Comp and PG athletes competed in the final JNQ of the season at McCall, with a classic sprint race on Saturday and a 5/10km distance race on Sunday.
Snow flew on Saturday as SVSEF skiers found their stride on McCall’s sprint loop, which was relatively short with a steep climb mid-course. Sprints are not just one short effort; Program Director Rick Kapala described the challenges that come with sprinting. “First, there is the preliminary effort to get seeded into heats. If a skier makes it all the way to the finals, they will have raced three more races at absolute maximum effort within just a couple of hours.” In this sprint, many SVSEF skiers had their best races of the season. U18 girls had a standout showing, with three skiers qualifying for the A final; Sophia Mazzoni, Sydney Palmer-Leger and Lily Brunelle.
“The skate distance races, held at Ponderosa Park (site of the 1998 and 2002 Junior Nationals) offered the skiers a good test of their skating skills,” explained Kapala. “The course features gradual climbing throughout without much rest.” Anja Jensen powered through the hills, leading the SVSEF squad with another silver in the U16 girls division. Prep Team skier Anja Grover improved on her second from Saturday with a win in the U14 girls event on Sunday.
Saturday – Top tens in classic sprint
U18/20 Boys: Hagenbuch – 5, Will Solow – 7
U16 Boys: Cash Dart 12 – qualified 3rd
U18/20 Girls; Mazzoni – 3, Sydney Palmer Leger – 4, Lily -5, Ella – 7
U16 Girls: Anja Jensen – 2, Luci Ludwig -7
U14 Girls – Anja Grover – 2
U10 Boys – McCallen Campbell – 2
Sunday – Top tens in skate 10/5km distance
U18/20 Boys – J Hagenbuch -5, Henry Raff – 6, Will Solow – 8
U16 Boys Kai Nelson – 11, Sebi Radl Jones – 16
U18/20 Girls – Sydney Palmer Leger – 2, Eve Jensen – 6, Lily Brunelle – 11 U16 Girls – Anja Jensen – 2 , Sascha Leidecker – 7, Luci Ludwig – 9
U14 Girls – Anja Grover – 1
15 SVSEF cross country athletes qualify for Junior Nationals
The weekend of February 17-18 brought with it the final Intermountain qualifying event for SVSEF cross country athletes who have had their sights set on Junior Nationals this season. Junior Nationals, to be held in Soldier Hollow March 6-10, brings the top junior athletes together by region to compete for national titles.
SVSEF skiers Johnny Hagenbuch and Sydney Palmer-Leger both secured their spots at Junior Nationals at the beginning of January, when they posted top results at U.S. Nationals in Anchorage. Both Johnny and Sydney represented the U.S. at the International Scandinavian Series, held in Vuokatti, Finland, at the end of January.
The following thirteen SVSEF athletes will join Johnny and Sydney as part of the Intermountain Team, based on their results at JN Selection Series races this season. The Intermountain team, comprised of 45 athletes, will compete against over 350 other skiers from across the U.S.
In addition to these 15 skiers, alumni Peter Wolter and Eli Jensen, who ski for Middlebury College and University of Montana, respectively, have also qualified for Junior Nationals.
For more information about Junior Nationals, visit their website here.
U20 Boys (18-19)
Henry Raff – 3rd Junior Nationals
Will Solow – 3rd Junior Nationals
Drew Palmer Leger – 3rd Junior Nationals
U18 Boys (16-17)
Johnny Hagenbuch – 3rd Junior Nationals
U16 Boys (14-15)
Cash Dart – 2nd Junior Nationals
U18 Girls (16-17)
Sophia Mazzoni – 3rd Junior Nationals
Lily Brunelle = 4th Junior Nationals
Eve Jensen = 2nd Junior Nationals
Ella Wolter – 3rd Junior Nationals
Kirsys Campbell – 1st Junior Nationals
U16 Girls (14-15)
Sydney Palmer-Leger 4th Junior Nationals
Anja Jensen – 2nd Junior Nationals
Logan Smith – 1st Junior Nationals
Sascha Leidecker – 1st Junior Nationals
Luci Ludwig – 1st Junior Nationals
Gold Team: Four SVSEF Athletes Selected to Compete in Europe
An update from Head Coach Chris Mallory
Kevin Bolger, a two year post grad with SVSEF and first-year Gold Team member, put together a string of top races in Ishpeming, MI, at the recent SuperTour event. He skied away from the field to win the skate sprint Thursday, February 15, then took second and sixth in the 20km skate and 10km classic events. These results secured his position on top of the US SuperTour points list; he’ll now head to Scandinavia for Period 4 World Cup starts in Lahti, Drammen, Oslo and Falun.
Jack Hegman also had a stand out weekend, taking second in the sprint and seventh and fifth in the distance events.
Rogan Brown suffered a broken pole in the skate distance, taking him out of contention, and Matt Gelso had to sit out due to illness, but they’ll look to bounce back in this weekend’s American Birkie.
Kelsey Phinney, Jack Hegman, and Rogan Brown were selected to compete for the U.S. in the OPA Cup Finals, which get underway in March in Italy and Spain.
PARK AND PIPE
Snowboarders Payton and Zoe Bacca traveled to Maine to compete in NorAm and RevTour snowboard cross events. In NorAms at Sunday River, Payton took 16th on February 13 and 21 on February 14 in fields of 40 women. Sister Zoe competed in the RevTour on Februrary 15, where she placed 12th in snowboard cross, and was the third U16 finisher.
Will Griffith competed in his first RevTour event at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. In the men’s freeski slopestyle, Will finished 26 and 27 in a field of 39 athletes, February 15-16.
FIS Wild West Snow King
The FIS series at Snow King started with women’s races and transitioned into men’s. Top finishes came for Alli Rathfon, who was 11 in the women’s giant slalom, Maddi Ferris, who also found 11 in the women’s second giant slalom. Jack Smith, who was ninth in the men’s first GS, tied for fifth with teammate Hayden Terjeson in the men’s giant slalom on February 20th. Racing finishes up with men’s slalom on the 21st.
Alpine: Laura Flood Memorial (24-26)
Alpine: North Series, McCall (23-25)
Alpine FIS: University Races, Steamboat (23-26)
IFSA Big Mtn: Targhee National Competition (21-25)
P&P: Aspen Open (19-25)
Cross Country Prep and Devo: Intermountain Youth Championships, Jackson (24-25)