Channing Curci, coach Andy Gilbert and Maddie Hothem prep for snowboard halfpipe at USASA Nationals at Copper
USASA Nationals, Copper, March 31-April 4
SVSEF started off the week with Jack Verhaeghe competing in GS for Breaker Boys (12-13); he finished 16th overall.
Boys competed in slalom, and girls in halfpipe. For Breaker Boys, Jack Verhaeghe finished 19th. Nico Lerner took 12th for Menehune Boys (10-11). In the halfpipe, Olive Gilbert rode to 26th for Breaker Girls. Channing Curci and Maddie Hothem went eight and nine for Youth (14-15).
Jack Verhaeghe had a great day in the Breaker Boys (12-13) boardercross, riding confidently and smoothly; he advanced all the way to the semifinals in the biggest field of the entire event. Unfortunately, he just missed the transfer by one spot in third (top two advance). It was still his best ever finish in BX at Nationals – he was sixth for his age group.
Nico Lerner also made it to semifinals for Menehune Boys; he was riding with the spice and ready to race. There were some great heats on the way, and again in semifinals our SVSEF rider just missed moving on. Nico finished second in the consolation round, landing him in sixth place.
Caleb Hothem 21st
Sebastian (Sea Bass) Lerner 39th
The ladies competed in slopestyle, and Channing Curci pulled down another top ten finish in eighth place. After a bobbled first run, she dusted off and had a full pull on her second go.
Olive Gilbert had a good first run, landing all her jumps and adding a backside 180 on one of the rail features – she ended up in 33rd in one of the biggest fields of the event.
Day four had the boys at slopestyle and the ladies in boardercross. Zoe Bacca rode strategically, making it through heats and into finals; she took the overall victory for the day and was named a national champion. Olive Gilbert, Maddie Hothem and Channing Curci also competed. Maddie made it into semifinals.
Junior World Championships
Payton Bacca represented SVSEF at Junior World Championships for snowboardcross in Austria. She was 45th in the qualifier, in a field of athletes who represented 22 different countries. This was a unique opportunity for Payton to dip her toes in more international competition, having worked hard all season, competing at NorAm and FIS competitions.
FIS WR Open Tech, Northstar, March 19-22
SVSEF FIS athletes recently headed to California to compete in tech races at Northstar. Carly Walther-Porino had two 14th place finishes, in the slalom and giant slalom. Lizzy Vanderkloot’s best result was in the same slalom race, in which she finished 13th. Sage Curtis’ top finish was 14th in the 3/20 giant slalom. Falon Hanna was 26th in the 3/21 slalom. For men, Cassell Lefevre skied to 15th in the 3/19 giant slalom, Charlie Synder did well in the slalom races, finishing seventh on 3/22 and 14th on 3/21. Finn Mallinen’s best result was 22nd in the 3/22 slalom. Buey Grossman was 34th in the 3/20 giant slalom.
Paige DeHart with the win
IMD, U14 WR Jr Champs, Big Sky, March 21-24
IMD athletes competed at Big Sky for U14 Western Region Junior Championships. Said Head Coach James Tautkus, “we are very proud of these athletes. They set lofty goals this year. Some achieved, some barely missed, and in Big Sky we mostly took advantage of a great opportunity to learn, grow, and build on experience for the year and years to come. Our depth on the IMD alpine team has great potential. Nothing comes easy, especially in ski racing, and I think these results prove that we are doing a good job preparing our athletes for the challenges ahead in this sport and in life.”
SVSEF had nine U14 athletes in attendance. Based on their results during this series, Paige DeHart qualified for U16 Nationals – she is the only female athlete from the Western Region to do so – and Maya Lightner qualified for Whistler Cup.
