SVSEF hosted over 150 U10 and U12 athletes from the Intermountain division at the annual Monroe Cup, named for former SVSEF coach and executive director, Lane Monroe. The event featured two slalom competitions, starting on Hemingway and finishing on Greyhawk. Despite unruly winds, the surface was outstanding and athletes from the Devo forerunners to Mini World Cup and North Series skiers came to the hill with a good attitude. For Mini World Cup athletes, this was a great way to dabble in racing while still emphasizing the importance of having fun. “We are doing this race for experience, of course a bit of speed, but most importantly, for FUN,” remarked MWC head coach Tor Jensen. “It is a great opportunity to try something new, test the waters in the next level and be that much more prepared for next year.”
For North Series athletes, the Monroe Cup was an opportunity to put hard work into practice. “It’s always great to have one of our races be at home because the kids know the race hill and they get to sleep in their own beds,” said North Series head coach Adele Savaria. “As always, it feels like we have a lot of support from the community when they come out to watch, too.”
SVSEF’s own Max Meucci took home the men’s overall win for the weekend, with nearly a five second lead over the second place finisher in Saturday’s slalom, and another victory on Sunday. Paxton Sammis broke the top ten for U12 men on Saturday, Tommy Hovey had a solid weekend for U10 boys with a podium on Saturday and a sixth place on Sunday, and Jay Blackburn earned second for U10 boys on Sunday. Alyssa Huntsman and Reese Kelley broke the top 10 for U10 girls, with Alyssa in 10th on Saturday and Reese in ninth on Sunday. SVSEF U12 girls took four of the top 10 spots on Saturday (Taylor Hovey 4, Ruby Crist 5, Norah Davis-Jeffers 8 and Rowan Desler 9). Natalie Gowe had a great race on Sunday, finishing on the podium in second, and teammates Taylor and Ruby went six and seven.
FIS Western Region Speed Series at Schweitzer
This past week was a huge showing for SVSEF at the FIS Elite Speed Series. Program Director Scott McGrew noted that it was “quite possibly the first sweep for a club at this level of event.” Charlie Lamb, Spencer Wright and Hayden Terjeson took the top spots in the men’s downhill on February 1, with Matt O’Connor finishing fifth. Wright clocked top times for two more second place finishes at the series (2/1 downhill and 2/4 super G). Other SVSEF athletes skied to the top of the field throughout the week: Skylar Cooley finished fourth in downhill and second in super G, Alli Rathfon had a fourth place finish and two sixths, Jack Smith won the final super G and Hayden Terjeson was just off the podium in fourth in the same race.
From Nick Stenicka, assitant women’s FIS coach:
The women’s FIS team has returned from a successful Schweitzer speed series! Notable performances came from Skylar Cooley, Maddie Ferris, Alli Rathfon, who all acquired major qualification points towards US Nationals with their top ten finishes in the SG races. In addition to the top ten finishes achieved by Skylar, Maddie, and Alli, our girls took home two Hard Charger Awards. The Hard Charger Award was granted each day of the series to the athlete that achieved the best finish position from the highest start position. Alli Rathfon won the Hard Charger Award after moving from 29th position into sixth in the first DH race while her teammate Cailin Chandler won the award in the second DH race after moving from the 27th position into 12th.
Looking forward, our women hope to build on this positive momentum at their upcoming Wild West race series at Snowking Resort in Jackson, Wyoming. The Wild West series is also a qualifier for US Nationals. With the FIS team coming into the peak of the race season the group is excited for a week-long training block on hard snow at Baldy and Dollar.
U14 IMD Junior Speed Event Qualifier at Snowbasin
Podium sweeps and top finishes were a trend for SVSEF Alpine athletes this past week. At U14 IMD Junior Speed Qualifiers at Snowbasin, Jessica Blackburn, Saba Grossman and Maya Lightner swept the women’s opening super G podium. Logan Lindstrom took second in the second super G, with Saba staying near the top in fourth. In the final super G, Saba topped the podium, and Logan again finished second. Saba’s streak of top finishes put her in first overall for the weekend. Paige DeHart and Lily Dean had strong results, with Paige in 11th in the second event and Lily in 10th in the final race. In the men’s events, Colin Hanna cruised to a win in the final super G and finished fourth the first day of racing. Nils Galloway had a significant weekend, finishing sixth on days one and two, and fifth in the final competition. Jake Charpentier stepped it up, with ninth and 12th places.
