Diamond Peak tests West’s best | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Diamond Peak tests West’s best

More than 200 athletes from California and Nevada met at Mammoth, Calif., for the last of three regular-season races in the J4-5 age group.

Heavenly again sent a large representation to the pair of super-G’s on Saturday and Sunday. The course was short and fast, and racers hit speeds of about 50 miles per hour.

Heavenly’s tandem of Courtney Carmichael and Kendall Northrop again impressed. Carmichael won Saturday and placed third Sunday. Northrup won Sunday and was fourth Saturday. Freestyler Tamara Sharkey showed Alpine skills, placing 24th and 15th. Sydney Dufty was 38th and 44th.

Sierra’s Jake Baker was second among J5 racers on Saturday and 12th Sunday. The Kirkwood Ski Education Foundation’s Cory Wehan was 29th Sunday. In the J4 division, Kirkwood’s Erik Sambrailo was eighth on Saturday, ahead of teammates Bryce Wehan (tied-22nd), Holden Sapp (24th) and Justin Schiller (63rd).

Marty Harris, 11, led the Heavenly boys with a fifth-place finish Saturday and a third on Sunday. Donnie Little added a ninth and a 124th, P.J. Bacon was 13th on Saturday before falling Sunday, and Marty Rahbeck was 57th and 60th.

The Heavenly team took a pair of young racers, which came away with strong results. Kyle Smaine, 8, was 12th and 13th, and Dayne Carmichael, 9, had a 28th and a 31st.

On Feb. 19, 15 boys and 12 girls in the J4 age class met at Diamond Peak for the J4 Festival Qualifier.

The 11-and-12-year-old athletes came from California and Nevada, based on their results from the last four races of the year. Of the 27 athletes who qualified, five – Carmichael, Northrup, Marty Harris, Little and Bacon – came from the Heavenly Ski Foundation.

The first of the six runs started at 8:30 a.m., and racers took three slalom and three giant slalom runs. The fastest three girls and boys qualified for the J4 Festival in Mammoth, Calif., at the end of March, where they will compete against the top ski racers in the West for spots on the U.S. Whistler Cup team. The top J4s in the world meet in the Whistler Cup in Whistler, Canada. The pressure was high, but Heavenly’s racers handled it like pros.

Northrup had three second-place finishes and a first, giving her the first slot in the J4 festival. Carmichael won two races and finished third twice, qualifying her for second. Harris, 11, had a second, a third and two fourths, which made him the first alternate for the festival. Little had a respectable three fifth-places and a sixth. Bacon, also 11, placed sixth, seventh, eighth and 11th in his four runs.

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