championships in the downhill and slalom ski races in 1936 and 1937, as well as an Olympic gold medal in 1936. He would have won a third year in a row if he had not broken his ankle.
The Mammoth High School volleyball teams turned in a strong performance Tuesday, both winning matches over Mojave in Desert Mountain League play.
The varsity won, 25-14, 29-27, 25-20 bringing the girlsâ€™ record to 4-5 and keeping their playoff hope alive.
Notable performances were by Becca Albright (three aces and two kills); Bailey Rowan (five kills); Jolene Senn (four aces and two kills); Sydney Knadler (three aces and five kills); and Kyra Mckee and Cassidy Morris (12 assists each).
Meanwhile, the Mammoth JV girls won 25-15, 25-11, upping their DML record to a perfect 9-0.
Mammoth High School runner Jody Meads has been selected as athlete of the week for her performance at the Mount Sac Invitational earlier this month.
Jody finished second, behind last year’s California state champion. She was the first runner to finish from the Southern Section.
Jody’s coaches say she looks impressive as she and the Mammoth High School cross country team near the end of the regular season and focus on the CIF prelims and finals.
The rain is coming down hard, heavy, horizontal and very loud.
Every October, there’s a race to see who can offer the first skiing in America for yet another winter.
It was 1 a.m. when we woke up from a rough and restless nap on the hard ground and stumbled to our feet.
The moon had just come up over the sharp and spired ridges of Mt. Tom to the south and it shone through the elegant, black lodgepole pines like silver water.
But we were in no mood for its beauty, even though we had been waiting for it to rise over the ridge since a 10 p.m. break, when black night had descended into the deep gorge of Pine Creek Canyon.
In the early 1970s, I was producing a movie for my old friend Bob Maynard, the President of Keystone, Colo., at the time. I had met Bob in 1944 when I was skiing at Badger Pass in Yosemite.
I was in the Navy and stationed in San Francisco at the time. I had hitch-hiked to Yosemite for the weekend and paid my $3 to rent skis and boots for the day. Bob Maynard handed me my rental ski boots of soft leather with turned up box toes.