USASA Rail Jam/Slopestyle, Grand Targhee
By Gui Mattheis-Brown
The SVSEF Freeski Progression Team was in Grand Targhee, Wyoming, this weekend to showcase their skills in two events; rail jam and slopestyle. On a beautiful bluebird Friday afternoon, seven of our athletes took to the rail jam course. Barrett Beyer had a really strong showing and came out on top of the Grommet Boys division (8-9 years old). In the largest group, the Freeski Boys division (10-13 years old), Spencer Ferries gave it his all and narrowly missed the podium, ending up in fourth place.
Saturday’s competition was an interesting one; wind and snow made the slopestyle course tricky to deal with. Nonetheless, our skiers got after it and found their way onto the podium once again. Young Barrett Beyer overcame some serious slams in practice and on his first competition run, but he put it all together on his second run and came away with a gold medal in the Grommet Boys division. Inez Kraynick skied well and worked her way into second place in the Breaker Girls division (12-13 years old). Zeppelin Pilaro proved his consistency once again, taking home the bronze medal in the Menehune Boys division (10-11 years old).
Ben Fethke at Breckenridge
Travel Team athlete Ben Fethke was in Breckenridge over the weekend, competing in a USASA Freeway Open. He battled against the local boys and made his way onto the podium in both events, with a second place finish in slopestyle and third place in halfpipe.
Crystal Mountain National
SVSEF athletes competed at Crystal Mountain at an IFSA Junior National event. The weather held off, allowing SVSEF skiers to showcase their skills in the form of topnotch runs; every athlete who stayed on his or her feet during qualifiers made it into finals. In the finals, every SVSEF skier improved or kept their position. Addie Rafford, who has made the podium a number of times this season, took second place, and her brother Toby Rafford took third in his age class. Molly Kucher moved up from 12th to finish in the top 10, and Axel Diehl and Hunter Diehl both finished in the top 27% of a very large field.
Four SVSEF athletes competed at Bogus Basin at a regional event; all four finished in the top 10. Leading the charge for SVSEF men was Ethan Marx, who finished second in the 15-18 age category in a field of 21 athletes. In the same category, Bode Skillern tied for sixth, Mike Nannini was eighth, and Owen Miller 10th.
SVSEF hosted the Monroe Cup, an annual event named for Lane Monroe, a champion of SVSEF and ski culture, and a longtime SVSEF coach. “We had an unbelievable Monroe Cup this past weekend,” said Alpine Race Coordinator Riley Berman. “For the first two days, which featured GS and slalom, we had ideal conditions for the age group in attendance (U12). On Sunday, we tried a new format with dual panel slalom, which was an extremely fun and spectator-friendly event. Thanks to all the volunteers, staff and families for coming together to make it one for the books!”
An upwards of 150 athletes competed throughout the weekend. Winning the overall Monroe Cup were two SVSEF athletes, Tucker Smith and Taylor Hovey. Tucker handily won the GS, completing the course over four seconds faster than the next competitor. He won the slalom by over two seconds. Tucker did not finish his second run in the dual panel slalom. Taylor won the girls’ GS and parallel slalom.
Joining Taylor in the top ten in the girls giant slalom were Josie Sarchett (6), Rowan Desler (7), and Emily Wright (10). Paxton Sammis had a stellar giant slalom race, joining Tucker on the boys’ podium in third. In the girls’ slalom, SVSEF again packed a good grouping into the top 10, with Emily Wright in fifth, Scarlett Carruth in eighth, Ella Shaughnessy in ninth and Simone Tumolo 10th. Ella Shaughnessy repeated her ninth place finish in the parallel slalom. Paxton Sammis and Jay Blackburn were top-10 for boys, skiing to second and 10th, respectively.
