Sixth Annual Gary Black Jr. Memorial Race Honors Black’s Love of Ski Racing

SVSEF alpine youth programs wrap up season complete with costumes and camaraderie

Sun Valley Ski Education (SVSEF) hosted the Sixth Annual Gary Black, Jr. Memorial Race on Saturday. Girls and boys from the SVSEF Alpine U8, U10, U12, and U14 teams competed in a dual-panel ski race and at the conclusion of the event the teams’ end-of-season individual awards and Gary Black Jr. Memorial Race perpetual trophies were presented.

The Gary Black Memorial race honors and memorializes a ski racing community legend, Gary Black, Jr., whose life was taken too soon in 2017. It honors Gary’s love for ski racing, the enthusiasm of what it’s like to be a ski racer, and continues his legacy through the next generation of ski racers. Black’s success, commitment, and enthusiasm to the ski racing community shone bright this weekend. While the race was happening in Sun Valley, Black was also being honored and inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in Big Sky, MT this weekend as a member of the 2021-2022 class. 

It was an important weekend for the Black family, recognizing his induction, and seeing the impact of this annual race in his honor. “On behalf of my family, I’d like to thank SVSEF for their continued support and promotion of the Gary Black, Jr Memorial Race,” said Amanda Rising Black, eldest daughter of the late Gary Black, Jr. “We were so sorry to miss the festivities this year, but ironically, they were held the same day that our father was to be inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. It’s hard to believe the race is in its sixth year, and wonderful to see how many turned out and the fun that was being had. Our father would have loved to see how much SVSEF has grown as an organization in the past six years. Not only have the numbers of athletes participating in the program increased, but they have placed several athletes on the U.S. Team. He also would have been especially proud of their expanded Grass Roots to Grand Stage programming and their vision around inclusivity and opportunity for the youth of the Wood River Valley. We are so fortunate to live in a community that can provide that resource to all. Thank you, SVSEF—next year we’ll be there with bells on!” said Black.

“I am so proud that my father is receiving this recognition,” said Lexi Black, youngest daughter of the late Gary Black, Jr. and SVSEF Alum. “Like many kids, I grew up in total admiration of my father. But not many other kids get to share in a whole community’s worth of admiration — really serves as a reminder of just how special we was, not only to me, but to so many people. And in the case of my father, I think this respect and appreciation is not only in response to the work he did on behalf of the industry, but respect and appreciation for that great big heart his that guided every bit of the work.”

“Remembering Gary in such a significant way, both in the morning with an SVSEF ski race and that evening with his induction into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame was tremendous,” said Heather Black, wife of the late Gary Black, Jr. “Someone from the family has always been present at the Gary Black, Jr. Memorial race and while we were sad to miss it this year, we were overwhelmed to be at his induction where our hearts were full with gratitude and pride for the day of GBJr. remembrances.”

Costumes are tradition at the Gary Black, Jr. Memorial Race, along with big smiles, friendly camaraderie, and competitive spirits. The dual-format race makes for fun competition among teammates, seeing who can get down the hill fastest. Alta Questad from the U10 Travel Team skied into first place in the girls U10 field, and Alex Grant won for the U10 boys. In U12 girls, Savannah Pringle came in first place and Henry Questad won on the boys side. Lucy Stevenson and Espen Schernthanner stood atop the podium for the U14 girls and boys respectively. Podiums or not, all the athletes felt the fun vibes of wrapping their season amongst their teammates under blue skies and sunshine.

“Although it seems like this winter will not go away, we were greeted with a blue bird day,” said Chuck Harris, SVSEF Alpine Junior Program Director. “We had more than 140 kids racing, and they all put on a show. All the kids and coaches were in costumes and the barbeque was on all day. I could not think of a better way to end the season for our youth programs.” 

At the conclusion of the races, the individual year-end awards were presented for boys and girls in each age group including the Most Improved, Coaches Award, Cheeso Award, Outstanding Skier Awards, and the Howard Dean Award in the U8 category.

The Gary Black, Jr. Memorial Perpetual Trophies were also presented. The Gretchen Fraser Award for fastest U10 Female went to Alta Questad and the Pete Patterson Award for fastest U10 Male went to Alex Grant. The Kathleen Harrison Mortimer Award for the fastest U12 Female was awarded to Savannah Pringle and the Billy Klein Award for the fastest U12 Male was awarded to Henry Questad. The Bonnie Russell Award for the fastest U14 Female went to Lucy Stevenson and the Smith Goggle Award for the fastest U14 Male went to Espen Schernthanner.

Complete race results, individual year-end awards, and recipients of the perpetual trophy awards are included below.

