Bear Valley Hosts Central Sierra’s Top Junior Racers for Slalom and Giant Slalom
By Lindsay Gwin
The twice-postponed Rasmussen Classic, the first Central Sierra Series race of the season was finally held on Jan 28 & 29 under bright sunny skies. Racers ages seven to sixteen showed off their speed skills, racing slalom Saturday and giant slalom on Sunday. Participating teams included; Bear Valley, Dodge Ridge, China Peak and Yosemite.
Racers from Bear Valley shined on the top of the podium both days, taking first place in four of the seven age categories in both disciplines.
In the U10 Ladies category, Addison Gwin, racing for Bear Valley at eight years old, took first place both days, with a margin of over seventeen seconds in the slalom. Jacqueline Manning of Dodge Ridge took second place, with Tayler Torosian of China Peak coming in third for the slalom on Saturday. In the GS on Sunday, Candice Carroll, racing for Bear Valley at nine years old, took second with Tayler Torosian of China Peak taking third.
In the U12 Ladies category, Eleri Colon, racing for Bear Valley took first place both days. Colon is the recent recipient of the Tecnica Blizzard and Keely’s Ski Camp “Girl on Fire” award for displaying her dedication and passion for skiing on and off the hill. In Saturday’s slalom race, Meara McCarthy of Dodge Ridge took second, with Sarah Azevedo of Dodge taking third.
The U14 Ladies also had a dominant figure with Victoria Gast of Dodge Ridge charging her way to first both days, earning her the Rasmussen Golden Cowbell. The Cowbell is awarded to the top female and male under fourteen, who throw down the fastest combined time for the entire weekend. In the slalom, Ciela Johnson, Dodge Ridge was second place and Alison Carter of Bear Valley took third. On Sunday the Giant Slalom had Regan Jackson of China Peak taking second and Carter on the podium again at third.
For the U10 men’s slalom Dodge Ridge swept the podium with Bobby Klaje in first, Kane Hall in second and Curtis Klaje in third. In the GS race, Charles Ferguson of China Peak took first, with Kane Hall of Dodge in second and Silas Booth of Dodge in third.
The U12 Men’s category had Bear Valley’s Nathanael Ridosko, speeding his way into first in both disciplines with a four second lead. Laith Aryan of China Peak took second and Dodge’s Owen Bartholow placed third both days.
Another member of the Ridosko family ruled his age category, with Bear’s Ryan Ridosko winning the U14 Men’s slalom and GS. Ridosko also took home the Rasmussen Golden Cowbell award. Jakob Shawkey, sped his way into second both days. The third-place podium spot was taken by Zander Nichols of China Peak on Saturday, and Jeremy Rosoff of Dodge on Sunday.
Competitors and spectators alike enjoyed watching U16 racer Danny Kelsay of Dodge Ridge burn down the hill in his flame covered speed suit. You could hear the crowd’s excitement as everyone waited for his run. Kelsay dominated both days and also foreran for the younger racer’s course. In the Slalom event Matthew Cunanan skied into second with Maximillian Nichols taking third; both from China Peak.
A MILLION THANKS to all our volunteers for their dedication and support including: Lindsay Gwin, Nick and Shana Shawkey, Bill and Christine Colon, Gary Smith, Ellen Hoffman, John and Sandee Watts, Margarethe Ramirez, Maryanne and Daniel Ridosko, Andy Shawkey, John Watts, Ed Hanson, Alan Glenday, Zac Comstock, Larry, Karen and Carol Lipe, Melissa and Kirk Mountain, Devi Prasad, Sally Harms, Matt and Erin Carter, Katie Crawford, Eugene and Anastasia Sytnik. Plus all the gate judges, coaches and parent volunteers from the visiting teams.