Week in Review: January 16

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IMD, U14 Qualifier, Sun Valley

The IMD Team closed out a successful first weekend of racing, with the added benefit of competing on their home turf. SVSEF staged a smooth weekend of racing, with a giant slalom on Friday and slalom events on Saturday and Sunday.

Temps were cold and the course was well-set to start off racing on Friday. SVSEF girls came out with a bang, sweeping the podium on their first run, and taking first and second overall; Paige DeHart won the race and Maya Lightner was second. Paige DeHart carried her success through the weekend, winning both slalom races on Saturday and Sunday. Maya Lightner joined her on the podium again on Sunday, finishing third behind Elisabeth Bocock. In the men’s U14 races, Tommy Normand had a great giant slalom race, finishing second behind Oscar Brown, and Cole Curci and Max Meucci secured top spots in the slalom races – Cole won both events, and Max finished third and fourth on Saturday and Sunday. SVSEF took three of the top six overall spots for the weekend; Paige DeHart was first overall for girls, Maya Lightner was third, and Cole Curci was the overall winner for boys.

Amidst the racing, IMD Head Coach James Tautkus reminded his athletes that “races are a test; they are a benchmark to let us know where we are at; they should affirm what we are doing well and identify what still needs work.” The hard-charging group has a couple race series lined up, with the Wes Baron Memorial and a speed project at Grand Targhee.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.3.1" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://2s3zkgt1k879mex926qyq71a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jan-14-2019_Stelling-510_SM.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.3.1" custom_margin="-26px|||"]Paige DeHart in first and Maya Lightner in third at the U14 qualifier in Sun Valley.
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USSA, U16 Qualifier, Snowbird

The USSA team skied at Snowbird for a U16 qualifier; it was an amazing weekend, both condition-wise and results-wise. “Our athletes showed up ready to compete and the entire coaching staff was impressed with their effort throughout the series,” noted Head Coach Chuck Harris. Nathan Gowe charged, making the podium every day. Anhwei Kirk led the women’s contingent with solid results each day. Marit Kaiser and Jessica Blackburn came directly from their U16 NPS races at Burke, Vermont. “They stepped off the plane on Saturday and raced on Sunday; to have both of them finish in the top five showed some toughness,” added Harris.


Day 1 - January 11th GS
Women:  Saba Grossman 3rd; Anhwei Kirk 10th; Logan Lindstrom 14th
Men:  Nathan Gowe 5th (3rd for U16s); Colin Hannah 9th (6th for U16s); Josh Blackburn 10th (7th for U16s); Jett Carruth 19th (15th for U16s)

Day 2 - January 12th SL
Women:  Anhwei Kirk 3rd; Saba Grossman 9th; Hannah Ferris 10th
Men:  Nathan Gowe 1st; Nils Galloway 6th; Shaw McCoubrey 14th

Day 3 - January 13th SL
Women:  Marit Kaiser 3rd; Jessica Blackburn 4th; Anhwei Kirk 7th; Saba Grossman 9th
Men:  Nathan Gowe 3rd; Nils Galloway 4th (Nils won the 2nd run and Nathan was 2nd on the 2nd run)
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.3.1" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://2s3zkgt1k879mex926qyq71a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1945-e1547650975643.jpeg" _builder_version="3.3.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.3.1" custom_margin="-26px|||"]Nathan Gowe, Anhwei Kirk, Marit Kaiser and Saba Grossman with their hardware from the weekend.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://2s3zkgt1k879mex926qyq71a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/nathang.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.3.1" custom_margin="-26px|||"]Nathan Gowe in first.
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="on" _builder_version="3.3.1"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.3.1" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://2s3zkgt1k879mex926qyq71a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/dasha.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.3.1" custom_margin="-26px|||"]Dasha Romanov with a win at the U16 NPS at Burke.
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USSA, U16 NPS, Burke