FIS, WR Elite Tech, Park City/Snowbird
FIS skiers have been competing at Snowbird and Park City, UT, in a Western Region Elite Tech series. A highlight of the weekend was a second place finish for Lily Fitzgerald in the first women’s giant slalom, in a field of 65 athletes. Sage Curtis was 20th in the same race. Maddie Ferris was 20th in the next day’s giant slalom. Lily Fitzgerald again led the women’s charge at Snowbird, placing eighth in the women’s first slalom. SVSEF had two in the top 20 in the next day’s slalom; Erin Smith had an impressive seventh place result, and Lily finished 11th.
Alum Spencer Wright, now skiing at Aspen, finished ninth in the men’s first GS at Park City. In the first slalom at Snowbird, Jack Smith was 16th and Spencer Wright 19th. Bridger Harrison had a solid slalom race the next day, skiing to 19th behind Spencer Wright in 18th.
USASA Slopestyle, Grand Targhee
By Andy Gilbert
The SVSEF Snowboard Team travelled to Grand Targhee for the Big Mountain West Series Slopestyle event Feb 23rd. This was by far the best slopestyle course this season; the Targhee Park Crew did an amazing job, and it really showcased what the kids could do.
Menehune Boys 10-11
Nico Lerner landed in third place with smooth straight airs on the big jumps and use of the harder rail feature.
Breaker Boys 12-13
Sebastian Lerner took the win with his first run! He started with a nice 50/50 on the rail feature, moving into a backside 360 and two clean straight airs. Caleb Hothem took the bronze with clean straight airs and a good flow throughout his run. Jack Verhaeghe ended up in fifth, just having a little trouble with the conditions.
Breaker Girls 12-13
Olive Gilbert won the Breaker Girls division with nice tail grab and method airs.
Youth Men 14-15
Brody McBee was third with a nice 3 and solid straight airs.
Up next, the team goes to Park City for the King of the Wasatch series final. We will know which of our riders qualified for Nationals after this event.
Devo, Prep, Prep Pro athletes at IYCs
Devo, Prep and Prep Pro athletes competed at the annual Intermountain Youth Championships, held at Trail Creek in Jackson Hole. The weekend featured a skate race, skiercross and a mass start classic. It was a great weekend for the team; it was the first away race for some of the SVSEF athletes, while for others it was a good opportunity to put all their hard work this season into practice in a competitive setting. SVSEF athletes accumulated a number of podiums throughout the weekend. Berkeley Canfield won the U14 girls skate race and skiercross; sickness set her back on Sunday, but she still skied to 12th and won the U14 Cup for the season (based on results at JNQ and IYC races). Sven Halvorsen was third for U12 boys in the skate race, Chasyn Halvorsen was first for U8 boys, and Zander Douglas found the podium in third for the U16 boys 5km. Sarah Leidecker had a solid race, finishing fifth for U12 girls, as did Zoe Liberatore, who was fourth for U10 girls, and Lucy Stevenson, who was fifth. In the skiercross event, Sarah Leidecker finished second for U12 girls, Sven Halvorsen was just off the podium in fourth for U12 boys, as was Berkeley Canfield for U14 girls. She was followed closely by Anika Vandenburgh in fifth. Remy de Saint Phalle and Zander Douglas also went four-five for U16 boys. In the mass start races on Sunday, Zoe Liberatore again finished fourth for U10s. Holden Archie finished 10th in both the skate and classic races, and ended up ninth overall for the U14 Cup for boys for the season. Teddy Hobbs had a stellar race, skiing to 17th for U14 boys in a field of 57. Anika Vandenburgh was 13th for U14 girls.
Gold Team, Birkie
Gold Team athletes went straight from racing the SuperTour circuit to the American Birkie, a major test of endurance. Katie Feldman skied to third in the women’s 50km skate, and Maddie Morgan was 10th. In the men’s 50km, Adam Luban finished fourth. Peter Holmes and Cate Brams opted to race the 55km classic; both took the win on the day.
Kevin Bolger, World Championships
Gold Team skier Kevin Bolger has been in Seefeld, Austria, competing at his first World Championships. In the skate sprint, Kevin qualified 23rd, giving him the green light to move onto heats. He finished 18th overall.