- Paige DeHart 1 SG, 1 GS, 1 SL, 4 Skills Quest
- Maya Lightner 7 SG, 7 GS, 4 SL, 22 Skills Quest
- Lowie Watkins 31 SG, 35 GS, 32 SL, 56 Skills Quest
- Ruby Crist 17 SG, DNF GS, 33 SL, 39 Skills Quest
- Cole Curci 7 SG, 9 GS, 17 SL, 3 Skills Quest
- Tommy Normand 51 SG, 46, GS, 43 SL, 58 Skills Quest
- Will Kogelmann 35 SG, DNF GS, 26 SL, 39 Skills Quest
- Drew Kogelman 27 SG, 22 GS, 34 SL, 29 Skills Quest
- Sacha Stern-Pre 43 SG, 32 GS, 31 SL, 31 Skills Quest
Agnes Kind in first in the women’s U16 GS
USSA, Tri-Divisional Champs, Jackson, March 21-24
SVSEF brought 15 athletes to Jackson to compete at Tri-Divisional Championships, a series which included athletes from the Intermountain Division, Alaska and theNorthern Division (Montana). All of these athletes qualified to compete in these races.
Agnes Kind swept the weekend, winning Friday’s SG race, Saturday’s slalom and Sunday’s GS. Reece Walther-Porino started 62nd and finished 19th overall (5th for U14s) and Faith Cooke was 8th for U14s in the SG. All of the girls had some great improvements from Thursday’s training run. Brigette Normand was 10th for U14s (27th overall) in the slalom. In the GS, Natalie Gowe finished third for U14s, Reece Walther Porino fourth, Eden Grace Gardner seventh, Asia Angel 10th and Scarlet Rixon 11th.
Scarlet Rixon also won the hard charger award moving from 73th to 28th overall.
On the men’s side, Taylor Rixon finished 8th overall in the SG (7th for U16s), despite a hiccup out of the start. Robbie Cullen was 15th overall (12th for U16s). Zephyr Carruth finished eighth for U14s (26th overall), Owen Walker finished 14th for U14s (33rd overall) and Abel Marx, who started 99th for the men, moved up to 27th place overall, finishing ninth for U14s. In the slalom race, Taylor Rixon skied to fifth for U16s and Robbie Cullen 10th for U16s. Bodin Lee was 10th for U14s (23rd Overall). In Sunday’s race, Taylor Rixon finished ninth for U16s.
North Series, IMD Finals, Snowbird, March 23-24
North Series took a handful of athletes to Snowbird for IMD Finals. Caroline Wright was second for U8/U10 in the giant slalom. Sophia Miller was 17th for U14 girls. In the boy’s giant slalom, Charlie Reid had a solid race, finishing fifth. Adam Wright was 15th for U12 boys. In a field of 43 U14/U16 boys, Bryce Kanowsky was 13th, James Wright 21st and Henry Wright 27th. In the slalom, Charlie Reid was 11th for U8/U10, Adam Wright sixth for U12 and Henry Wright 16th for U14/U16.
FIS, NorAm Finals, Sugarloaf, March 18-21
Jack Smith has been competing on the East Coast, first at NorAm Finals, and then at Nationals and Junior Nationals. At NorAm Finals, he competed in both tech and speed events. He was 33rd in the first downhill, 39th in the first super G, 25th in the alpine combined and 34th in the second super G at Sugarloaf. Bennett Snyder competed in the speed events at NorAm Finals as well; he was 55th in the first downhill and 53rd in the next, 58th in the super G and 37th in alpine combined.
FIS, Alpine National Championships, Waterville, March 24-26
Five male athletes and one female skier represented SVSEF at Alpine Nationals. Alum Kipling Weisel also competed. In the slalom, Kipling was 11th, Jack Smith 41st and Bennett Snyder 50th. In the GS, Kipling was 12th, Jack Smith 18th, alum Spencer Wright 48th, Max Noddings 54th and Bennett Snyder 62nd. Erin Smith alsohad a great couple days of racing; she was 22nd in the ladies’ slalom field of 74 of the top U.S. athletes, and 36th in the giant slalom.
FIS, Alpine Junior National Championships, March 27-March 29
The same five male skiers competed at Junior Nationals. Erin Smith and Lizzy Vanderkloot were SVSEF’s female racers who qualified and attended. Erin Smith was 25th in the giant slalom and did not finish her first run in the slalom. Lizzy did not finish her first run in the giant slalom, and was 30th in the slalom.
Jack Smith finished 12th in the men’s giant slalom. Alum Spencer Wright was 30th in the giant slalom. Max Noddings skied to 36th, Bridger Harrison 42nd, Black Bathum 66th and Bennett Snyder 77th. In the slalom, Blake Bathum was 24th and Max Noddings 32nd.
