The Week in Review: 1/31/17


This is the fourth week of I am SVSEF: an opportunity each week to highlight our athletes for demonstrating the core values of the organization.

Sportsmanship • Citizenship • Character • Teamwork • Creativity • Passion • Perseverance

Here are the I Am SVSEF athletes featured for the week of January 31, 2017:


Ashley Helm

ALPINE: This week’s I am SVSEF athlete for Alpine is Ashley Helm, a member of our USSA U19 team and an eleventh grader at Community School. Scott McGrew, Alpine Program Director, noted, “Ashley has been unwavering in her commitment to improve and work hard this season. She is always on time, organized, and is an awesome teammate for those around her. This past week she had a phenomenal performance at the Soldier Mountain downhill, grabbing two top-five overall finishes. We are proud of Ashley and her commitment to her craft.”
Lizzie Lipman

CROSS COUNTRY: Lizzie Lipman is relatively new to Cross Country, having joined this season. The Wood River Middle School sixth grader works extremely hard at the sport, embraces the challenges and the ups and downs and takes pointers and advice with poise and maturity well beyond her years. Said Kelley Sinnott, Prep Team Head Coach, “Lizzie is quiet and unassuming, but when you’re around her, her infectious smile and positivity rub off.” She listens intently to coaches, giving them her full attention, and is able to apply what they’re saying to her technique and form with that big smile and seeming ease.
Henry Cherp, center, with teammates Alex LaFleur (l) and Luke Rizzo (r)

FREESTYLE: Henry Cherp, a member of the Freestyle Travel A team and a tenth grader at Community School, has made big improvements this past week in his jumping. He’s trying a different trick that is out of the norm and that you don’t typically see in competition, pushing the boundaries of creativity within the sport. Henry is one of three guys in the region who does that trick– a loop truckdriver grab. Commented John Grigsby, Freestyle Team Manager, “it’s a technical jump to be throwing for mogul skiing, but he’s pursuing it with intent and dedication. Commitment to preseason training in the Air Barn has helped him to make strides on snow.” On top of that, Henry is open-minded, helpful to coaches, and a role model for younger athletes.
Charles Goodyear

PARK & PIPE: Jennifer Diehl, Freestyle/Freeski Prep and Devo Team Manager, had this to say about Charles Goodyear, a member of the Freestyle/Freeskiing Prep Team, a fifth grader at Community School, and this week’s Park & Pipe “I am SVSEF” athlete:

Charles shows passion for skiing in his willingness to push himself outside his comfort zone and try new things. He shows up for training early, always with a positive attitude and eager to know what’s in store for the day. He is inclusive with teammates and encourages others to follow suit. Although our team had zero access to a slopestyle course or a mogul course in the early season, Charles jumped at the opportunity to compete in both disciplines at the Utah Olympic Park, landing him on the podium for both U12 events. Two weeks later, he competed in slopestyle and moguls at the Sun Valley Freestyle Spectacular, a much more competitive playing field. However, seeing all the experienced skiers did not intimidate Charles. He went out and gave it his personal best. Charles shows tremendous grit and a winning spirit in his continuing efforts to push himself and improve. He sets the tone for his teammates by giving it his all, whether in training or in competition. Way to go Charles!



Payton Bacca, photo by Hillary Maybery.

Payton Bacca qualifies for Junior Worlds

Payton Bacca, a tenth grader at Wood River High School and a member of the Snowboard Comp Travel Team, has been invited to compete at the FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships in Klinovec, Czech Republic, February 14-20. Only six athletes per sex/discipline are selected to represent the U.S. at the event, and are chosen based on the FIS World Cup point scoring system.

Chase Josey Fourth at Aspen X Games

Chase Josey, Gold Team and U.S. Team snowboarder, just missed the podium last weekend at the Aspen X Games in the men’s superpipe. Chase was fourth behind two Americans, Taylor Gold (third) and Matt Ladley (second), and Scotty James, an Australian who won the event and who finished second last week behind Chase at the LAAX Open Halfpipe in Switzerland. Chase is currently in Mammoth, California, for the final stop on the 2017 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix tour, which is the first 2018 U.S. Olympic qualifier for halfpipe and slopestyle. He’ll head home for a bit before shifting gears and traveling to South Korea mid-February for the Olympic test event.
Full results here


Follow-up: IMD Team at Grand Targhee

Logan Lindstrom at the Grand Targhee Speed Project.