Four U16 athletes competed at Burke, Vermont, for two slalom and two giant slalom competitions as part of the National Project Series (NPS); Ryder Sarchett, Marit Kaiser, Jessica Blackburn and Dasha Romanov are representing SVSEF. The NPS Tech Project brings the best U16s together from throughout the country for a week of training and racing; it is a part of the national pipeline intended to prepare athletes for more elite competition. Athletes have the opportunity to qualify to represent the U.S. at the OPA (Seven Nations) Cup in February based on results.
Women started competition with a slalom in the morning on January 8; Marit Kaiser finished eighth and Dasha Romanov 11th in a field of 30. Jessica Blackburn did not finish her first run of the day. Ryder Sarchett skied out his runs in the men’s slalom, and did not finish his second run in the second men’s slalom in the afternoon. Dasha had an amazing first run in the women’s afternoon slalom, landing the fastest time, but moved down to 18th following her second run. Jessica skied to 13th, and Marit was disqualified in her first run. The project continues today with training.
Although they did not complete both runs of their respective races, two SVSEF skiers clocked the best times on the runs they did complete, which is a substantial success given the field and the stakes; Ryder won the first run of the second race, as did Dasha.
Ryder Sarchett skied fast on January 10th in the slalom, winning the men’s race. He did not finish his second run in the January 11th slalom. Dasha Romanov did a good job of putting her runs together both days, finishing third in the January 10th slalom and taking the win in the January 11th slalom. Teammate Marit Kaiser did not finish in the January 10th slalom, but skied to a solid seventh on January 11th. Jessica Blackburn was 13th in the January 10th slalom and did not finish her second run on January 11th.
Based on results, Dasha qualified to represent SVSEF and the U.S. at the OPA Cup in Meiringen, Switzerland, February 4-15. This is a high-level U16 competition in Europe, and features some of the top athletes from eastern Europe.
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North Series, Snow King GS, Jackson Hole

The North Series team traveled to Jackson Hole and Snow King for two giant slalom races to kick off their competition season. “We braved a cold weekend at Snow King with some really good results for all of our kids,” said Head Coach Adele Savaria. “Many of them showed great improvement throughout the weekend and it was fun to see all of their hard work over the past couple of months pay off in their skiing.”
SVSEF had good grouping throughout the weekend, with Rowan Desler, Josie Sarchett and Taylor Hovey going seven-eight-nine for girls in the Saturday giant slalom, and Rowan Desler narrowly missing the podium in fourth and Josie Sarchett cruising to sixth on Sunday. Tucker Smith won both boys' races handily. Simon Morgan found seventh on Saturday, and Paxton Sammis skied to a great 10th place on Sunday.

FIS, Western Region Elite Tech Series, Big Sky

FIS athletes competed at a Western Region Elite Tech Series at Big Sky, Montana, with two giant slalom and two slalom races. Highlights from the week included a podium for Erin Smith, who was third in the giant slalom on January 14. SVSEF athletes had consistently good results in the top ten, with Bennett Snyder, Harrison Bridger, Lily Fitzgerald, Merumo Ishimaru and Erin Smith all breaking into the top 10. SVSEF women had impressive slalom results as a group on January 13th, with Erin Smith in fifth, Lily Fitzgerald in eighth and Merumo Ishimaru in ninth. "Overall it was an excellent series for us," said Head Coach Nate Schwing. "We had many athletes scoring career best results, and we had first-year FIS athletes making big move-ups from their start positions."


The Mini World Cup team has been foraying into slalom training, while also taking the time to explore the bowls, terrain park and moguls on Baldy. The team will hold its rescheduled competition this Sunday, January 20th (in place of the scheduled January 6th event).



World Cup

Gold Team athlete Kevin Bolger most recently competed in Dresden, Germany, as part of the World Cup 2018-2019 circuit. The competitions were staged within the city; a 1.6km track of snow sat amidst grass, crowds, and city buildings. Kevin finished 28th in the men’s skate sprint qualifier on January 12, and 29th overall after heats. He was the second American behind veteran Andy Newell. Kevin next races in Otepaa, Estonia, this coming weekend.

