Skiing / Bob Lochner : Young and Old Taking to Slopes at Mammoth

The young, the old and the not-too-old will gather at Mammoth Mountain next week for a pair of events that figure to bridge the generation gap, if anything can.

Sharing the same slopes and saloons, more or less, will be (1) the nation's top 300 Masters racers in 10 age classes and (2) about 7,000 or so college students on spring break.

The mature crowd will be competing in the National Alpine Masters championships, conducted by the U.S. Ski Assn., with races scheduled for Sunday through March 22.

Mammoth owner Dave McCoy is one of the favorites in the over-70 age group.

The collegiate types will be taking part in Snowbound '87, an event designed by sponsoring Miller Lite as an attempt "to transfer the flavor of the traditional college spring beach trip to the ski slopes."

Jack (Hacksaw) Reynolds, the former Ram and San Francisco 49er, will be on hand for the Monday-through-March 27 festivities, which include free NASTAR racing, apres-ski action and a "missing-case" contest with $2,500 in prizes.

The estimate of 7,000 expected participants is based on last year's turnout for a similar event at Steamboat, Colo.

Everyone racing at Mammoth next week could probably benefit from taking a look at a new home video, "Billy Kidd's Ski Racing," which was released last month by Prism Entertainment.

Kidd, the 1964 Olympic silver medalist in slalom and 1970 World combined champion, mixes his own racing tips with footage of some of the top international competitors, keeping it all basic and simple.

"World class ski racers have a lot in common with recreational skiers--pro or amateur the skills are the same," Kidd says. "For example, just like recreational skiers, racers don't want to fall, so they keep their feet apart and hands out. Racing will teach you this balance technique. Racing teaches you how to carve ice--and if you can do that you can ski anywhere--no matter what level you are."

More than 1,000 skiers are expected to enter the Jolly Rancher California Gold Rush Ski Marathon Sunday at Royal Gorge, near Soda Springs, Calif., where the National Cross-Country Championships are also in progress this week.

Sunday's event consists of a 50-kilometer Gold Rush, which will double as the men's national championship race, and a 25-kilometer Silver Rush, which will also decide the women's national championship at that distance.

Skiing Notes The four-month-long World Cup circuit will end with the finals Friday through Sunday at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. The men will compete in a slalom, giant slalom and parallel race, while the women will go in a giant slalom and parallel race . . . Channel 7 will televise GGP Sports' same-day coverage on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. PST each day . . . The U.S. Ski Team will return home for Nor-Am races and the Western International Spring Series at Mt. Alyeska, near Anchorage, Alaska, April 2-14 . . . Bill Johnson, the 1984 Olympic downhill champion, has put his Malibu house up for sale and will continue his rehabilitation from knee and back surgery at his mother's home in Troutdale, Ore. He plans to be back on skis this summer. . . . Liisa Savijarvi, who broke her back in a downhill training spill at Vail, Colo., last week, reportedly was criticized by the Canadian coaches for her timid skiing on the previous run and had told teammate Lauri Graham that she was determined "to show them" on her second run.

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