SVSEF U14 athletes had the opportunity, as mentioned in last week’s recap, to participate in an Intermountain speed camp at Grand Targhee. Maile Dorland and Lena Nelson were named most improved for their groups at the camp, demonstrating their ability to take and apply feedback in a way that lead to concrete progress. The camp was beneficial to all, and the experience was both memorable and helpful when looking towards future downhill endeavors.
Said Charlotte Gourlay, an IMD assistant coach who joined the SVSEF athletes for the trip, “for many of them, it was their first trip traveling without their parents. They did a great job of taking care of themselves and their friends. On the hill, they learned to glide on a glide track, and how to gain speed on a wave track. General consensus was that hitting the speed jumps was their favorite part.”

Follow-up: Sammis Camas Cup

By Scott McGrew, Alpine Program Director
Going into this year’s Soldier Mountain Downhill and Sammis Camas Cup, we had a huge task in front of us. There was a significant amount of new snow on the hills, with the weather still coming strong. With the work of the SVSEF coaching staff, along with some phenomenal volunteer help, we were able to build the track and prep the safety protection in quick fashion.  The crew down at Soldier Mountain was amazing. They gave us absolute access to the cat groomers and their operator. Josh Ivie is a second generation cat driver on Soldier Mountain and he did a phenomenal job shaping the terrain, building jumps, and grooming a nice firm base to the 2.5 km track. The tack continued to improve over the three day event culminating in an incredible day on Wednesday with blue sky, firm snow and 90 competitors across Masters and Junior divisions.
On Monday and Tuesday we had a great cohort of U12 and U14 athletes who, for many, this was their first introduction to downhill. The track was a phenomenal teacher and the youngsters were able to push their limits, go over jumps, and get coaching from our incredibly knowledgeable Speed staff. It was great to see the confidence building with each and every run as our athletes were able to partake in something that very few athletes that age have the opportunity to do.
Downhill is a strong tradition in our community and, although a tremendous organizational challenge, I’m excited that we were able to capture the moment and offer this experience to our athletes. It was unique, challenging, appropriate, and a super fun event.

Mini World Cup

The Mini World Cup team staged a slalom competition on Dollar on Sunday, January 29. The athletes’ hard work and effort showed through in the event. Tor Jensen, Head Mini World Cup Coach, said it was “great to see the energy, excitement and some nervousness at a race. We’re proud of everyone that stepped into that start gate and kicked that wand.”
The MWC team will follow this competition with a MWC Skills test on February 19, and then with a slalom and giant slalom for the Monroe Cup IMD North Series Race at Sun Valley on February 25 and 26.
Full results here

FIS at Schweitzer Mountain Resort

FIS is in the midst of competition at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, where they’ve already been seeing some good results. A training downhill on January 27 showed promise at the event for Erin Smith, Ruby Marden, Skylar Cooley and Kate Rathfon, who went six, 10, 11, and 16 in the first run of the day. A large group of SVSEF men saw similar positive reinforcement, with Spencer Wright taking third, Duncan Fuller fourth, Yuri McClure fifth, Charlie Lamb sixth and John Blackburn seventh.
On January 28 in a field of 52 competitors, Skylar Cooley led the charge for SVSEF women, taking ninth overall in the downhill. Three teammates also broke the top 20, with Ruby Marden in 11th, Erin Smith 12th and Katelyn Rathfon 13th.
Duncan Fuller had his first FIS win in the men’s downhill race the same day, besting a field of 77. Spencer Wright finished fifth, and Walter Lafky, Yuri McClure and Charlie Lamb went seven-eight-nine. Rounding out the top finishes were John Blackburn in 14th and Hayden Terjeson in 19th.
In the second downhill of the series on January 29, Erin Smith just missed the podium in fourth. Ruby Marden stayed consistent, taking seventh and Katelyn Rathfon followed suit, finishing ninth.
Spencer Wright and Duncan Fuller continued their streak of top-10 results on January 29, finishing second and third, respectively. Charlie Lamb moved up from bib 19 into eighth. Yuri McClure was 10th and Hayden Terjeson 15th. Jake Blackburn made moves, improving from bib 42 to 30th place.
On January 30, the women switched to giant slalom. Erin Smith was SVSEF’s top finisher in fifth, followed by Katelyn Rathfon in sixth, Ruby Marden in ninth and Skylar Cooley in 13th. The men competed in super G the same day, and Duncan Fuller showed versatility, again claiming victory. Hayden Terjeson came in 17th, and Charlie Lamb 23rd. The athletes still have two more days of competition, featuring more giant slalom and super G.
Full results here


Prep Team girls in the Sawtooths.