IBU World Cup

SVSEF alum Max Durtschi was called up to compete on the biathlon World Cup circuit. The first competitions he jumped into were in Duszniki Zdroj, Poland; in the 10km on January 12, he finished 40th. Max next races in Arber, Germany.
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.3.1" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://2s3zkgt1k879mex926qyq71a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_4953.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.3.1" custom_margin="-26px|||"]Tommy Hovey stands on the podium in first for U10 boys; he won both days for his age group.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://2s3zkgt1k879mex926qyq71a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_4934.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.3.1" custom_margin="-26px|||"]Coaches Claudia Stern and Josie Brownell with Quinton Buoncristiani and Simon Morgan at the start of their GS race at Snow King.
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="on" _builder_version="3.3.1"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.3.1" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://2s3zkgt1k879mex926qyq71a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_9009.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.3.1" custom_margin="-26px|||"]Sammy Smith on the podium in Park City.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://2s3zkgt1k879mex926qyq71a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/minix.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.3.1" custom_margin="-26px|||"]Mini X team working on starts.
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SVSEF freestyle athletes were at Park City last weekend for the Park City Freestyle Classic, the Intermountain Freestyle Divisional Championships. This was another divisional junior national qualifying event. Sammy Smith was second for her age group on January 12 and first on January 13. Overall, she skied to fourth in the women’s January 12 moguls competition and second on January 13. Up-and-comer Tillie Babcock has built on a great season so far, skiing solid runs to third in her age group on January 12 and second in the January 13 competition. Luke Rizzo finished seventh overall in both events for men.
The Sun Valley Freestyle Spectacular takes place January 26-29 and features SVSEF freestyle athletes on course on Roundhouse slope; this is a great opportunity to view some mogul events and support SVSEF athletes at home.


Freeski athletes have been training at home on Dollar and Baldy, and will have the opportunity to experience some new terrain and features and spend some time in the halfpipe at a camp at Keystone, Colorado, from January 19-26. The group’s first competition will be at home; a USASA event will be hosted at Dollar Mountain, February 2-3, with slopestyle and rail jam competitions.


The Big Mountain crew parted ways, with some athletes headed for Red Mountain for an IFSA Junior National event, and others to Snowbird for another Junior National event.


Snowboard athletes will compete at home this Saturday in the annual Baldy Banked Slalom, held on Baldy. The overall event winner can punch their ticket to the famed Baker Banked Slalom, held at the beginning of February at Mt. Baker.
Learn more or register:


The Mini X team has been focusing their efforts on improving in bumps and jumps, spending most of their time most recently on Baldy. The goal is to become better mogul skiers, and athletes have been offered the opportunity to compete in a couple of events outside of the Mini X schedule if they’re ready. The team will soon be adding Air Barn sessions again, and is eager to tackle the mogul course on Roundhouse slope once complete.

Week(s) in Review: January 8

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U16 NPS Tech Project

Four U16 athletes are currently at Burke, Vermont, for two slalom and two giant slalom competitions as part of the National Project Series (NPS); Ryder Sarchett, Marit Kaiser, Jessica Blackburn and Dasha Romanov are representing SVSEF. The NPS Tech Project brings the best U16s together from throughout the country for a week of training and racing; it is a part of the national pipeline intended to prepare athletes for more elite competition. Athletes have the opportunity to qualify to represent the U.S. at the OPA (Seven Nations) Cup in February based on results. 

Women started competition with a slalom in the morning on January 8; Marit Kaiser finished eighth and Dasha Romanov 11th in a field of 30. Jessica Blackburn did not finish her first run of the day. Ryder Sarchett skied out his runs in the men’s slalom, and did not finish his second run in the second men’s slalom in the afternoon. Dasha had an amazing first run in the women’s afternoon slalom, landing the fastest time, but moved down to 18th following her second run. Jessica skied to 13th, and Marit was disqualified in her first run. The project continues today with training.

Although they did not complete both runs of their respective races, two SVSEF clocked the best times on the runs they did complete, which is a substantial success given the field and the stakes; Ryder won the first run of the second race, as did Dasha.


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Jack Smith invited to U.S. Development Team Europe Camp

Based on his success at Snowbird in the GS, Jack Smith has earned an invitation from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Development Team to attend a Europe camp this January. “Jack has been working extremely hard, is very motivated and is skiing well. We wish him luck in Europe,” said SVSEF FIS Head Coach Nate Schwing. With some of the best results so far this year in GS for athletes born in 2001 n the nation, Jack will take this success overseas for two weeks of racing and training. The Development Team is club-based; four men have been named, and for this camp they take an additional six for a total of 10 male athletes.



