SVSEF Athletes Keep The Big Train Rolling


Dollar Mountain in Sun Valley was the backdrop for the USASA Big Mountain West Series attracting 350 snowboarders and freeskiers from around the region. The event, the second of four in the USASA series, serves as a qualifying series for USASA Nationals, April 1-13 at Copper Mountain, Colorado. The series consisted of two days of boardercross and skiercross followed by slopestyle and halfpipe.
“The crew at Dollar raised the bar for the events this season. Led by John Matteson, Julian Tyo and Nate Sheehan the park/pipe builders and staff have created some of the best competitive venues we have had in years and the athletes took full advantage of it,” SVSEF Snowboard and Freeskiing Program Director Andy Ware said.
“An extended boardercross/skier cross track made for some highly competitive races, the slopestyle course challenged athletes to be creative and clean with their tricks and the halfpipe had competitors launching high above the 22-foot walls,” Ware added.
SVSEF coach Andy Gilbert concurred, “By far it was the best boardercross we have ever seen at Dollar Mountain. Nate Sheehan, the new park and pipe manager, is doing a phenomenal job. By all accounts, the SVSEF riders are as well.
“The team is so fun right now,” Gilbert said. “They are learning and progressing and every single athlete is making huge strides right now.”
70 riders competed in SBX on Thursday and Friday, and Saturday’s slopestyle was sold out at 125.
“It’s amazing was those kids are doing on park jumps right now,” Gilbert said. “The kids were sending it and landing some impressive stuff.”
U.S. Pro Team and SVSEF alumni Chase Josey showed up to Sunday’s halfpipe to ride with the kids.
“He did pipe laps with the kids. They were stoked,” Gilbert said. “The pipe was perfect and the weather could not have been any better.”
Beverly Hay Snowboard Champions were taken from overall finishes in park and pipe. The 2016 winners were Isabella Gomez of Issaquah, Washington, and Alec Little of Park City, Utah.
Coach Rick Millett echoed Gilbert’s sentiments, “I was proud of all the snowboarders I coached during the events. Phebe Ericksen stomped her second run in pipe. Payton Bacca and Zoe Bacca dominated all of their boardercross races. Aidan Green was second in superpipe with his back-to-back 540 run. Elk Spencer got a silver in boardercross. I am very stoked for Landon Moore for entering his very first halfpipe and slopestyle competitions. Landon got third place in slopestyle and finished second in superpipe.”
Gilbert added, “Payton (Bacca) is ripping. She’s riding so well and I think she is really enjoying it. Elk Spencer had a good weekend. Aiden Green had really good results this weekend. Phebe Ericksen was on the podium. She killed it. Landon Moore won a bronze medal. He had a phenomenal day and rode beautifully. Channing Curci had a breakthrough, clearing all three jumps.”
