SVSEF Alpine FIS Team Tests Their Mettle in FIS Devo Tech Series at Palisades Tahoe

Current SVSEF teammates and alum Jessica Blackburn share time on the podium

The men’s and women’s SVSEF Alpine FIS Teams hit the road to Palisades Tahoe, CA for the Western Region FIS Devo Tech Series, Jan. 25-28. Athletes from across the region raced two days of slalom and two days of giant slalom, in their quest to qualify for competition at the higher level FIS Elite races this season. Awards were given to the top three overall and the top three U18s in each race.

The FIS team hit a window of great weather at Palisades this week and was able to find success at the Devo Tech Series, with multiple podiums and solid results in both slalom (SL) and giant slalom (GS) from the men’s and women’s teams. On Thursday and Friday, the women were on the SL course and the men raced GS. They would swap disciplines for Saturday and Sunday. SVSEF coaches commended Team Palisades Tahoe for running an awesome series.

SVSEF Alum Jessica Blackburn, now skiing for the University of Nevada at Reno, won the overall in the SL on Thursday by a solid 2.61 seconds, while Larson Overby, Tucker Smith, and Sacha Stern-Pre rounded out the men’s top-ten overall in the GS in eighth, ninth, and tenth respectively.

In Friday’s SL, Ava Schweiger just missed the overall podium by .11 seconds putting her in fourth place overall and Ruby Crist snuck into the top 10 in ninth, 2.72 seconds off the race’s winning time of 1:13.80. Two of the men landed in the top 20 with Larson Overby in 16th and Sacha Stern-Pre nabbing that 20th spot, still within 3.46 seconds of the winning time.

It was Jessica Blackburn’s race to win the overall again in Saturday’s GS for the women by .99 seconds, with Lowie Watkins only 1.26 seconds back in fourth overall and giving her the second place spot on the U18 podium. Avryl Haas and Josie Sarchett landed in the top 10 in seventh and ninth respectively. The men turned to SL, where Larsen Overby took fourth overall and first place on the U18 podium, with teammate Tucker Smith eighth overall and third place on the U18 podium.

On the final day, it was Ruby Crist’s turn to step atop the overall podium, taking the overall and U18 podium win for the GS, with Jessica Blackburn on her heels in second place overall just .50 seconds off Crist’s winning time of 1:45.13. Avryl Haas took seventh and Josie Sarchett eighth.

SVSEF Athlete Results:

Women Slalom (SL), Thursday, Jan. 25


1st – Jessica Blackburn (Alum) (1st on Overall podium)

12th – Ava Schweiger

13th – Meredith Bromley

15th – Josie Sarchett

16th – Avryl Haas

23rd – Madison Vieara-McCarthy

26th – Ava Murphy

27th – Sophia Hallstein

31st – Autumn Carpenter

Men Giant Slalom (GS), Thursday, Jan. 25


8th – Larson Overby (3rd on U18 podium)

9th – Tucker Smith

10th – Sacha Stern-Pre

27th – Cole Sanford

33rd – Owen Lancaster

44th – Declan White

72nd – Kyan Gandhi

Women Slalom (SL), Friday, Jan. 26


4th – Ava Schweiger

9th – Ruby Crist

11th – Avryl Haas

14th – Sophia Hallstein

18th – Madison Vieara-McCarthy

22nd – Autumn Carpenter

25th – Ava Murphy

Men Giant Slalom (GS), Friday, Jan. 26


15th – Larson Overby

20th – Sacha Stern-Pre

25th – Cole Sanford

31st – Noah Horsch

32nd – Max Meucci

46th – Owen Lancaster

50th – Declan White

Women Giant Slalom (GS), Saturday, Jan. 27


1st – Jessica Blackburn (Alum) (1st on Overall podium)

4th – Lowie Watkins (2nd on U18 podium)

7th – Avryl Haas

9th – Josie Sarchett

12th – Meredith Bromley

15th – Sophia Hallstein

17th – Ava Schweiger

18th – Madison Vieara-McCarthy

24th – Ava Murphy

26th – Autumn Carpenter

Men Slalom (SL), Saturday, Jan. 27


4th – Larson Overby (1st on U18 podium)

8th – Tucker Smith (3rd on U18 podium)

35th – Kyan Gandhi

Women Giant Slalom (GS), Sunday, Jan. 28


1st – Ruby Crist (1st on Overall podium and 1st on U18 podium)

2nd – Jessica Blackburn (Alum) (2nd on Overall podium)

7th – Avryl Haas

8th – Josie Sarchett

18th – Madison Vieara-McCarthy

25th – Autumn Carpenter

Men Slalom (SL), Saturday, Jan. 28


8th – Sacha Stern-Pre (2nd on U18 podium)

13th – Owen Lancaster

20th – Noah Horsch

23rd – Declan White

The FIS Women’s Team had gone into Palisades off a strong run at the Rocky Central U18 Qualifier in Breckenridge, CO the weekend prior. Ruby Crist, Sophia Hallstein, and Avryl Haas placed third, fourth, and fifth overall on the first day of racing (giant slalom). The women topped that with five in the top 10 on the second day of giant slalom where Lowie Watkins placed second and Ruby Crist placed third. Natalie Gowe was sixth, Avryl Haas eighth, and Josie Sarchett 10th.

For complete FIS Devo Tech Series results, please visit: 

Up next for the SVSEF Alpine FIS Team: The team will head to the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, UT and Snowbird, UT for the Elite SG and SL qualifiers Feb 13-14 respectively, with women starting with SG and men with SL. Then to Jackson on Feb. 17 for the final SL/GS Elite Qualifiers of the season.