FIS athletes leave today for a Western Regional FIS elite Junior National and US National tech qualifier. The races at Big Sky are an opportunity to qualify for national-level competition later this season.
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Looking out at Targhee, photo by Addie Rafford
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The Big Mountain team has been getting mileage and experience under their belt; first with a Level One Avalanche yurt trip, and most recently with time at Grand Targhee. At Grand Targhee, the group spent their days hiking, exploring new terrain, including cliffs, and pushing themselves by trying new tricks.
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U.S. Cross Country Championships

Craftsbury Outdoor Center hosted the 2019 U.S. L.L. Bean Cross Country Ski Championships, held January 3-8. SVSEF sent over 20 athletes from Comp, PG and Gold teams to Vermont for the races. Top professional, collegiate and junior athletes from across the country converged for classic sprints and classic and skate distance races; aside from national titles, athletes competing at Nationals were looking to qualify for race opportunities abroad. A record number of SVSEF athletes did so; Peter Holmes, Johnny Hagenbuch, Sydney Palmer-Leger and Sophia Mazzoni all made the cut for U.S. World Junior Championships in Lahti, Finland, which will take place later this month. SVSEF has often had one or two (and twice, three) athletes qualify for World Juniors, but four is unprecedented.

Peter Holmes started off strong with a 11th place finish in the men’s 15km classic on Thursday. Johnny was the top U18 in the nation and 27th overall. For women, Sydney Palmer-Leger was third for U18s in the 10km, and Logan Smith won the U16 category. Gold Team skier Cate Brahms had a good result, coming in 21st overall. Sophia Mazzoni was the fifth U18 finisher (41st overall).

In the classic sprint the next day, Peter Holmes continued his success by stepping onto the American podium in third. He was fourth overall and the first U23. Sophia qualified for women’s senior heats and was the second junior overall, and Logan Smith also qualified for senior heats as a U16. Sydney Palmer-Leger skied to second in junior heats, Sarah Morgan to fifth and Johnny Hagenbuch to fifth.

In Sunday’s mass start, Johnny Hagenbuch led SVSEF in the junior category, winning the men’s 10km freestyle race with a time of 26:27. PG skier Scott Schulz broke the top 10 in ninth. Peter Holmes was again SVSEF’s top finisher for senior men, skiing to 19th overall in the 30km freestyle mass start. Katie Feldman led the women in 17th in the 20km race. Sydney Palmer-Leger made the junior women’s podium in third for the 7.5km, and Logan Smith was 15th and the top U16 finisher.

In the final race on Tuesday, a freestyle sprint, Peter Holmes made heats and moved onto semifinals, and Maddie Morgan and Katie Feldman both made heats for women.

Peter will compete at U23 Worlds, and U18 skiers Johnny, Sydney and Sophia will race at World Juniors in Lahti, January 20-26. Post Grad Head Coach Paul Smith with join them as a coach on the trip. They leave today for Finland to begin training. More information about the upcoming events can be found here.

In addition to the four who qualified for Junior Worlds, Comp Team athlete Logan Smith had a standout series. At just 14 years old, Logan pre-qualified for Junior Nationals, and also qualified for the U18 Nordic Nations Cup in Scandinavia. She is also the second alternate for Junior Worlds, based on her results at Nationals.



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Blake DeHart and Alex Shafer coming into the finish
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Snowmaker Classic

SVSEF hosted a local race at Lake Creek on January 5. Distances included 1, 3, 5 and 10km, and 56 athletes came out to compete. Competitors ranged from age 5 to 92. Thanks to our volunteers for making the execution of the race a breeze! 



World Cup

Kevin Bolger was selected by the U.S. Ski Team to race the Tour de Ski, which is arguably the most exciting stint of World Cup action. He was invited based on his results in the Davos sprint, in which he just missed heats in 31st.

In the opening freestyle sprint of the Tour de Ski in Toblach, Italy, on December 29, Kevin charged to an impressive 13th overall in qualifiers. He moved onto heats and finished 21st overall. Kevin was 71st in the 15km freestyle race on December 30, also in Toblach, and narrowly missed heats in the next freestyle sprint in Val Muestair, Switzerland, on January 1st, landing in 34th.

