The Ride of Their Lives

These women are going downhill fast.

"She should be sitting on a sofa," someone says. "Did you hear what she did to her lung?"

But maybe today was the wrong day for the sofa, because at the bottom of the course the three younger women fall on top of each other, and by picking a smart route around them, Dena manages to stay upright, then pick up speed, and finally win the grand prize of a $100 gasoline certificate, courtesy of Shell.

Suddenly, those races in California don't look so far away.

Fast company: Jessica Johnson, ready to ride.
Anthony Camera
Fast company: Jessica Johnson, ready to ride.
A girl for all seasons: Barrett Christy, on the slopes.
Chris Owen
A girl for all seasons: Barrett Christy, on the slopes.

"Luck," she says happily. "It's called big-time luck today."

On February 28, a nearly recovered Dena Melinn won the women's boardercross race at the USSA Western Regionals. USSA, which compiles athlete standings, now ranks her fourteenth in the United States.

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