John Teller (Mammoth Lakes, CA) tucks into the finish line, winning the USANA Skiercross at the Sprint Grand Prix at Canyons. (U.S. Ski Team - Tom Kelly)
PARK CITY, Utah – (March 1) John Teller (Mammoth Lakes, CA) defended his lead down the tight, technical course to win the USANA Skicross and the U.S. Championship title at the Sprint Grand Prix at Canyons Resort. Madeline Riffel (Mammoth Lakes, CA) recovered after a first turn crash to snag second in the women’s race, also clinching the U.S. title. Tyler Wallasch (Mammoth Lakes, CA) finished second in the men’s race after a fierce battle to advance through the semi-finals, and Langley McNeal (Sun Valley, ID) took the third spot after going down in the final race. France’s Ophelie David won for the women.
John Teller (Mammoth Lakes, CA) kept his lead down the tight, technical course to win the USANA Skicross and the U.S. title at the Sprint Grand Prix at Canyons.
Madeline Riffel (Mammoth Lakes, CA) recovered after a first turn crash to snag second in the women’s race, also clinching the U.S. title. This was her first podium.
Tyler Wallasch (Mammoth Lakes, CA) finished second in the men’s race after a fierce battle in the semis.
In the semi-finals, Wallasch was in third and had to make a reach to make second. He missed the opportunity at the beginning, but was able to capitalize on the pass towards the end and advanced to the finals.
Langley McNeal (Sun Valley, ID) took the third spot despite her fall in the finals when India Charlotte (Canada) slid across her tails and sent her into the fencing.
France’s Ophelie David won for the women.
Brant Crossan (Steamboat, CO), Tyler Ricioli (Mammoth Lakes, CA) and Joe Swensson (Niantic, CT) placed fourth, fifth and sixth and Tania Prymak (Goshen, NY)
The tricky, narrow course didn’t allow for much passing and yielded hard crashes throughout all the heats
This was a great day for Mammoth Lakes: Tyler, John and Maddy all from Mammoth Lakes.
Next up FIS World Ski Championships Mar. 5-10 at Voss, Norway.
QUOTES John Teller I am so proud of Tyler, I am proud of myself too it was hard work. It always depends on the course because if you draft behind and take the lead towards the end sometimes you can't get it back, but this course it worked out for me to get the lead at the beginning. It's a narrow course and conditions were soft today and it makes it hard to make a pass because it's a bit sticky so it was good to get in front and stay out there. Last season this event was disappointing, I had three crashes in a row, but I am so happy I was able to ski well today and get on the podium. It's so great to have Tyler and Maddy up there with me, both of these guys go to my skicross camps in the summer and I coached Tyler in football when he was in high school. It's very cool. I turn 30 in nine days and I like to say I'm 30 years young, I am still 18 years at heart. I am looking forward to World Champs next week and I hope that I can continue to ski well there. It feels good to be at the top heading into World Champs.
Madeline Riffel I didn't see this coming, Langely was down and I just had to finish the race. I saw Langley's ski on the ground and I thought 'I'm in second!" I need to finish this and I am so excited. I had great practices this week- It's a great course, crashes always come with the territory, it's fairly safe as long as you are in control. If you go off sideways off the turns you are in trouble. My wax was perfect, but the turns were pretty slushy. Ophelie is amazing and I am so glad she came, I really look up to her and it's a great experience to get to race against her. She is leading all the World Cup's right now and it's great to have her here.
Langley McNeal The slush mixed with the high G forces we were getting in those turns there wasn't a lot of space in there and I think we were tight in the turns. My fall in finals was a bummer, India hit the backs of my tails and I almost got up, but she got my tails and it spun me up. Maddie was able to dodge us and she was able to take second, and it's pretty cool for her. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little crushed [on not winning the National title] it is pretty cool to see Maddy take it though. She's a great girl and good to see young talent coming up.
Tyler Wallasch It was a super fun day- to be in the final and with John Teller who is kind of my idol. He's a great mentor and he got me into the sport, I wanted to beat him, but it's awesome to be behind him. He's the best in the world, he's 12 years older than me. He coached me when I was in high school playing football. I've known him forever and he's an awesome guy and I really look up to him. Growing up it's what you dream about being on the podium with John and this is a dream come true for me. I hope I can keep this going and keep up with him. There's always a lot of crashes in skicross and I took my own in training this morning and got close to the net and didn't really want to do it again, my butt is a little sore. After the first heat I was able to get my confidence back and go for it again!