Kevin’s results


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Tilly Babcock, far right, in second. Photo by ID One Foundation
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Sammy Smith, photo by ID One Foundation
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Freestyle athletes headed to Snowbird in Utah for a qualifier for Junior Nationals. Sammy Smith led the charge; she placed fourth overall the first day in the two-run single moguls comp, won her age group (F15), and was second overall on the second day in the one-run single mogul comp in the morning. She again won her age group, and had the fastest time and highest air score of the day. Significantly, she bested two girls who have recently competed in World Cup events, and one who represented Norway at the Olympics in Pyeongchang. Tilly Babcock had a great weekend, coming in third for her F12 age group on Saturday, as did Rainey Wilson, who was also third for her age group on Saturday (F19). Drake Lovelin, for whom this was his first regional competition, won his age group (M11) on both Saturday and Sunday. Sunday’s dual event was cancelled due to poor visibility; it snowed 17 inches over five hours. The team heads to Park City for competition this Saturday and Sunday for divisional championships, which are another opportunity to qualify for junior nationals.

The team will compete locally on January 26-27 as part of the Sun Valley Freestyle Spectacular on Roundhouse slope – mark your calendars and come support SVSEF athletes on their home turf!



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U.S. Selections

U.S. Selections for freestyle athletes took place December 16-22 in Winter Park, CO. High caliber athletes bulked up the start lists; there were internationally-ranked World Cup athletes from Japan, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Austria in attendance. SVSEF athletes did well; Luke Rizzo ended up top-40 both days. Rainey’s best result was 47th.
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Snowboard athletes with their hardware at Snowbasin.
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By Snowboard Head Coach Andy Gilbert

A small crew went to Snowbasin with parents over the weekend to dip their toes in the slalom and GS waters.

While traditionally not a discipline that we train very often outside of freeriding, it is a huge tool as far as fundamentals and skill-building goes. We had a gate training day prior to the trip which was well received and beneficial.


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Alum and 2018 Olympian Chase Josey took some time to shred with the Snowboard Team before heading to Laax in Switzerland.
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For Christmas weekend, the SVSEF Snowboard Team tried to really mix things up. Rather than run “human slalom” with the crowds, the coaches decided that setting a few stubbies on Cozy with the Alpine team would be time well spent.

Big shout out to Nate Schwing and his coaches for helping make this happen! It was great to see the different disciplines all working together and using the same space.

Sunday saw the team in the classroom with Lindsay Mann, SVSEF Mountain Awareness Coordinator, for an avalanche course. The session covered the basics of what to look for, warning signs, general safety and more. This will be followed up with a 2-hour field study later in January. The importance of this information cannot be overstated. The team seemed to really soak it in, and hopefully this will be the beginning of their continued backcountry safety information. Lindsay really made the information accessible and easy to understand for the kids and is a huge asset to our programs. Thanks, Linds!

We followed up the class with a team lunch at the Hot Water Inn! Mark Oliver and the crew at 3 Jerks Jamaican BBQ are putting out some amazing food; if you haven’t had a chance to try it get in there now! Mark is a SVSEF alumni and has created something pretty special in Warm Springs! He has always supported snowboarding so we wanted to support him. The purpose of the team lunch was to bond a bit, talk about the upcoming season, goals and being a better team as a whole. The most successful teams we have had both on and off the hill were the ones that spent quality time together as a group. We are getting ready to get into the travel portion of our season and things like this help set the tone.

Then it was off to Dollar to close out the weekend!
All in all, a very diverse weekend, just like the sport of snowboarding – that’s how we like it!
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We are making progress with the installation of the new Supertramp in the Air Barn! Keep an eye out for an edit showing the whole process, coming soon.