Prep Team/Comp Team Updates

Ten Prep Team athletes ventured out to Fishhook Yurt this past weekend for a couple days of exploring, building jumps and spending time in the backcountry. A portion of the team will compete this Saturday in the Boulder Mountain Tour.
The Comp Team is gearing up for their final Junior National Qualifier, which will be in West Yellowstone the weekend of February 11-12. This is the last opportunity for SVSEF athletes to make Junior Nationals, which run March 3-11 in Lake Placid, New York.

Gold Team

Gold Team athletes Cole Morgan, Jack Hegman and Kelsey Phinney are at Soldier Hollow in Utah for U23 World Championships. Racing starts today with classic sprints; find the whole schedule here, or better yet, watch the races online at


Sun Valley Freestyle & Freeskiing Spectacular

Ridge Dirksmeier in first and Harper Mallett in second for USSA halfpipe divisional championships.

Sun Valley and SVSEF hosted the Sun Valley Freestyle & Freeskiing Spectacular at Dollar and Bald Mountains over the course of four days. The event came with great sunny weather and temperatures reaching the mid-30s, providing an ideal setting for competition. There was a full field of 100 competitors, with athletes from California, Utah, Montana and even a couple from the east coast. Sun Valley Ski Company grooming came through to make the venue possible, not to mention all of the volunteers and parents who helped with everything from starting to score recording to score running, and the businesses that donated time and resources. Said John Grigsby, Freestyle Team Manager, “this event showed how our community comes together in support of the athletes; thank you to all who helped make the event a success.” Tyler Conway, Freeskiing Head Coach, echoed these sentiments, saying, “it was great to see all the support from parents and people in the community, and to have the halfpipe and slopestyle courses open for SVSEF athletes to show off their tricks for the hometown crowd.”
Freestyle athletes found the podium often; Hanna Blackwell won both halfpipe events on Thursday, as did Ridge Dirksmeier for the men. Teammate Harper Mallett was second in the first halfpipe event. SVSEF athletes Sam Ware, Lachlan McFarland and Charlie Price went six-seven-eight in the same competition. In the slopestyle events the following day, SVSEF’s Talbott Palmer won the women’s event. Mabel Ashburn, a SVSEF F15, stepped up and into second in the second slopestyle event. Ridge Dirskmeier and Will Griffith had the top men’s finishes for the day, landing in ninth and tenth in the second event of the day.
Wilson Dunn throws a back-flip iron cross.

Freestyle athletes skied extremely well over the course of the weekend, with podiums in each age group from U11 to U19. Tatum Ware grabbed first place in her age group, while Holden Largay podiumed again both days, making this his fourth consecutive weekend with overall podium finishes. Hunter Diehl had his top result of the year, coming in ninth in a tough field. Another highlight was Toby Rafford making it into the round of 16 as a young competitor and in a large field (there were 92 total duals across the board; you typically see around 60). Addie Rafford finished fifth in duals, and Holden was second in the men’s event.
Full results here
Dollar will be staging another event this weekend, the USASA Big Mountain West Series featuring snowboarding and freeskiing, February 2-5. Come on out to watch SVSEF athletes get some big air; you can find the schedule here.

The Week in Review: 1/10/17


SVSEF values of sportsmanship, citizenship, character, teamwork, creativity, passion and perseverance are not ones that are newly championed; they are qualities that have held weight and importance for hundreds of years, across many societies, eras, continents. Perhaps we may think of character as the overarching quality that encompasses all of the other SVSEF values; sportsmanship, citizenship, teamwork, creativity, passion and perseverance all fit under the distinction of mental or moral qualities, which, by definition, make up a distinctive individual’s character.
Athletic success is invigorating, affirming and surely within reach of our athletes, in whatever ways they choose to define it. It is certainly something we strive for with these kids, to help them achieve what they have come to define for themselves as success in sport. Perhaps more than this, and in a way not necessarily discernible from an observer’s perspective, our hope is that lessons learned while in the organization become ingrained, so that they may be useful later in life. Yes, an affinity for athletic greatness is all well and good; but in future endeavors, I’d bet that character traits learned here and now will prove much more useful in the different communities, relationships and challenges in which our athletes find themselves.
In 1900, a year before his first term as president, Theodore Roosevelt addressed the importance of character in relation to intellectual and athletic success in an article for The Outlook.