Gilbert and Millett also had big props for Jack Verhaeghe, Dylan Prabowo, Sophie Smith, Olive Gilbert, Walker Pate, Kiki Pate and Caleb Hotham.
Freeskiing coach Reed Snyderman said, “SVSEF freeskiers skied well this weekend. We had great weather and claimed a total of 11 podium spots. Here’s the breakdown…”
Skier Slopestyle:
Men: Open Class: 3-Alvaro Jiraldo.
Women: Open Class: 2-Sarah Kope. 13-15 Class: 1-Hanna Blackwell
Skier Boys (10-11): 4-Sam Ware; 5-Joey Markthaler; 8-Harper Mallett; 13-Ridge Dirksmeier. (9-Under): 3-Barrett Beyer; 4-Walker Woodring.
Skier Men (13-15): 5-Will Griffith; 9-Jedson Waters; 15-Kyle Kope. (16-18): 6-Trey Potter.
Skier Women (13-15): 1-Hanna Blackwell.
Skier Halfpipe
Men: Open Class: 1-Alvaro Jiraldo
Skier Boys: (9-Under): 4-Barrett Beyer.  (10-12): 1-Ridge Dirksmeier. 2-Harper Mallett; 4-Sam Ware; 5-Dylan Mills; 6-Joey Markthaler; 8-Luke Higgins; 9-Oliver Wiedemann; 12-Caden Clifford.(13-15): 1-Jedson Waters; 2-Will Griffith;  6-Lieder Schwartz.  (16-18): 1-Trey Potter
Skier Girls: (10-12): 1-Amanda Brown. 2-Liesl Beyer. (13-15): 1-Hanna Blackwell
Snowboard Slopestyle/Halfpipe
Grommet Boys (8-9): Caleb Hothem 1/1.
Menehune Boys (10-11): Jack Verhaeghe 3/2; Dylan Prabowo 7/6; Walker Pate 8/7.
Breaker Boys (12-13): Tague Higgins 5/7; Angus Gilbert 9/DNS.
Youth Men (14-15): Elk Spencer 6/5; Aidan Green 9/2.
Junior Boys (16-17): Landon Moore 3/2.
Grommet Girls (8-9): Kiki Pate 1-HP; Sophia Smith 2-HP.
Menehune Girls (10-11): Madison Hothem 2-HP; Olive Gilbert 3-HP.
Breaker Girls (12-13): Channing Curci 2/3; Zoe Bacca DNS/3.
Youth Women (14-15): Phebe Erickesen 2/2; Payton Bacca 3-HP.
Open Class Women: Clara Jenner 1-HP.
Boardercross (#1/#2/#3/#4)
Grommet Girls (8-9): Sophie Smith 1.
Menehune Girls (10-11): Oliver Gilbert 3-FR/4-FR.
Breaker Girls (12-13): Zoe Bacca 1/1/1/1; Channing Curci 2/2/2/2.
Youth Women (14-15): Payton Bacca 1/1/2/1; Phebe Ericksen 3-FRI/DNS.
Grommet Boys (8-9): Caleb Hothem 1-FRI. Slater Landrum-Duval 2-FRI.
Menehune Boys (10-11): Jack Verhaeghe 2/3/2/6; Dylan Prabowo 3-FRI/3-FRI; Cash Landrum Duval 6-FRI.
Youth Men (14-15): Elk Spencer 3/DNS/4/DNS; Aidan Green 4/2/3/DNS, David Rau 7-THU.
Skier Girls (10-12): Jessica Blackburn 1/1/DNS/DNS; Saba Grossman 2/2/1/1; Liesl Beyer 3/3/2/2.
Skier Boys (10-12): Cole Curci 3/4/3/DNS; Sam Ware 5-FRI/DNS. (9-Under): Walker Woodring 3/3/6/DNS; Barrett Beyer 4/4/4/DNS.
“Sun Valley is one of the only ski resorts on the Big Mountain West Series that is capable of providing BDX/SX, slopestyle and halfpipe all on one mountain and in one weekend. It takes a tremendous team effort from our parent volunteers, coaching staff and Sun Valley Resort staff to pull off an event of this size. Huge thanks to everyone for working so hard to make it such a great experience,” Ware said.
aiden green