U14 Vail Divisional Project, Vail, March 28-31
Lowie Watkins, Ruby Crist, Faith Cooke and Will Kogelmann were invited to attend a U14 divisional project, part of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard pipeline. This was an opportunity for athletes to score points, and also to race out of the region for the first time. “It’s a new experience for the Intermountain Division, as it’s the first time IMD has taken a team to this event,” said Alpine Program Director Will Brandenburg. “It was one of the more challenging GS venues they’ve raced on, so it was a really great learning experience for their development.”
U16 Nationals, Breckenridge, March 31-April 4
Ryder Sarchett started Nationals off right with the win in the men’s slalom. This was a repeat of last year, when he was also the national champion in slalom; back-to-back victories is an impressive feat. Nathan Gowe was 28th overall for men. In the women’s race, Dasha Romanov finished sixth, Marit Kaiser 14th and Jessica Blackburn 21st (third for first year U16s). Paige DeHart was the top U14 and 23rd overall.
In the giant slalom, Dasha made the national podium in second. Jessica was 11th, and again was the third 2004. Notably, she was fifth on the second run. Marit finished 15th and Paige 24th, again the top U14. For men, Nathan was 38th, Nils Galloway 48th and Ryder did not finish.
Athletes competed in Skills Quest on April 2, and finish the series with super G today.
IMD athletes on their backcountry ski
IMD Backcountry Day
Lindsay Mann and Sun Valley Guides led a group of six alpine IMD skiers into the backcountry for a day of touring. They ventured into the Pioneers, skiing the ridgeline that parallels Hyndman Creek Road. The skinning conditions were tricky earlier in the day, which forced the group to switch to boot packing on their first lap. They covered 1600 vertical feet in their ascent, and the same for their descent. “All of the athletes had great attitudes and really embraced the team mentality of backcountry skiing,” noted Mountain Awareness Coordinator and USSA coach Lindsay Mann.
The scene post-race at the Gary Black Jr. Memorial
Gary Black Jr. Memorial Race
SVSEF hosted the annual Gary Black Jr. Memorial Race, named in honor of the late Gary Black Jr., a stalwart supporter of SVSEF and skiing culture. The race drew 110 athletes U14 and under, and skiers competed in a dual panel slalom on Greyhawk. “It was really fun and a great way to end the season,” said Alpine Program Coordinator and North Series Assistant Coach Josie Brownell. “We saw some amazing costumes and some fantastic skiing. It was a really energized group. Heather Black attended and said a few words in memory of her late husband, Gary Black Jr., for whom the race is named. Heather and Alpine Program Director Will Brandenburg helped announce and hand out awards from the race; it was a nice way to wrap up the season.”
Overall winners were Owen Walker and Eden Gardner.
Top 5 overall for age groups:
U14 boys: Owen Walker-1, Henry Wright-2, Bryce Kanowsky-3
U12 boys: Paxton Sammis-1, Jay Blackburn-2, Graham Stafford-3, Santiago Rico-4, Zane Oliver-5
U10 boys: Tommy Hovey-1, Walker Woodring-2, Huxley Flood-3, Wyatt Limburg-4, Will Lamoureux-5
U8 boys: Cash Mintz-1, Harry Woodring-2, Caleb Covington-3, Aiden Safley-4, Sam Robins-5
U14 girls: Eden Gardner-1, Natalie Gowe-2, Madda Mourier-Floyd-3, Scarlett Rixon-4, Bridgette Normand-5
U12 girls: Taylor Hovey-1, Josie Sarchett-2, Rowan Desler-3, Claire Buchwalter-4, Scarlet Pringle-5
U10 girls: Leila McGrew-1, Hadley Walker-2, Lily Larrabee-3, Skyler Jensen-4, Ruby Thurston-5
U8 girls: Lauren Larrabee-1, Savannah Pringle-2, Olivia Harrington-3, Eva Questad-4, Taylor Rundell-5
Billy Klein Award – U12 Boy: Paxton Sammis
Bonnie Russel Trophy – U14 Girl: Eden Gardner
Kathleen Harriman Mortimer – U12 Girl: Taylor Hovey
Smith Goggle Award – U14 Boy: Owen Walker
Gretchen Fraser Award – U10 Girl: Leila McGrew
Pete Patterson Award – U10 Boy: Tommy Hovey
Roy Hobson Award Women: Eden Gardner
Roy Hobson Award Men: Owen Walker
Brian Caulkins, Tor Jensen and Adele Savaria head coaches for Baldy Devo/LASAR, Mini World Cup and North Series, respectively, announced their end of season awards, listed below.