But, in the long run, in the great battle of life, no brilliancy of intellect, no perfection of bodily development, will count when weighed in the balance against that assemblage of virtues, active and passive, of moral qualities, which we group together under the name of character; and if between any two contestants, even in [college] sport or in [college] work, the difference in character on the right side is as great as the difference of intellect or strength the other way, it is the character side that will win. (The Outlook, Vol. 64, 725)

Roosevelt’s assessment of how crucial strong, positive character is for an individual lends itself to SVSEF’s focus on developing “strong minds,” of helping prepare our athletes for whatever is thrown their way, and to set them up for success. 

With this in mind, we’re introducing I am SVSEF: an opportunity each week to highlight our athletes for demonstrating the core values of SVSEF.

Sportsmanship • Citizenship • Character • Teamwork • Creativity • Passion • Perseverance

Here are the I Am SVSEF athletes featured for the week of January 9, 2017:


Ethan Marx
Ethan Marx

Alpine: Ethan Marx, an eighth grader at Community School and a member of the Alpine USSA Team, has worked really hard throughout summer training and into the on-snow season. A goal this season for Ethan has been to make the flip 30 – to place 30th on his first run in order to be the first competitor out of the gate on the second. This past weekend, he narrowly missed his goal with a 31st place finish – his enthusiasm and positivity around the prospect is infectious, regardless of your interest in alpine racer lineups. According to USSA head coach Will Brandenburg, “Ethan is always helping his teammates out, and his actions and words are good for morale; he is the epitome of what we’re talking about when we think of qualities we’re hoping are instilled in SVSEF athletes.”
Taylor Dorland
Taylor Dorland

Cross Country: Taylor Dorland, an eighth grader at the Sage School, is a new member of the Cross Country Prep Team after switching from alpine. Kelley Sinnott, Cross Country Prep Team Head Coach, observed, “learning a new sport can be very difficult and frustrating but Taylor has shown strong character, passion and perseverance through her learning process. Taylor is the kind of skier that manages to grit her teeth and grin at the same time; she is eager to learn and improve but also finds fun in ever part of cross country.”
Eliza Marks (L) with Lily Brunelle at the 2016 Game Dinner
Eliza Marks (L) with Lily Brunelle at the 2016 Game Dinner

Freestyle: Eliza Marks, a 10th grader at Community School, brings a really positive attitude that lends to the dynamic of the Freestyle Team. She shows up training every day with passion and interest. In competition, even on a bad day that doesn’t necessarily go her way, she doesn’t let it get her down and approaches the next challenge with confidence and anticipation. Coach Kurtis Fieguth commended Eliza for “taking to hear the advice we try to give her, and taking it to the snow – she’s made huge improvements over the past month and a half in doing so.”
Arlo Curry

Park & Pipe: Arlo Curry is a seventh grader at the Sage School and is a member of the Snowboard Progression Team. He comes to training with a great attitude, a smile on his face every day and a level of engagement that indicates a profound interest and enthusiasm for the sport. Said snowboard team manager Pat Lee, “Arlo performs to his highest standard at all times. He embraces challenges that arise and is committed and diligent to working through them. On top of that, Arlo is a great communicator, which is really helpful for the coaching staff.”



Comp, PG, Gold Teams

Kevin Bolger, Jack Hegman and Cole Morgan on the podium for U.S. National classic sprint
Kevin Bolger, Jack Hegman and Cole Morgan on the podium for U.S. National classic sprint