Aidan Green gets ready to drop in.


SVSEF alpine skiers enjoyed the gates – and results – on their home hill in the 25th annual Laura Flood Memorial Intermountain Cup races. Overall champions were SVSEF’s Lily Fitzgerald and Will Snyder. It marks the second year in a row SVSEF skiers will have their names engraved on the perpetual trophy with Haley Cutler and Jay Fitzgerald winning last year.
Lily, a first-year USSA U16 Team member, finished third in the opening giant slalom, second in Saturday’s slalom and fourth in Sunday’s slalom. FIS racer Will Snyder (U19) was runner-up in giant slalom, won the first slalom and was 15th in the second. (Below, photo by Gary Black, Jr.).
lily and will
Alpine Program Director Scott McGrew remarked, “It was an incredible weekend of skiing and celebrating the 25th anniversary running of the Laura Flood Memorial. Our athletes really put on a great performance for their family and friends and I couldn’t be happier with the christening of our new Greyhawk stadium slalom finish. The weather was spectacular, the excitement of a home race was in the air, and it was wonderful to see two of our local athletes take home the prestigious overall award for the three days of racing.”
The races are held in memory of Flood, a promising junior ski racer and girl of uncommon spirit and depth who died in 1989 at the age of 19.
SVSEF racers honored Flood’s legacy by winning all six races and taking eight of nine overall podiums in the men’s races and six of nine in the women’s.
Race champions were Jay Fitzgerald, Will Snyder and Duncan Fuller. Haley Cutler claimed the opening and closing races. Also on the podium were U16 racer Bennett Snyder (twice), Will Snyder (twice), Spencer Wright, Katelyn Rathfon, Lily Fitzgerald (twice) and Sage Rheinschild.
Coach Brett Morris said, “FIS Team athletes skied really well. They continue to improve each series and are setting themselves up to be skiing really fast as we move into the last qualifying series next week, and then all the championship series in March. Their hard work and patience is really paying off.”
Nate Schwing, “I echo what Brett said. They showcased great skiing over the weekend on the home hill which was great to see! Last weekend should be a good confidence builder going into our final qualifier at Snow King.”
Other SVSEF racers cracking the top 15 in the overall (some more than once) were Grace Pepin, Maddie Ferris, Skylar Cooley, Ruby Marden, Molly Milgard, Libby Kaiser, Samantha Busby, Abby Morton, Stasie Echeverria, Noah Leininger, Griffin Curtis, Yuri McClure, Charlie Lamb, Wyatt Smith, Matt O’Connor, Wyatt Minor, Hayden Terjeson, John Blackburn, and Hunter Kern.
USSA Head Coach Will Brandenburg remarked, “I thought our team did really well this weekend. It was the highest level race of the season because of all of our FIS athletes. We showed very consistent skiing and great results. Podium every day in U16s and overall. I think we are the best team in the region, specifically because of our depth.”
Results by Idaho Mountain Express

· U-19 men (17): Jay Fitzgerald 1-GS, 2-SL, DNF-SL; Will Snyder 2-GS, 1-SL, 11-SL; Duncan Fuller 7-GS, DF-SL, 1-SL; Spencer Wright 6-GS, 3-SL, 2-SL; Noah Leininger 4-GS, DNF-SL, 10-SL; Yuri McClure DNF-GS, 5-SL, DNF-SL; Charlie Lamb DNF-GS, 6-SL, 5-SL; Griffin Curtis 5-GS, DNF-SL, 4-SL; Wyatt Smith 9-GS, 7-SL, DNF-SL.  Blake Deilke 12-GS, DNF-SL, 14-SL; Hunter Kern DSQ-GS, 9-SL, 8-SL; Keegan Webber 17-GS, 14-SL, DNF-SL; Hayden Terjeson DNF-GS, DNF-SL, 3-SL; John Blackburn DNF-GS, DNF-SL, 7-SL; Walter Lafky DNF-GS, DNF-SL; Lukas DeWolfe DNF-GS, DSQ-SL, 18-SL; Kristian DeWolfe DNF-SL.

     · U-19 women (11): Haley Cutler 1-GS, DNF-SL, 1-SL; Katelyn Rathfon 2-GS, 1-SL, 5-SL; Ruby Marden 3-GS, DSQ-SL, 4-SL; Samantha Busby 4-GS; Skylar Cooley 7-GS, 3-SL; Abby Norton 6-GS, DNF-SL, DNF-SL; Libby Lindstrom 14-GS, 7-SL, 9-SL; Addy Jacobsen 16-GS, 10-SL, DNF-SL; Nikolette Sabiers 20-GS, DSQ-SL, 14-SL; Sage Rheinschild DNF-GS, DNF-SL, 2-SL; Erin Smith DNF-GS, DNF-SL, DNF-SL.

     · U-16 boys (9): Bennett Snyder 1-GS, DNF-SL, 1-SL; Matt O’Connor DNF-GS, 3-SL, 3-SL; Wyatt Minor 9-GS, 5-SL, 11-SL; Charlie Stumph 22-GS, 12-SL, 15-SL; Carter Jendrezak 12-GS, DNF-SL, 7-SL; Ian Hanna 16-GS, DNF-SL, 13-SL; Wyatt Barth 20-GS, 23-SL, 31-SL; Max Noddings DNF-SL, 8-SL; Jake Blackburn DSQ-GS, DSQ-SL, DNF-SL.

