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Jen Rhines wins half-marathon in Houston, Patrick Smyth third

January 31, 2011

The Mammoth Track Club just keeps clicking along.

Jennifer Rhines won the the U.S. half-marathon championship Saturday in Houston, finishing with a personal-best 1 hour, 11 minutes, 14 seconds.

"You always have to be happy when you run a PR [personal record]," Rhines said. "You never know when you're going to have ups and downs. I'm just going to enjoy this today."

Meanwhile, Patrick Smyth, also representing the Mammoth Track Club, finished third in the men’s division, behind former Mammoth Track Club member Ryan Hall.

Run of the Week: Climax

January 28, 2011

On Mammoth Mountain, where great skiing at all levels is bountiful, only a few can be classified as iconic.

The runs might include Broadway, or Dave’s Run, or St. Anton.

Perhaps the most iconic run, though, is Climax, the aptly named bowl just to skier’s left of the Upper Gondola at 11,053 feet.

It is a wide-open double-black, although by the time spring comes and the bowl is filled in, a skier could probably move that rating back to a single black diamond.

Getting there is easy.

June Mountain Ski Parol stages second annual disaster rescue clinic

January 28, 2011

“It’s been a long time since Mono County has seen a catastrophic event,” said Eric Diem, director of the June Mountain Ski Patrol.

Diem staged the second annual avalanche rescue training on Thursday, Jan. 20 for the June Lake and Lee Vining volunteer fire departments.

Following last year’s successful clinic, Diem put together a manual with guidelines for some of the larger agencies that don’t deal with snow crises on a regular basis.

Johnny Teller, on top of the world

January 14, 2011

Mammoth’s John Teller was sitting in his hotel room in France, but he may as well have been standing on top of the world.

Teller zoomed to the top of the World Cup standings in Ski Cross last week, winning in St. Johann, Austria in a close but decisive finish. He finished third this week and slipped to third in rankings.

“I’m hoping that this opens the door to the next four years leading up to the Olympics,” Teller said in a Skype interview from L’Alpe d’Huez.

Teller opened his season with a third-place podium finish, also in Austria, which excited just about everybody on the tour

New Huskies hoops coach keeps his chin up

January 14, 2011

Jason Patterson has an impossible job, and he loves it.

The new Mammoth Huskies boys basketball coach has nine freshmen, three sophomores, no juniors, two seniors and no victories in its first 10 games.

Another coach might want to jump overboard with a situation like this, but not Patterson.

“Basketball is my love,” he said. “It’s been a great blessing to be here with these guys this year.”

A native of a small town in Washington, Patterson said he comes to coaching by way of his dad, who coached just about everything there was to coach.

Pop-Up Terrain Parks coming to Mammoth Mountain

January 14, 2011

The innovations among the Unbound Terrain Parks crew on Mammoth Mountain are roaring ahead.

This time, it’s the “Pop-Up Park.”

It’s a Terrain Park that will “pop up” at various sites on the mountain, and then be dismantled, never to be seen again.

According to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area spokesman Dan Hansen, this will allow “unique” park experiences outside the regular terrain parks, in spots in the mountain that parks players may have always wanted to have a park, but didn’t.

They are not permanent, lasting a maximum of four to six weeks.

If it's Tuesday, it must be the Village Championships

January 8, 2011

Some towns in America have bowling and basketball leagues to keep them happy in the winter.

In Mammoth, we ski.

The Village Championships return to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area for the 35th year this Tuesday, a noontime tradition on the ski hill and a Happy Hour tradition in pubs and watering holes all over town.

While it’s a whole snowpile full of fun for almost everybody, “some people take this very seriously,” said Drew Kemple of the Race Department.

Johnny Teller wins first World Cup of 2011

January 8, 2011

St. Johann, Austria (Jan. 7) American Ski Cross athlete John Teller, of Mammoth Lakes, CA won the first Ski Cross World Cup of 2011 and the first World Cup Ski Cross ever for an American. Teller, who was third place in the second World Cup of the season in December, won every heat on his way to victory under the lights in St. Johann, Austria. “I can’t believe it,” said Teller, “I owned every heat.”

Mammoth ran its way to glory in 2010

December 31, 2010

In Mammoth, we run. And run. Then we run some more.

Whether it’s the New York City Marathon, the Boston Marathon, the Las Vegas Marathon or wherever distance runners gather, the Mammoth Track Club came up big in 2010.

One of the questions among us this past year is whether we are a ski town or a runners’ town.
We’re both, of course, and the runners are catching up fast.

Ryan Hall, who left the track club late in the season, nevertheless represented us well, finishing fourth in the Boston Marathon in April, just ahead of fifth-place finisher Meb Keflezighi.

Teller takes third in Ski Cross World Cup race

December 23, 2010

While those in Mammoth obsessed about snow last weekend, Mammoth’s Ski Cross star, Johnny Teller, was in Innichen, Italy competing in Sunday’s World Cup race.

Not only competing: Teller made it to the podium for a third place bronze medal, behind winner Scott Kneller of Australia (a former Mammoth Mountain Ski Team racer) and Switzerland’s Alex Fiva.

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