The SVSEF Cross Country Comp, PG and Gold teams are currently midway through the 2017 L.L. Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships at Soldier Hollow in Park City, Utah. For many athletes across the U.S., Nationals are a pivotal week of racing; solid results can help an athlete qualify for World Cups, U23 World Championships and Junior Nationals. Top athletes from programs and universities across the nation are in Utah for the events, with numbers in attendance close to 600. Overall, courses were quite hard, which is befitting for a national championship event. “As hard as our trails are at Lake Creek,” said Rick Kapala, SVSEF Cross Country Program Director, “these trails are a little bit harder, in anticipation of U23 Worlds, which will take place at the same venue at the end of this month.”
Competition opened up on Saturday, January 7 with a 15/10km interval start skate race. The first day of racing was not really affected by inclement weather, which hit Sunday. But for the first athletes, which were the junior girls, it was tough all around, with cold temperatures, slow snow and a very challenging course. A standout performance for the day came from Gold Team skier Kelsey Phinney, who has typically been stronger in sprint events; with a 26th place finish in a field of 263 women in the 10km, Phinney is setting herself up as a viable contender for a spot on the team for U23 World Junior Championships; she is currently sitting in second with two more races to go this week.
Sunday’s classic sprint race came a drastic shift in temperature, and with it a downpour of rain. Despite the unfavorable conditions, morale on the SVSEF team was really good; kids handled it in stride and managed the challenges the weather presented quite well, which Kapala feels may be a natural extension of the relatively new normalcy of weather extremes in the West. Athletes competed on a newly designed sprint course, and were on some natural snow. It was unfortunate that the rainy weather fell on a classic sprint day; every team at one point or another struggled in regards to skis and getting the wax right for their athletes across the board.
The highlight of the day for SVSEF was an American podium sweep, in a way, as Kevin Bolger, who won the men’s sprint overall, is a former SVSEF PG athlete, and Gold Team skiers Jack Hegman and Cole Morgan went two and three.
Other than Peter Wolter, the junior squad is relatively inexperienced at this level, so these races are a great first step at exposure to higher level racing, in anticipation of them aging and getting into the mix. SVSEF junior boys skied quite well, with Peter Wolter, Eli Jensen and Keene Morowitz all qualifying for junior heats (the top 30 moved on from the initial qualifier). Morowitz had a very noteworthy qualifier, which was a really good indication that he has found his form.
Junior girls were led by Anja Jensen, who as a 14 year old very narrowly missed qualifying. Said Kapala, “for us as coaches, we look beyond the wins with developing athletes – cause that’s not going to tell the story of a 14 year old racing against 20 year olds. This was a tough course with tough conditions, and these girls are just getting started, as most are sophomores or young juniors.” A number of Jensen’s teammates just missed the cutoff as well.
Going into the next two days of races, Hegman is looking really strong for qualifying for U23s – he needs one more decent race to nail it down. Hegman is sitting in first for qualifying, as Patrick Caldwell pre-qualified with early season results. Morgan is also looking good, currently in second; if selections were made based off of the first two races, he would make the team. As he is a sprinter, he’ll have a chance to cement that seed in the race on Thursday. Phinney is also sitting well, in second on the list with two races to go. Five to six athletes, male and female, can qualify for U23s.
Matt Gelso, who has posted exceptional results this season, is down for now with a head cold; it remains to be seen if he’ll have another start at Nationals. Noted Kapala, “Gelso is going to World Cup races later this month regardless, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to push him to the point where it impacts him down the road – we’re going day-by-day with him.” The end goal is World Championships, and even though the process for qualification weighs Nationals a bit heavier than Super Tour races, good results in Europe could get him there. “We want him to go to Europe rested, recharged and ready to race to his abilities; a lot of the competitions there fit his ability set really well,” said Kapala.
Today’s race is a 30/20/10/5 km classic. Athletes will be skiing on a condensed 3.75km loop, made entirely of manmade snow as a result of the rain on Sunday. Thursday’s race is a skate sprint.
Full results here

Devo, Prep, Comp Teams

Gretel Huss gets ready to race
Gretel Huss gets ready to race

SVSEF athletes who did not make the trip to Nationals opted for the Snowmaker Classic on Saturday, which is a local classic race. This year, it took place on Sun Valley trails, and athletes selected either ten, five or 3 km for distance. Temperatures were in the double digit negatives when race organizers arrived, and start time was postponed to allow those to rise. This was a good training opportunity for SVSEF athletes, as it gave them experience pushing their bodies on a relatively flat course in extreme temperatures.
Full results here



Lily Fitzgerald on top of the podium
Lily Fitzgerald on top of the podium

It was a good weekend for the Alpine USSA team, which competed in Jackson, Wyoming, at Snow King. The event was a qualifier, and SVSEF saw some athletes who made the top 30 for the first time. As a group, the team is in quite a good position to have a number of skiers qualify for Regionals. Overall, 30 girls and 26 boys will qualify, and there are two more opportunities left to make the cut. It was a cold weekend of racing, which made it hard to get a good warm up; the weekend saw less skiing and more time in the lodge. Said USSA head coach Will Brandenburg, “that makes it tough to be able to get into the groove of the weekend; it makes a major difference. The athletes handled the adjustment well.”
Lily Fitzgerald had an amazing weekend; she swept the races, not just for U16s, but overall, and won by over 1.5 seconds each time. At the Eric Hayes Memorial races, she had success but not as much as she wanted to. According to Brandenburg, “she had a good mindset in training the two weeks over Christmas break; she’s been building on her skiing and getting better, and we’re starting to see that hard work pay off. Another highlight of the weekend was having SVSEF boys on the podium for every U16 race; Buey Grossman took second in the first giant slalom, and teammate Jack Smith was second in both the second giant slalom and the slalom.
Full results here
Buey Grossman in second and Bennett Snyder in fourth in the GS
Buey Grossman in second and Bennett Snyder in fourth in the GS