     · U-16 girls (14): Lily Fitzgerald 1-GS, 2-SL, 2-SL; Grace Pepin 26-GS, 7-SL, DNF-SL; Libby Kaiser 3-GS, DNF-SL, 32-SL; Madison Ferris 12-GS, 10-SL, 8-SL; Molly Milgard 6-GS, DNF-SL, 7-SL; Anastasie Echeverria 9-GS, 16-SL, 15-SL; Kaia Jensen 11-GS, 18-SL, 23-SL; Ella Viesturs 19-GS, DNF-SL, DNF-SL; Cailin Chandler 25-GS, 31-SL, 24-SL; Lauren Ashley Helm 32-GS, DSQ-SL, 21-SL; Lucy More 40-GS, 25-SL, 30-SL; Allison Rathfon DNF-GS, 15-SL, 17-SL; Anna Pelligreen DNF-GS, DSQ-SL; Elizabeth Vanderkloot DNF-GS, DNF-SL, DNF-SL.

Photo by Chase Millemann



The SVSEF Intermountain Division alpine team banged the gates in a U14 Qualifier at Snowbasin, Utah. Like the Laura Flood Memorial in Sun Valley, the U14 qualifying series consisted of one giant slalom and two slalom races, Friday through Sunday.
Paced by Marit Kaiser’s win in the girls’ giant slalom, SVSEF placed four girls in the top 11, including Falon Hanna, Sage Curtis and Emma MacGuffie.
Six SVSEF boys cracked the top 11 in GS with Ryder Sarchett in second, Ridley Lindstrom third and Buey Grossman fourth, Max Moss sixth, Shaw Dean and Charlie Snyder.
Falon Hanna was the bronze medalist in Saturday’s slalom with Marit Kaiser fourth. Snyder was the lone SVSEF finisher in the top 10, in eighth place. Results were better on Sunday with Sarchett second and Lindstrom fourth and Dean and Moss on the front page. Hanna led SVSEF gals with a second fourth-place finish. Curtis and Kaiser were seventh and eighth.
Head coach James Tautkus said, “We had some strong performances this weekend, but they didn’t come easy. The results don’t truly reflect the progress made by this team over the weekend. Ski racing is not an easy sport, not every day is going to feel like your best. You just have to go out every day with the intention to be. These kids proved they can battle. The staff and I are proud of their effort.”
Results by Idaho Mountain Express

     · U-14 girls: Marit Kaiser 1-GS, 4-SL, 8-SL; Falon Hanna 8-GS, 3-SL, 4-SL; Sage Curtis 10-GS, 45-SL, 7-SL; Emma MacGuffie 11-GS, 33-SL, 42-SL; Sage Holter 24-GS, 36-SL, 44-SL; Anhwei Kirk 32-GS, 34-SL; Lola Street 50-GS, 66-SL, 84-SL; Taylor Dorland 61-GS, 65-SL, 62-SL; Julia Ott 62-GS, 43-SL, 57-SL; Laci Jermunson DNF-GS, 67-SL, 74-SL.

     · U-14 boys: Max Moss 6-GS, 17-SL, 13-SL; Shaw Dean 9-GS, 15-SL, 12-SL; Charlie Snyder 11-GS, 8-SL, 17-SL; Nathan Gowe 17-GS, 24-SL, 20-SL; Ryder Sarchett 2-GS, 57-SL, 2-SL; Ridley Lindstrom 3-GS, DNF-SL, 4-SL; Buey Grossman 4-GS, DNF-SL, DNF-SL; Ethan Marx 23-GS, DNF-SL, 23-SL; Benjamin Goitiandia 26-GS, DNF-SL, 41-SL; William DeWolfe 41-GS, 39-SL, 21-SL; Josh Blackburn 58-GS, 33-SL, 22-SL; Connor Campbell 34-GS, DSQ-SL, DNF-SL; Joseph Goitiandia 39-GS, 44-SL, DNF-SL; William Everitt 41-GS, 41-SL, DNF-SL; Axel Hattrup 61-GS, 50-SL, 32-SL; Jackson Swenke 63-GS, DNF-SL, 48-SL; Will Penrose 65-GS, 35-SL, DNF-SL, Shaw McCoubrey 67-GS, 61-SL, 44-SL; Jett Carruth 69-GS, 73-SL, 28-SL; Skye Leininger 82-GS, 51-SL, DNF-SL; Chase Jones 87-GS, 87-SL, DNF-SL.

