Blackwell, Sarchett share in SVSEF Athlete of the Week

Story by Julia Seyferth

For the second time in a row, there are two SVSEF Athletes of the Week; this speaks to the high level at which these athletes are performing, and the drive and dynamism they are bringing to their respective sports.

Hanna Blackwell is a 15-year-old sophomore at Wood River High School. A member of the Freeskiing A Team, she capitalized this past week at Freestyle and Freeskiing Junior Nationals here in Ketchum, leaving it all at the line in her three events, slopestyle, halfpipe and big air. Hanna skied with grit and confidence and moved into the finals in all three disciplines. She finished seventh overall in the women’s slopestyle event and was the third F17 finisher. In the halfpipe she was fourth overall and the first F17, and in the big air competition she was fifth overall and the third F17. Landing three podiums and pushing the envelope in style and precision, Hanna ended the week of Junior National events on the podium, again; this time in third place for freeskiing combined, which is based on the total points earned overall across slopestyle, halfpipe, and big air events.

Hanna Blackwell

Hanna Blackwell

Freeskiing Travel A/B Team Head Coach Reed Snyderman was impressed with Hanna’s performance at Junior Nationals, saying she “demonstrated some of the best skiing I have ever seen out of her. Hanna is a competitor and I appreciate her hard work and dedication. Hanna ended up getting third in freeskiing combined, which is strong work given the high caliber of the athletes at the event and the fact that she is quite young. We will see how far her passion for skiing takes her!”
RyderThe other Athlete of the Week is IMD Alpine Team skier Ryder Sarchett. Ryder is a seventh grader at the Sage School. At the U14 Western Region Championships this past week, he bagged eighth place in the super-G, second in the slalom and second in the giant slalom. At the end of the week, he had the least number of race points of any male after the three events, making him the overall IMD champion for U14’s.
IMD Head Coach James Tautkus summed up the charisma and energy that Ryder brings to the sport: “The best part about Ryder accepting this award is that he was the only athlete who got up on the podium on the third day still in his ski boots. After photos were taken, he hopped off the podium and kept skiing. This kid has a bright future in this sport with a genuine desire to be on his skis. We are very proud of him and his effort this season, but Ryder is a unique individual who has a deep motivation and sincerely enjoys the process of getting better. It’s awesome and refreshing to coach him.”
Congratulations to both athletes on stellar performances at these end-of-season competitions; we’re looking forward to seeing what else is in store.


Ryder Sarchett