IMD Team

Alpine IMD was in Park City over the weekend for the Park City Jr. IMD Cup. Reflecting on the weekend, head coach James Tautkus said, “this past weekend was a good test of our team’s strength from top to bottom. It affirmed our efforts thus far and indicated where we need to put in the work. As a staff we are very proud of what these athletes have been capable of and hope it encourages them to take their effort to the next level."
SVSEF did well across the events, claiming three out of six first place finishes between men and women. Ryder Sarchett took the men's overall title for the weekend by winning the slalom and the second giant slalom. Anhwei Kirk won the slalom and was third in the first giant slalom. Marit Kaiser was second in both GS races and Nathan Gowe was fifth in the slalom, sixth in the first giant slalom and second in the second giant slalom. Josh Blackburn was fifth in the first giant slalom and his sister Jessica was third in the slalom.
Full results will be posted soon

FIS Team

FIS athletes were also met by extreme cold in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for the IMD Cup events. Temperatures sat around -25 the first day of racing and -26 the second. Athletes faced the elements head on; top finishes were posted by Jake Blackburn, who had two top-ten results in the giant slalom events, Carter Jendrezek, who finished out the weekend in eighth in the slalom, Libby Kaiser, who maintained consistency across all races, going 16-14-11, and Grace Pepin, who jumped up from results in the 40s and 50s on January 6 and 7 to 15th in the slalom on January 8.
Full results will be posted soon


The SVSEF Freeski A-team made a trip to Colorado last week. Will Griffith competed for the chance to make the Rev Tour in slopestyle, and Hanna Blackwell spent her time logging significant training hours in the halfpipe.

Will Griffith competes at Copper
Will Griffith competes at Copper

Griffith skied two stand-up runs, scoring highest on the second. Skiing into the first rail, he spun a front 270 out landing switch, went backwards into the first jump spinning a right side 360 with tail grab landing switch, continued backwards into the second jump spinning a left cork 540 with a Japan grab, skied forward off the third jump spinning a left rodeo 720 with a safety grab, landing forward and sliding the last rail spinning a back 450 out. Griffith, who just turned 16 years old, ended up in sixth place. He competed against Yuki Sato (20 years old) and Gen Sasaki (20 years old), who are both from Japan and who are trying to make a bid for the Olympics in 2018. Said freestyle head coach Tyler Conway, “being at an event like this and seeing what it takes to get first place at this level of competition helps an athlete develop mentally and prepares them for future events.”
Hanna Blackwell also traveled to Colorado to train in Copper Mountain’s halfpipe. This halfpipe is one of two open in North America; the other is in Calgary. Hanna was not the only athlete taking advantage of the feature; David Wise, halfpipe Olympic Gold medalist and three-time X-Games Gold medalist, was training on the same halfpipe. Commented Conway, “it takes a lot of repetition and exposure in the halfpipe to get better. We’re looking forward to having the halfpipe at Dollar complete soon, as it will allow SVSEF athletes to have the advantage of getting in laps and pushing their halfpipe skiing skills.”
Full results here


The Bumpin’ at the Bird course at Snowbird proved more than adequate for SVSEF Freestyle athletes, who took to it this past weekend. The event counts towards overall rankings and for qualifying for Junior Nationals and U.S. Freestyle Championships. SVSEF had four boys in top 10 the first day, with Holden Largay winning overall, and teammates Brody Buchwalter, Luke Rizzo and Alex LaFleur going five-six-seven. On the second day, SVSEF had four in top ten again, but this included different athletes, which speaks to the spread and range of the team. Alex LaFleur made a ton of improvements, and coach Kurtis Fieguth commented that his run on the second day was the best he’s seen from LaFleur thus far. Luke Rizzo was on a similar trajectory, making significant improvements over the weekend – both seemed to learn a lot about their form throughout the events. In the girls’ competitions, Eliza Marks finished strong in duals, with a second place finish overall. Addie Rafford was third in moguls. Said Fieguth, “all of our kids skied really well, especially going up against strong skiers in the division; they really held their own.”
Results can be found here (Sunday’s results aren’t yet posted)

The Week in Review – 12/20/16

The start of the competitive season on snow usually comes with a mix of excitement and nerves; it’s the first opportunity a winter athlete has to concretely see how their training all spring, summer and fall has been paying off. That being said, athletes progress and grow even more once they actually get on snow – this is just the beginning.