”This was a very exciting weekend for SVSEF’s IMD team,” said Head Coach James Tautkus. “It’s typically a struggle this time of year to maintain full focus and this team defied that. To start the weekend with a women’s podium sweep felt pretty sweet, but following that up with two victories on Sunday brought fulfillment to the weekend. This team as a whole dug deep and earned every once of success it received. That in itself puts confidence in the direction of this program. No doubt on current trajectory there will be more success to be had this season!”
Town Sprints and Boulder Mountain Tour
As part of the annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival, many SVSEF athletes participated in the opening NordicTown USA Town Sprints in downtown Ketchum. Devo athletes started off with a mass start sprint, followed by Prep Team skiers. The main event featured two-person relays – Comp, PG and Gold athletes tagged off in a fast-paced, energetic race. SVSEF Gold Team skier Matt Gelso and Team Gregg athlete Caitlin Gregg won, followed by Cole Morgan (SVSEF) and Heather Mooney in second and Henry Raff (SVSEF) and Logan Smith (SVSEF) in third.
Two days after Two Sprints, a number of SVSEF opted to race in the Boulder Mountain Tour or the Half Boulder. Covering 34km, the nationally renowned race starts at Galena and winds down the Harriman Trail. The Half Boulder is a 15km course that starts at Baker Creek. SVSEF Gold Team skier Matt Gelso took home the overall win for the event in a field of nearly 600 racers, with a time of 1:10:28. Repeating for an overall win for women was Caitlin Gregg. Sawyer Kesselheim, who will guide SVSEF alumni Jake Adicoff at the 2018 Paralymipcs in Pyeongchang, finished fifth overall, followed by Gold Team athlete Cole Morgan in sixth. Berkeley Canfield, a U12 Prep Team skier, won the women’s Half Boulder with a finishing time of 41:34. Teammate Ruby Gardner was the fourth female finisher and Gina Greenberg was fifth.
Other members of the Gold Team traveled to Nakkertok Nordic Ski Centre, outside of Ottawa, for Nor Am races, featuring top Canadian and United States athletes. Jack Hegman had a standout distance race, winning the men’s 15km freestyle. Kevin Bolger showed consistency across disciplines and distances, finishing fifth in the men’s 1.4km classic sprint, fifth in the 15km freestyle, and sixth in the 15km pursuit. Jack edged out Kevin in the pursuit in fifth. Rogan Brown had solid distance races, skiing to eighth overall in the 15km freestyle and eighth again in the pursuit.
PARK & PIPE
USASA Slopestyle and Rail Jam at Dollar Mountain
USASA hosted a great long weekend of slopestyle, rail jam and boardercross competition at Dollar. Despite high winds that required athletes to hike up for runs, rather than take the lift, all disciplines were executed. “It was a great weekend for the Park and Pipe team, with many top spots on the podium,” said Tyler Conway, Park & Pipe program director. “The stand out event was slopestyle. Not only was it impressive to watch (with 540s,720s, 900s and switch 270s pretzel 450s), but it was awesome to see SVSEF athletes take top spots in the most competitive age classes.”
IFSA Big Mtn: Targhee Regional Competition
This event was cancelled due to unsafe conditions. The team still managed to get some solid training from the weekend; see what they were up to here.
Northern Series Regional Qualifier
Sun Valley moguls athletes headed to Snowbowl, Montana to compete in the Northern Series regional qualifier. “I’m extremely proud of all of our athletes’ performances this past weekend, and the direction the SVSEF moguls program is headed,” said Mogul Technical Director John Grigsby. “This past weekend we had a few athletes competing in their first competition ever, and a few of our veteran athletes had their personal best.”
Toby Rafford led the charge on Saturday with a second place finish, and Rainey Wilson took home fifth overall.
Saturday Singles Event
Toby 1st M15
Erik Babcock 4th M15
Rainey Wilson 1st F17
Will Hausmann 1st M11
Tillianne Babcock 1st F11
Sunday Singles Event
Rainey Wilson 1st Overall
Toby Rafford 1rd Overall
Tillianne Babcock 1st F11
Nick Rubenstein 2nd M13
Drake Lovlien 2nd M11
Erik Babcock 5th M15
Rainey Wilson 1st Overall
Toby Rafford 1rd Overall
Henry Buell 8th