Gary Black, Jr. Memorial Race Results:

U8 Girls 

1 – Kayla Kloster

2 – Dylan Spengler 

3 – Blakely Martens 

4 – Morgan Thomas

5 – Chandler Letson

6 – Estelle Turzian

7 – Serena (Nani) Sheue 

8 – Blakeslee Tindall 

9 – Rosie Hill 

10 – Palmer Burwell 

11 – Elise Eng Greener

12 – Aveline McMahan 

13 – Kyle Bruun

U8 Boys

1 – Vance Gardiner

2 – Ridge Crist 

3 – Dillon Wells

4 – Bennett Everson

5 – Huxley Binns

6 – Cole Martens

7 – Grey Hegewald

8 – Dylan Smiley 

9 – Jax Hegewald

10 – Wade Carr

11 – Bryce Gilmore

12 – Owen Brennan

13 – Arthur McNeal 

14 – Samuel Sattler 

15 – Smith Matthews

16 – Werner Mcnamara 

17 – Nathan Sattler

18 – Patrick Phillips 

19 – Thomas Banta 

20 – Kingsley Bruun

21 – Luca Smither

U10 Girls

1 – Alta Questad

2 – Presley Jensen

3 – Lauren Larrabee 

4 – Sophie Robins

5 – Tea Smither 

6 – Amelia Beck 

7 – Marie McNeal 

8 – Zula Van Der Meulen

9 – Charlotte Pittsley

10 – Georgia Bea Stansberry 

11 – Simone Spachman

12 – Katherine Morrison

13 – Samatha Heidel 

14 – Marlow Jones

15 – Olivia Heyser

16 – Hadley Gouley 

17 – Lilla Bloedorn

18 – Josie Dondero 

19 – Rienza Buoncristiani 

20 – Gigi Hill 

21 – Quincy Gadhia 

22 – Sigrid Hutchinson

23 – Valentina Holman

24 – Annika Neumann

25 – Ivy Mcnamara 

26 – Kaitlyn Cooper

U10 Boys 

1 – Alex Grant

2 – Halsten Bruun

3 – Logan Steel 

4 – Chase Martens

5 – Walker Grove

6 – Asa Sattler

7 – Wyatt Matthews

8 – Dunning Kochvar

9 – Keller Spachman 

10 – William Presnell

11 – Nolan Garza

12 – Ren Berrige

13 – Jandi Gonzalez 

U12 Girls

1 – Savannah Pringle 

2 – Piper Spengler

3 – Imogen Hutchisen

4 – Olivia Harrington

5 – Jennings Fraser

6 – Camille Reid 

7 – Brianna Smiley 

8 – Halley McGrew

9 – Lilly Little

10 – Makenna Steel 

11 – Gia Luem

12 – Aviella Buoncristiani 

13 – Brady Bloomfield

14 – Irie Black

15 – Reese Woodward

16 – Ellie Hill 

17 – Hartley Tindall 

18 – Bailey Presnell

19 – Piper Jones

20 – Elsa Neumann

U12 Boys

1 – Henry Questad

2 – Cameron Beck

3 – Thijs Lloyd

4 – Charlie Spengler 

5 – Brixen Ehleringer

6 – James Holman

7 – Alex Brown

8 – Cash Mintz

9 – Eli Sattler 

10 – Coen Lamb

11 – Hunter Gove

12 – Cody Lloyd 

13 – Matthew Thurman

14 – Ian Lozada 

15 – Jasper Pott

U14 Girls 

1 – Lucy Stevenson

2 – Sophie Kanowsky 

3 – Kaden Snell 

4 – Avery Logsdon 

5 – Tessa Dondero 

6 – Abbot Geer

7 – Lilah Bicas-Dolgen

U14 Boys

1 – Espen Schernthanner

2 – Briggs Stevenson

3 – Brooks Gove

4 – Kyle Cooper

U8 Year End Awards

Coaches Award Girls: (Coachable, listens, and good teammate)

Kayla Kloster, Uzi Hale 

Coaches Award Boys: (Coachable, listens and good teammate)

Makay Johnson, Dylan Smiley 

Most Improved Girls: 

Jandi Gonzales, India Conway 

Most Improved Boys: 

Cole Martens, Emil Beatty 

Cheeso Girls Award: (Getting after it any conditions)

Clementine Brumbach 

Cheeso Boys Award: (Getting after it any conditions)

Harrison Wettach 

Howard Dean Award: (Shows a true love of skiing)

Dylan Spengler 

Howard Dean Award: (Shows a true love of skiing)

Dunning Kochvar 

U10 Year End Awards

Most Improved

Josie Dondero, Asa Sattler

Coaches Award

Halsten Bruun, Marie McNeal

Outstanding Skiers

Alta Questad, Alex Grant

U12 Year End Awards

Most Improved Award

Liv Harrington, Wesley Sewell

Coaches Award

Piper Spengler, Cam Beck

Cheeso Mountain Kidd Award 

Cami Reid, Corbin Flood

Gary Black Jr. Perpetual Awards

Gretchen Fraser Award 

Fastest U10 Female – Alta Questad

Pete Patterson Award 

Fastest U10 Male – Alex Grant

Kathleen Harrison Mortimer Award 

Fastest U12 Female – Savannah Pringle

Billy Klein Award

Fastest U12 Male – Henry Questad

Bonnie Russell Award

Fastest U14 Female – Lucy Stevenson

Smith Goggle Award

Fastest U14 Male – Espen Schernthanner

Roy Hobson Award – Fastest Female and Male of the day

Savannah Pringle

Henry Questad