Chase Josey captures bronze in halfpipe at Toyota U.S. Grand Prix

Josey stands in third. (Getty Images-Sean M. Haffey)
Josey stands in third. (Getty Images-Sean M. Haffey)

SVSEF alumni and current Gold Team snowboarder Chase Josey started things off right this past week, securing third place in the first World Cup halfpipe of the season, the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain. This was the Hailey native’s second World Cup podium, as he finished with a silver medal at the Mammoth Grand Prix last season in January. To earn bronze at Copper, Josey cleanly executed a run that featured a Double Michalchuk, frontside double cork 1080 indy, his “double bacon flip,” (or a switch double crippler) and a switch backside 900 mute, according to U.S. Snowboarding. Josey’s score of 93.75 set him apart from the rest of the international pack of 44 athletes and put him solidly on the podium behind Patrick Burgener of Switzerland, who landed in first with a score of 96.25, and Iouri Podladtchikov (IPod), also of Switzerland, who was an Olympic champion in Sochi in the halfpipe.
Complete results
U.S. Snowboarding Press Release

Alpine FIS opens up season at FIS Tech at Snow King

John Blackburn takes first in the FIS Tech giant slalom.

The Alpine FIS Team competed at the Western Region FIS Tech races at Snow King in Jackson Hole last week, which featured four races for each competitor during the course of two days; two slaloms the first day, and two giant slalom races the second.
In the ladies’ first slalom on December 13, Erin Smith finished fifth. Skylar Cooley was seventh, Ruby Marden eighth and Ella Pepin 10th. Molly Milgard finished 15th, Grace Pepin 21st, Libby Kaiser 23rd, Kaia Jensen 28th and Katelyn Rathfon 29th. In the second event of the day, Marden was sixth, Milgard 10th, Kaiser 14th, Grace Pepin 16th, Katelyn Rathfon 17th and Jensen 22nd. Ella Pepin and Cooley did not finish their second run and Smith did not finish her first.
In the men’s first slalom race, Filippo Collini skied to 14th for SVSEF, followed by John Blackburn in 16th, Matt O’Connor in 20th, Jake Blackburn in 26th, Julian Plank in 27th, Max Noddings in 29th and Thomas Klose in 31st. Noah Leininger was 33rd, Cooper Dart 34th, Carter Jendrezak 36th, Ian Hanna 38th and Blake Deilke 41st. The second slalom event saw Filippo Collini again leading the way, this time finishing 10th. John Blackburn was 12th, Spencer Wright 14th, Hayden Terjeson 18th, Leininger 26, Walter Lafky 27th and Deilke 33rd. Plank and Ian Hanna did not finish their second run, and Klose, Jake Blackburn, Jendrezak, Dart, O’Connor, Charlie Lamb, DeWolfe and Duncan Fuller did not finish their first.
Athletes switched over to giant slalom for December 14, the second day of racing. Erin Smith skied a foolproof race and finished third. Katelyn Rathfon was 15th, Molly Milgard 18th, Grace Pepin 24th, Libby Kaiser 25th and Kaia Jensen 26th. Skylar Cooley and Ella Pepin did not finish their second run. Smith took to the podium again in the second race of the day, this time finishing second. Skylar Cooley was eighth, Katelyn Rathfon 10th, Milgard 13th, Jensen 18th, Kaiser 20th and Grace Pepin 23rd.
John Blackburn had a standout day in the men’s event, earning second place in the first giant slalom event. Filippo Collini was eighth, Hayden Terjeson 10th, Duncan Fuller 16th, Charlie Lamb 22nd, Walter Lafky 26th, Noah Leininger 28th, Max Noddings 29, Julian Plank 30th, Jake Blackburn 31st, Thomas Klose 37th, Blake Deilke 42nd and Ian Hanna 44th. Matt O’Connor and Spencer Wright did not finish the second run, and Cooper Dart, Carter Jendrezak and Kristian DeWolfe did not finish the first. In the men’s final race, another giant slalom, Collini was fifth, Dart 15th, DeWolfe 19th, Leininger 22nd, Plank 24th, Jake Blackburn 25th, Noddings 26th, O’Connor 33rd, Klose 37th, Deilke 41st and Hanna 42nd. Jendrezak, Lamb, Fuller, Terjeson and John Blackburn did not finish the second run, and Lafky and Wright did not finish the first.
Complete results