IMD podium

SVSEF’s Ryder Sarchett (second) and Ridley Lindstrom (fourth) enjoy the view from the podium.


By the Idaho Mountain Express 

    In the Cranston Cup slaloms at Bogus Basin, Colin Hanna and Leo Molter swept U-12 boys for Sun Valley, Lowie Watkins placed first and second in U-10 girls, Tanner Lee won a pair of U-14 girls’ races, and Bo Swenke and Bryce Foster swept U-14 boys.

    Here are the weekend-best slalom class placings for Sun Valley in the Cranston Cup, followed by the placings by day for SVSEF racers (GS, SL, SL) among the 98 girls and 112 boys at Snowbasin:

     · U-14 girls: 1—Tanner Lee. 2—Gillian Simcoe.

     · U-14 boys: 1—Bryce Foster and Bo Swenke. DNF—Owen Robb.

     · U-12 girls: 2—Jessica Blackburn. 3—Logan Lindstrom and Saba Grossman. 5—Paige Dehart and Tatum Minor. 6—Hannah Ferris. 10—Goldie Kirk. 11—Elgyn Monge. 14—Laura Daves. 15—Isabella Hattrup. 16—Agnes Kind. 24—Lena Nelson. 27—Maile Dorland. 30—Anabel Viesturs. 33—Mattigan Monschke. 36—Lenapatricia Gardner.

     · U-12 boys: 1—Leo Molter and Colin Hanna. 5—Nils Galloway. 7—Carter Sammis. 9—Russell Stumph. 11—Taylor Rixon. 13—Cole Curci. 14—John Tumolo. 15—Tommy Normand. 22—Colin MacGuffie.

     · U-10 girls: 1—Lowie Watkins. 12—Marina Monschke.



Members of the Sun Valley Freestyle Team tackled the mogul courses at Squaw Valley, California, in preparation for action this week in Utah. According to head coach Joey Cordeau Addie Rafford “had her best result” with second place overall, just two points behind the leader. Katie Markthaler was second in the F15 class and fourth overall. Teammate Eliza Marks finished fourth in the F15 class and seventh overall. In dual moguls, Rafford and Markthaler stepped up on the podium in second and third. Marks finished fifth. Wilson Dunn skied to fourth in singles and duals after “two exciting duals in semi finals and small final,” according to Cordeau.
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation will host the U.S. Junior National Freestyle/Freeskiing Championships this March 10-13. Please see more information on our website at


U.S. and SVSEF Gold Team freeskier Jacob Beebe finished 16th in men’s skier halfpipe at Park City. The 16-year-old was one of the youngest competitors in the World Cup event and finished exactly in the middle of pack in a field of 32. Beebe scored 69 points. The winner was 2014 Olympian Aaron Blunck of the U.S. Team with 94.2 points. Chase Josey, also of the U.S. and SVSEF Gold snowboard teams, was 28th in men’s snowboard halfpipe.


