Members of the Yosemite Ski Team braved temperatures of minus 14 degrees Jan. 12 and 13 at the Rasmussen Classic Slalom ski race at Bear Valley.
Being the first race of the season, there were plenty of skiers missing gates, crashing off course, or losing a ski throughout the two-day event. Yet, the seven Yosemite Ski Team racers, ranging in age from 8 to 14, won 10 awards over two days of racing against more than 80 other young racers.
The Yosemite Ski Team's racers at Bear Valley included fifth year racers Blake and Emerson Action of Ahwahnee. Blake recorded the fastest time for the team's boys and sister Emerson clocked the fastest times for girls team.
Lola and Zhenka Beams, of Oakhurst, are already winning rookies this year. From Coulterville, Will Fontana, in his second year of ski racing, won first place in his age division. Will's sister, Amelia Fontana, is in her rookie year. Medal winner Sophie Seljeseth of Coarsegold is a third year ski racer.
Yosemite ski Team award winners:
Blake Action, 12: 4th place and 6th place (boys under 14).
Emerson Action, 9: 2nd place (girls under 10).
Lola Beams, 8: 5th place and 8th place (girls under 10).
Zhenka Beams, age 8: 6th place and 9th place (boys under 10).
Will Fontana, age 14: 1st place and 2nd place (boys under 16).
Sophie Seljeseth, age 10: 9th place (girls under 12).
The Yosemite Winter Club and The Delaware North Company provide support for the Yosemite Ski Race Team. Head coach Tom Medema and coach Lee Tarnay train the team for competitions in the Central Series with China Peak, Dodge Ridge, and Bear Valley Race Teams in the Far West division of the U. S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA).
USSA is the national governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboarding. Training for the Yosemite ski racers takes place at their home mountain, Badger Pass, in Yosemite National Park.