SVSEF Board Profile: Wally Limburg

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The board of directors plays a vital role in SVSEF’s realization of its mission and goals. Get to know our board members; next up is Wally Limburg, a commercial real estate broker by profession. Wally learned about SVSEF on the hill – he ran into Brian Caulkins, whose enthusiasm for the program apparently rubbed off. Here, Wally shares a bit about himself and what he's excited to work on with SVSEF.
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Wally with his son, Wyatt, and wife, Kathy.
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College/graduate programs: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing
Career background: Commercial Real Estate Broker specializing in shopping center landlord representation as well as retail tenant representation on a national basis.
1998-Present – Founding Partner with Strategic Retail Advisors (SRA), a retail commercial consulting and brokerage firm, Newport Beach, CA
Prior to that, Senior Vice President with CBRE, Newport Beach, CA
Career accomplishments:
Awarded CBRE’s Number One Retail Broker for Orange County for ten years.
Founding Member of X-Team, a national network of retail brokers with over offices across the country.
Married to his wife, Kathy, since 2005.
They have an eight-year old son, Wyatt.
Hobbies include skiing, fly fishing, camping, mountain biking, and golf to name a few.
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Where are you from?  Newport Beach, California.
Has skiing always been a big part of your life?  Not really, as I started skiing in my mid-twenties. Even though I was late to the sport, it has changed my life’s path.
How did you get involved with SVSEF?  In 2016, I met Brian Caulkins at Warm Springs Lodge and he introduced me to the LASAR program.  My son has been part of the LASAR program for the last two years and last year, he was fortunate to be a part of the Devo Team. This year he will be advancing to the Mini World Cup Team.
What do you tell people about the organization? That it’s not just about the skiing – the program helps teach mountain safety, teamwork, respect for others, all the while helping to lead a healthy & positive lifestyle.
What are you most excited to work on as a new member of the board? My goal is to be involved in helping develop a permanent training venue for the ski team, including assisting with the development of Rotarun Ski area.
What do you do for fun?  First and foremost, spending time with Kathy and Wyatt.  We love to travel, ski, fish, golf, etc.  That being said, I also like to fish for Trout and Steelhead in a lot of different places in the West as well as spending time in exotic locations where I like to salt-water fly fish.  About every other year, I go on a whitewater expedition, somewhere in the World with some lifelong friends.  Past locations have included Africa, India, China, South America, to name a few.
Thank you so much, Wally!
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Staff Spotlight: Lindsay Mann, Alpine USSA Coach and Mountain Awareness Program Coordinator

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Lindsay Mann joined SVSEF in the fall of 2018; she came in with fresh perspective, incessant energy, understated professionalism, and a quirky, dry sense of humor. SVSEF is already reaping the benefits of having her on board – with a wealth of experience in both elite-level alpine ski racing and backcountry guiding, Lindsay is a welcome source of knowledge and motivation. This is not limited to the alpine USSA team and the big mountain program; diving in head-first, she has developed a Mountain Awareness Program (MAP) for SVSEF, which provides professional avalanche awareness and mountain awareness training to SVSEF athletes of all ages. Teaming up with the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, Sawtooth Mountain Guides, Sun Valley Guides, and BRASS, Lindsay has already orchestrated multiple informational sessions for athletes, coaches and parents alike. Lindsay's work with SVSEF has caught the attention of industry professionals – read the recent skiracing.com article that details her work that has resonated with the BRASS Foundation HERE.

In addition to her initiative as the Mountain Awareness Program Coordinator, Lindsay is on the hill with SVSEF athletes as an assistant coach for the alpine USSA team. We caught up with Lindsay to learn more about her and the experiences that have informed her current role – read all it below.
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You've mentioned that you were both a dancer and a skier when you were younger – why did you choose to pursue skiing?

Growing up I did ballet, gymnastics, ski racing and soccer. When I was 13 I was in the Boston Ballet's Youth Programs and ski racing for WVBBTS (Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers). Due to my ski racing commitments, I never auditioned for the Nutcracker and this did not please my ballet teachers. At this point, I decided to pursue an activity in the mountains rather than an indoor sport. Since moving to Sun Valley, I have found a great dance community here and attend dance class regularly in Hailey at Idayoga. For dryland this fall the dance instructor, Sean, came and taught a hip hop class to our U16 athletes.

Where did you grow up skiing? How did you end up at Dartmouth?
I grew up skiing at Waterville Valley in New Hampshire and then attended Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) for my junior and senior year of high school. In the East we often raced again college teams at FIS races, and all of the eastern collegiate ski teams always seemed to support each other. From being around this, I knew that I wanted to ski race in college and I thought that Dartmouth seemed like a good fit for me. Fortunately, I was lucky to get in and ski race for them for four years.

What is the biggest thing you took away/learned from skiing at Dartmouth?

Although ski racing is an individual sport, I really enjoyed the team atmosphere of college ski racing. To be successful as a college team we needed to have a strong nordic team and alpine team. Being in an environment where the team did well the harder I worked and trained motivated me to work hard and ski fast while I was there.

