Bear Valley Snowsports Education Foundation (BVSEF) held the first Far West Central Sierra Series race of the season at Bear Valley Mountain Feb. 10-11. Racers from the age of seven to 13 demonstrated their technical skills and racing slalom. Participating teams included Bear Valley, Dodge Ridge, China Peak, Yosemite and Sierra at Tahoe. Excellent snow conditions, clear skies and cold temperatures provided a great weekend of racing.
“We are pleased to collaborate with BVSEF on hosting the Rasmussen Classic Slalom Race which gives our current team athletes a chance to shine and grow, while highlighting former three-time Olympic ski racer Kyle Rasmussen, Bear Valley native,” said Bear Valley general manager Andrea Young. “Youth ski racing has fun and social opportunities for kids and parents and allows athletes to learn healthy lifestyle habits and improve athletic and mental skills. In addition, we strive to foster their appreciation for the spectacular Sierra environment they play and race in as well.
On Saturday Feb. 10, in the U10 ladies category, Maryn Ludlow, of Dodge Ridge, took first with a combined time of 1:47.20. Olivia Gluchowski, of Bear Valley, finished second and Iona Liu, of Dodge Ridge, placed third. On Sunday Feb. 11, Bear Valley racer Addison Gwin finished first with a combined time of 1:11.58, which was the fastest time in both the male and female under 10 categories. One of the youngest racers, seven-year-old Leah Homsy, of Bear Valley, took second and Dodge Ridge racer Maryn Ludlow finished third.
In the U12 category, Dodge Ridge’s Madelyn Utterback took first on Saturday, with a combined time of 1:54.41. First-year ski racer Nikki Kannan, of Bear Valley, finished second and Bear’s Elise Fowler came in third. On Sunday, Fowler finished first with a combined time of 1:57.70. Utterback, of Dodge Ridge, was second and Kannan of Bear Valley took third.
The U14 ladies had a dominant figure with Eleri Colon from Bear, charging her way to first both days, earning her the Rasmussen Golden Cowbell. The Cowbell is awarded to the top female and male under 14, who throw down the fastest combined time for the entire weekend. Bear’s Amelia Tyler finished second both days, with Sarah Azevedo of Dodge Ridge in third.
Alison Carter, of Bear Valley, was the sole female U16 racer of the weekend. Carter showed tenacity after missing a gate on the top section of the course the first day and hiking back up to complete her run. She finished first both days.
For the men’s U10, Bear Valley’s Liam Colon swept the competition, topping the podium Saturday and Sunday. Rohan Naidu, of Bear Valley, finished second both days. Charles Ferguson, of China Peak, came in third on Saturday and William Tyler, of Bear Valley, finished third on Sunday.
The U12 men’s category had Dodge Ridge racer Owen Bartholow on top of the podium with a combined time of 1:46 on Saturday, followed by Bear Valley’s Kyle Ridosko in second and Hans Ramirez in third. Ramirez put down a strong performance Sunday to take first with Bartholow in second and Ridosko in third.
The U14 men’s race had Nathanael Ridosko, of Bear Valley, in first with 1:38.59, Noah Petersen, of China Peak, in second and Brendan Byrne, of Yosemite, in third on Saturday. On Sunday, Bear’s Jakob Shawkey battled to take first with a combined time of 1:43.84, with Dodge racer Skyler Kivley in second and Byrne in third. Kivley took home the Rasmussen Golden Cowbell.
U16 racer Danny Kelsay, of Dodge Ridge, dominated the course both days with a top time of 1:28.52. On Saturday and Sunday, Bear Valley’s Ryan Ridosko and Andreas Ramirez took second and third respectively.
“Our kids did an outstanding job,” said Bear Valley’s head race coach Nick Shawkey. “They are performing really well, working hard and having fun with the available terrain. There have been many early morning training days, on top of regular practice, that have translated into some great results and podium finishes.”