Coaches Award Boy: Sawyer Morgan
Coaches Award Girl: Ruby Thurston
Outstanding Skier Boy: Walker Woodring
Outstanding Skier Girl: Alaska Sewell
MWC Most Improved Boy: Carson Bauer
MWC Most Improved Girl: Caroline Wright
MWC Women: Hadley Walker
MWC Men: Tommy Hovey
North Series Awards:
Most Improved Boy: Adam Wright
Most Improved Girl: Claire Buchwalter
Coaches Award Boy: Simon Morgan
Coaches Award Girl: Rowan Desler
Most Inspirational Boy: Tucker Smith
Most Inspirational Girl: Ella Shaughnessy
Baldy Devo Awards:
Coaches Award Boy: Zane Oliver, Henry Flynn
Coaches Award Girl: Issy Rosselini, Elle Deckard
Most Improved Boy: Octavio Hurtado, Finn Marlow
Most Improved Girl: Margaret Fisher, Amelie Ries
Cheeso Award Boy: Hank Greener
Cheeso Award Girl: Aviella Buoncristiani
Howard Dean Award Boy: Declan O’Toole
Howard Dean Award Girl: Savannah Pringle
Peter Holmes, Kevin Bolger and Johnny Hagenbuch in Quebec
World Cup Finals, Quebec, March 22-24
Gold Team skiers Kevin Bolger and Peter Holmes competed at World Cup Finals, held in Quebec. Kevin finished 44th in the pursuit and classic and 41st in the sprint, while Peter Holmes was 70th in the pursuit, 73rd in classic and 65th in the freestyle sprint. Comp team skier Johnny Hagenbuch was also in Quebec for a junior event on Saturday; he finished sixth in the 10km classic mass start race in a field of 61 skiers. This was the first event of its kind at World Cup Finals, and it sought to highlight top junior racers from across the country.
SuperTour Finals, Presque Isle, March 29-April 2
Gold Team skiers, along with Johnny Hagenbuch (Comp) and Daniel Fischer (PG) traveled to the remote northeastern corner of Maine for SuperTour Finals to wrap up the competitive season. The event kicked off with a freestyle sprint. Kevin Bolger and Peter Holmes moved onto heats from qualifiers, with Kevin ultimately finishing fourth in finals and Peter 22nd. Johnny Hagenbuch made heats, qualifying 27th and finishing 28th. Daniel Fischer was 38th and Adam Luban 46th in qualifiers. For women, Cate Brams finished 26th overall (qualified 24th), Katie Feldman was 27th (qualified 26th), and Maddie Morgan was 30th in the qualifier.
A classic mass start followed, with men skiing 15km and women 10km. Kevin finished seventh, Peter 15th, Johnny 26th, Adam 31st and Daniel 48th. Katie was 22nd for women, Cate 23rd and Maddie 36th.
Teams competed in 4x5km mixed relays – SVSEF’s team of Cate, Peter, Katie and Kevin finished sixth overall.
In the final day of racing, men skied a 50km freestyle mass start, and women skied 20km. Kevin finished 18th, Peter 23rd, Adam 27th and Daniel 35th. Katie was 21st for women and Cate 23rd.
Kevin Bolger in SuperTour Final sprint heats
Upcoming: USASA Nationals, Copper, April 5-10
SVSEF freeskiers leave for USASA Nationals, which follow on the tails of snowboard Nationals. Here’s a preview from SVSEF skier Johannes Liaboe:
1. What event are you most looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to the slopestyle and skier cross competitions. Slopestyle is not my strong suit (Yet) but it is a lot of fun.
2. How have you been preparing for Nationals?