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Best memory from your time there?

In 2007, my senior year, the Dartmouth Ski team won NCAAS! It was the first time at Dartmouth that the women's ski team had been apart of a National Championship, and it was the highlight of my time there. One of the things that made the team so special this year was on the women's side we didn't have any stand out skier. In years past there was always one girl on the team that we expected would win races or do really well. I remember at one of our early season FIS races, my teammate Michelanne won an Eastern Cup GS race. The majority of the Eastern Collegiate Teams were at this race and I remember that although we were really excited for Michelanne, we all knew that we could all ski as fast as her. It was like a light clicked on for all of us and we knew that we could be a very strong team and compete. We carried that momentum with us throughout the whole season and into NCAAs.

How/when did you become interested in guiding and backcountry?

When I was 13, my ski team went up and skied Tuckerman's Ravine on Mt. Washington in the spring. My dad came with our group, too, and I really enjoyed being in the mountains and experiencing a different side of skiing. This was the first time it was on my radar and I knew that when I graduated college I wanted to move out West and get more into backcountry skiing. As a college graduation present my parents bought me a beacon, shovel and probe and paid for my Avalanche 1 Course. From there I had a good friend from college who worked for Rainier Mountaineering, Inc, and he helped me to get my first job guiding.

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How did high-level alpine racing inform/support your growth in guiding/backcountry?

Because I grew up a ski racer, I was really comfortable in the mountains and comfortable in difficult weather conditions. I was also used to spending time in a dynamic environment. As a ski racer there are many times that the plan changes, and you learn to be adaptable. This ability to adapt the plan has been a tremendous asset to me as a guide.

Best trip you've been on?

This is a hard question..the past few years I have gotten into doing sail and ski trips. This was also initiated by my father who is both an avid skier and sailer, and thought it would be interesting to combine the two. One of my favorite places that we have gone to is Iceland. Where we ski in Iceland is only accessible by boat, and I've done four trips there now – it is pretty cool to be skiing in an area where we know that we are the only ones out there. In the past two years, Keely Kelleher and I have started running all girls backcountry ski trips in Iceland.

What do you like about guiding?
I enjoy taking people into the mountains showing them that with some effort you can get to some pretty amazing places. I also enjoy the teaching aspect of guiding.

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What are your goals at SVSEF this season?
To continue to create lifelong skiers and help each athlete reach their athletic potential. To show these athletes that the skills learned in ski racing translate into valuable life skills.

On the Avalanche Awareness side, my goal is to continue to educate staff, athletes and coaches about how we can teach the athletes good habits, to initiate conversations that we can be having with athletes as parents and coaches and develop understanding of tools that we can give our athletes, whether they are freeskiing in bounds or venturing out of bounds.

What do you like about the program and organization so far?

Everyone has been very welcoming in this community, which has made the transition pretty easy. Scotty and Will have also given me the opportunity to develop our Mountain Awareness Program and I really appreciate that. I think that there is a lot that we can do with these programs, and I am happy that I can be a part of making them happen and learning about the avalanche community here.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I really enjoying exploring in the mountains and dancing.

What advice do you have for your athletes?

Enjoy being in the mountains and being a part of SVSEF. Whether you are the fastest on your team or continuing to develop, SVSEF and being involved in these programs provide athletes with so many lifelong skills and long lasting friendships. This is truly a unique sport that we are a part of and I hope they take the time to enjoy it.

