Gilt Complex: SVSEF Racers Medal in IMD Opener at Jackson Hole

SVSEF coaches Rick Kapala and Tommy Smith took a group of 32 racers to the Johnny Curtis Memorial races at Trail Creek in Jackson, Wyoming, and zeal for skiing was as contagious as flu in February.
“It was such a good weekend as a team,” Kapala wrote to his athletes. “(A) really solid job at Jackson to all of you. Lots of team support and enthusiasm and really big efforts. Thanks for getting us coaches so psyched!”
The Intermountain Points Series consisted of a three-kilometer classic with interval start Friday and longer mass start freestyle Saturday. The gauntlet was thrown on Friday with SVSEF racers taking 10 podium finishes. Throughout the series, SVSEF racers displayed their depth with 12 different medalists.
The U18 Junior Men’s group flexed its muscle in the opener, sweeping the podium with Ben Brunelle leading the charge, winning in 9:06, followed by Leo Lukens second in 9:09, and Eli Jensen third in 9:14.
“Then we kept right on going with a total of 10 of the top 11 places,” Kapala said, noting the finish placements of Peter Wolter-4, Carter Ros-5, Max Polito-6, Luke Breechen-8, River Vorse-9, Henry Raff-10, Keene Morawitz-11, Cooper Roquet-17, Jacob Truxal-18 and Oier Ibergallratu-21. 52 men finished the race.
Lukash Platil and Danny Graves went one-two in the Junior Men’s U20 class with Platil winning in 9:03 – the fastest time of the day. Tim Regan was 7th. Loni Unser collected 4th in the U20 Junior Women’s division.
Logan Smith captured the U14 (12-13) Junior Women’s podium winning her class by 13 seconds. Kate Horowitz was 9th. Cash Dart was runner-up in the U14 Junior Men’s class. Moving up an age class, Johnny Hagenbuch scaled the podium in first place in the U16 Junior Men’s division. In a chock-full field of 53, Joe Hall finished a solid 19th.
U16 racers Sophia Mazzoni and Lily Brunelle were second and third in the Junior Women’s class. Ella Wolter (6th), Kirsys Campbell (8th), Chloe Tanous (9th) and Eve Jensen (10th) joined their teammates in the top 10 in a field of 32 finishers. Laine Allison was 13th and Katherine Estep 17th.
“The U16 girls put together a very solid effort,” Kapala said.
In the U18 women’s class, Emily Siegel continues to build form and function after rehabilitating a torn ACL last season, skiing to 11th place. Teammate Ellie Polk was 13th.
Over a three-kilometer distance, Logan Smith repeated as U14 champion on Saturday and Cash Dart skated to second place. Kate Horowitz moved up to 6th place.
Over a 5k distance, Johnny Hagenbuch was the silver medalist in the U16 class and Joe Hall 22nd. Lily Brunelle, Ella Wolter, Sophia Mazzoni, Kirsys Campbell and Eve Jensen went 5-10 in the U16 Junior Women’s division. The quintet finished between 1:08 and 1:38 off the first-place pace of Sydney Palmer-Leger of PCNSC.
SVSEF’s U18 crop showed anyone is capable of winning on any day with Peter Wolter claiming victory and setting the standard with the fastest time on the day of 19:56 over 7.5k. He was the only racer to break the 20-minute mark at that distance, although teammate Max Polito came with a hairsbreadth, finishing second in 20.01. Eli Jensen was third, Luke Brecheen 4th, Ben Brunelle 5th, Henry Raff 7th, and Leo Lukens 10th. Also, Cooper Roquet-11, Keene Morawitz-12, Carter Ros-14, River Vorse-19, Oier Ibergallartu-21, and Jacob Truxal-33.
Emily Siegel finished 11th and Ellie Polk 21st in the U18 women’s 7.5k.
Danny Graves and Luk Platil swapped spots as top dog in the U20 class with Graves winning the men’s 7.5k in 20:08. Loni Unser was 4th.
Competitive racers will travel to Houghton, Michigan, at the end of this month for the U.S. World Junior Scando Trials.


SVSEF racers – great competitors and comrades. Cooper Roquet is cheered on by his teammates.