SVSEF Athletes Excel at Local Boulder Mountain Tour by Julia Seyferth
Sun Valley Ski Education athletes showed strength and versatility at the 40th annual Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour, which for many is the longest distance competition they will compete in this season. The culmination of the week-long Sun Valley Nordic Festival and a highlight of winter in the valley that draws racers from all over, the event begins at the Galena Trail System and spans the length of the Harriman Trail; all in all, a total of 34 kilometers of skate technique.
In a field of 407 men, Nick Hendrickson of the University of Utah won the event overall in a time of 1:17.13. Close behind was Sawyer Kesselheim of the University of Montana in 1:17.15. Former SVSEF racer Kevin Bolger took third, just two-tenths of a second behind Kesselheim. Joining Bolger in the top ten were SVSEF skiers Matt Gelso of the Gold Team in seventh (1:21.05), Lukash Platil in ninth (1:21.06) and coach Tom Smith in 10th (1:21.08). Close behind this SVSEF group was alumni Michael Sinnott in 14th (1:22.56). SVSEF coach Arnkjell Hustvedt of Oslo, Norway finished in 33rd, clocking in at 1:26.59. U16 racer Joe Hall showed a solid effort, placing 41st (1:31.24). SVSEF U14 racers also proved they were up to the task, with Sebi Radl-Jones finishing in 256th (2:02.24), Kai Nelson in 285th (2:09.06) and Jake Gorham in 330th (2:30.01). Mats Radl-Jones, one of the youngest racers in the field, finished in 360th (3:05.58).
U.S. Ski Team member Caitlin Gregg skated to a win in the women’s race with a time of 1:23.55, just 2.6 seconds ahead of Veronika Mayerhofer of the University of Utah. Rounding out the podium was SVSEF alumna Sloan Storey, a captain at the University of Utah, with a time of 1:25.14. It was a successful day for the Utes, coached by SVSEF veteran Abi Holt; teammate Natalia Mueller was close behind Storey in fourth, crossing the finish line in 1:25.20. SVSEF coach Kristen Monahan skied a smooth race, coming in 10th place with a time of 1:31.39. SVSEF Gold Team member Paige Schember placed 13th in her first competition coming back from an injury that took her out early in the racing season. U14 SVSEF racer Anja Jensen had a compelling finish, placing just out of the top 20. Teammates and fellow U14 racers Sascha Leidecker (2:02.12) and Eva Grover (2:02.16) placed 98th and 99th; solid finishes in a field of 240 women.
Racers had the option to ski the Half-Boulder, totaling 15 kilometers and beginning at Baker Creek on the Harriman Trail. In the Men’s category, junior SVSEF racer Fisher Gardner took 10th in 52:58. Calvin Miller was 16th in 56:14, and Blake DeHart was 19th in 59:10.
Britt Cogan of Salt Lake City led the women’s Half-Boulder, winning with a time of 45:22. SVSEF junior racers Luci Ludwig (47:18) and Elle Mann (47:57) made their way onto the podium in second and third place. Teammate Anja Grover was sixth in 52:44, Tia Vontver ninth in 53:13, Crosby Boe 10th in 53:39, and Meg Keating 31st in 1:02.27.
Junior competitors will travel to Bozeman this weekend for the final Junior National qualifying series of the season.

SVSEF Athletes enjoy the Nordic Downtown Sprints



Just like another Peyton – 14-year-old Payton Bacca had a big week. The Wood River High School freshman won three out of four boardercross events at the USASA Big Mountain West Series and threw down for third place in halfpipe. She is SVSEF’s Athlete of the Week.
A member of the SVSEF snowboard program since 2008, Bacca is one of five girls ages 14-and-under recently invited to the prestigious 2016 Burton U.S. Open Junior Jam.
Staged February 29 through March 1 in Vail, Colorado, the Junior Jam is a long-standing tradition and considered proving grounds for some of the world’s best young riders.
Despite being known for her prowess as a snowboardcross rider, Bacca placed third in halfpipe at USASA Nationals last spring. She will compete in a field of five girls. The top finisher qualifies directly to the next round of competition against the older pro riders later in the week.
“This will be the biggest event that I have had the opportunity to participate in. I am looking forward to competing with two of my close friends,” Payton said. That includes Isabella Gomez of Issaquah, Washington, who went head-to-head in last week’s boardercross with Payton prevailing in three out of four events.
When not riding for the SVSEF Alpha Team, Payton is an avid soccer player. She has started a GoFundMe campaign to help defray the costs of the trip. If you would like to contribute, please go to

payton ridingPayton Bacca en route to a third-place finish in halfpipe at 2015 USASA Nationals.