The Yosemite Race Team strikes gold in the heart of Gold Country, at the Dodge Ridge Ski Resort in Pinecrest on Feb. 22 and 23, with five first place awards, four of them by Ahwahnee brother and sister Blake and Emerson Action.
Blake Action, 13, had two first place finishes in the boys under 14 division, and Emerson Action had two first place finishes in the under 12 division.
Will Fontana of Coulterville won the gold on Sunday in the boys under 16 division.
At the end of the event, the Dodge Ridge coach announced that the names of Blake Action and Emerson Action will be engraved on a historic perpetual plaque at Dodge Ridge the "forever plaque" in honor for the fastest combined times in their categories for Saturday and Sunday races.
Sophie Seljeseth of Coarsegold had a good weekend, winning fifth and sixth place medals in the girls under 12 division.
The Giant Slalom is the first speed event of the USSA/Far West Central Series ski racing season, taking place on the steep course at Dodge Ridge. One of the challenges overcome by the Yosemite Race Team was the advantage for the Dodge Ridge Race Team as they trained for days on the specific ski slope where the race course was set, whereas the Yosemite Team did not have the opportunity to train on the course.
The Dodge Ridge Race team is the behemoth of the USSA/Far West Central Series, more than 10 times the size of the Yosemite Race Team this year.
Support for the Yosemite Race Team comes from the Yosemite Winter Club, volunteers/parents that help the team, and the Delaware North Companies (DNC). Dan Jensen, president of DNC in Yosemite, and the manager of Badger Pass, Colin Baldock, (Badger Pass/DNC management), both recognize the importance of the Yosemite Winter Club and its long history of promoting winter sports in Yosemite.
The Yosemite Ski Team provides young athletes the opportunity to excel in winter sports while training in Yosemite National Park. The collaborative cooperation between the Yosemite Winter Club and Badger Pass dates back to the late 1920s when the winter club was created to promote winter sports in the park.
DNC supports the Yosemite Winter Club and it's racing teams by providing the use of DNC's facilities for on race days, free season passes to Badger Pass to race and freestyle team members, start ramps and groomed terrain for practice, personal athlete lockers, and the annual season kick off dinner/dance.