Week in Review: December 11

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Photo: Woodward Copper
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SVSEF alum Chase Josey, a member of the U.S. National Snowboard Team, hit the ground running for the 2018-2019 competition season at Copper for the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix. In qualifying heats on Thursday, Josey posted a top result in second behind Ikko Anai of Japan. In the finals on Saturday, Josey earned his best result in his third and final run, putting him in third overall with a score of 90.50. Josey finished behind Australian Scotty James and American Toby Miller.
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SVSEF Gold and PG athletes competed on the second stop of the SuperTour, a North American FIS-sanctioned race series. This past weekend, the group raced at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre within SilverStar Provincial Park in British Columbia. Saturday featured a freestyle sprint, and Sunday was a 10/15km classic race.
Peter Holmes led SVSEF in both the sprint and the men's 15km classic race, qualifying for the B final and finishing seventh overall on Saturday, and 10th overall on Sunday in the distance race. For women, Gold Team skier Maddie Morgan was 14th overall in the sprint, while teammate Katie Feldman was 22nd in a field of 46. PG skier Heidi Booher charged to 11th in the women's junior sprint. 
In the distance race on Sunday, Adam Luban followed Holmes' 10th place finish in 22nd out of 104 competitors, while Cate Brahms had a solid effort, finishing 15th overall in the women's 10km field of 88.
Athletes on the SuperTour have a brief reprieve before competing at Craftsbury, Vermont, for Nationals at the start of January.
Gold Team skier Kevin Bolger continued his efforts on the World Cup circuit in Beitostolen, Norway. Bolger was selected to compete in the men's 4x7.5km mixed relay on Sunday, December 9; he skied the second classic leg for the United States. The men's relay team, which consisted of Bolger, Erik Bjornsen, Scott Patterson and Simi Hamilton, finished 12th overall. The World Cup racing continues this weekend in Davos, Switzerland.

Athlete of the Week: December 6

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SVSEF provides ski and snowboard programming to nearly 700 athletes in the Wood River Valley. Athlete of the Week is an opportunity to highlight individuals who embody the values championed by this organization; sportsmanship, citizenship, character, teamwork, creativity, passion and perseverance. 
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Zach Quesnel, 11, Cross Country Prep

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_testimonial author="Kelley Sinnott" portrait_url="https://svsef.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ks4.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1" job_title="Cross Country Assistant Program Director and Prep Team Head Coach"]
Zach Quesnel is the epitome of team spirit!  His energy and enthusiasm for cross country skiing and the SVSEF team is never-ending and contagious; from below freezing temps to intervals to games, Zach tackles all the parts of skiing with the same zest for adventure and fun. Zach has demonstrated his constant positivity on a daily basis in training, but also recently at the team training camp in West Yellowstone.  Zach’s energy was visibly rubbing off on his teammates and the older kids at that camp, with his never-ceasing smile and excitement for each day on snow; he quickly was named by the older kids their own 'personal mascot.' This is Zach’s first year on Prep Team, and we can only hope that this young man’s love of skiing and SVSEF will be as strong tomorrow as it is today!
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Merumo Ishimaru, 16, Alpine FIS

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_testimonial author="Josie Brownell" portrait_url="https://svsef.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/j_brownell_staff.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1" job_title="Alpine Program Coordinator & North Series Coach"]
This is Merumo’s first year on the FIS team, and the coaches have already seen tremendous growth this season. Mer is working hard on snow and in the gym and consistently brings great energy to every session. Last weekend, while freeskiing, Mer saw a man fall and asked her coach if she could stop to help him. The man was blown away by her level of respect for other skiers, and retold the story to other SVSEF coaches he saw throughout the day. Mer is starting the season off right and we are so pumped to have her on the team!
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Caleo Morrison, 10, Mini Xtreme & Cross Country Devo North

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_testimonial author="Ben Schumacher" portrait_url="https://svsef.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/bens.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1" job_title="Mini Xtreme Head Coach"]
Caleo Morrison is our pick because of his positive attitude during the last dryland training. We took a small hike up above the barn and stopped for a little meeting. Caleo and his pal Silas wanted to go higher and he ran to a high point above the barn. I told this story to his dad Brian, and he said Caleo always has run like a deer.
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Mikey Nannini, 16, Big Mountain

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_testimonial author="Conor Davis" portrait_url="https://svsef.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/staff_cdavis.jpg" _builder_version="3.3.1" job_title="Big Mountain Head Coach"]
The Big Mountain Team would like to highlight Mikey Nannini as our Athlete of the Week. Mikey is our team cowboy with a strong handshake which also displays his genuine character. He is commuting from Kimberly to be a part of this team and has been such an asset to the team dynamic; he is always positive and enthusiastic. Mikey is a strong athlete – he also competes in team roping, and won the Filer Rodeo this fall. I can see that he is determined to continually improve his skiing abilities, and he has shown that he is willing to work hard to achieve his goals! 
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Mikey Nannini from svsef on Vimeo.