Cross country competes at first JNQ of the season at Jackson

Johnny Hagenbuch skakes to a win on Saturday. © Glen Allison
Johnny Hagenbuch skakes to a win on Saturday. © Glen Allison

Cross country comp and prep team athletes headed down to Jackson Hole for the first Junior National Qualifiers event of the season. In all, there were around 325 competitors on course each day. Friday’s race was an individual start classic; the weather was rainy, which put most athletes who had them on zeros – for those who didn’t, it was a tricky wax day. Temperatures dropped dramatically to negative digits for the Saturday mass start skate race.
In the men’s U20/U18 5km classic race Friday, SVSEF PG athlete Eli Jensen took the win in a time of 17:08.6. Comp team skier Henry Raff was seventh overall and the second U18 finisher. PG Andrew Siegel was 16th, PG Bjorn Schou was 27th, and comp skier Landon Nurge was 35th. Cooper Roquet finished 37th, Keene Morawitz 43rd, Carter Ros 48th and Joe Hall 51st. In the women’s U20/U18 5km, PG skier Sarah Goble led SVSEF in eighth. Eve Jensen was 13th and the eighth U18 racer to finish. Lily Brunelle was right behind in 14th, the ninth U18 finisher. Kirsys Campbell skied to 25th, Laura Anderson to 38th, Michaela Petty 48th and Ellie Gorham 69th.
U16 athletes also skied the 5km course. Johnny Hagenbuch led the charge in third on the men’s side. Cash Dart finished 14th, Aidan Burchmore 24th, Cole Reeves 29th, Landon Paschall 31st, Sebi Radl-Jones 35th, Jake Gorham 36th and Kai Nelson 37th. SVSEF has a large U16 women’s contingent this season; Sophia Mazzoni and Anja Jensen finished two-three, respectively, and teammates Jenna Nurge and Ella Wolter went five-six. Chloe Tanous skied to 10th, Sascha Leidecker 12th, Laine Allison 14th, Katherine Estep 15th, Eva Grover 22nd, Christine Estep 25th, Kate Horowitz 27th, Tia Vontver 32nd, Kate Stone 33rd and Quinn Closser 38th.
Competitors under the U14 designation skied a 3km course. Alex Shaffer finished 17th, Blake DeHart 22nd and Fisher Gardner 27th. Logan Smith was seventh for girls, Luci Ludwig 11th, Anja Grover 13th, Crosby Boe 26th, Anneka Thompson 27th, Meg Keating 29th and Lyla Maxwell 30th. Sammy Smith won the girls’ U12 2km race, and Holden Archie was fifth for the boys, Tucker Smith sixth and McCallen Campbell 10th. In the novice 3km class, Sara King-Nakaoka was sixth, Taylor Dorland seventh and Grace Bloomfield 15th.
Coaches Ashley Knox, Rick Kapala and Kelley Sinnott prep classic skis on Friday. © Glen Allison
Coaches Ashley Knox, Rick Kapala and Kelley Sinnott prep classic skis on Friday. © Glen Allison

An arguably more exciting mass start format opened up competition for skate races on Saturday. SVSEF went one-two in the U20 men’s 10km; Andrew Siegel took first in a time of 26:39.8, and teammate Eli Jensen was 2.7 seconds back in second. Carter Ros was seventh in the field of 16. The U18 men also raced a 10km; Henry Raff was 10th, Cooper Roquet 18th, Landon Nurge 20th, Joe Hall 35th and Keene Morawitz 41st. Sarah Goble made the podium in the women’s U20 7.5km, finishing third. Laura Anderson broke the top ten, finishing eighth. In the U18 7.5km, Eve Jensen led the way in 10th, followed by Lily Brunelle in 11th, Kirsys Campbell in 13th, Michaela Petty 23rd and Ellie Gorham 34th.
Johnny Hagenbuch secured a win in the U16 men’s 5km skate mass start, finishing in 12:50.7. Landon Paschall was 19th, Aidan Burchmore 24th, Sebi Radl-Jones 29th, Kai Nelson 32nd and Jake Gorham 33rd. U16 skier Anja Jensen got her second podium of the weekend, again finishing third. Sophia Mazzoni was fourth, Ella Wolter fifth and Sascha Leidecker 10th. Katherine Estep finished 12th, Laine Allison 13th, Jenna Nurge 16th, Chloe Tanous 20th, Eva Grover 21st Tia Vontver 26th, Kate Horowitz 27th, Christine Estep 31st, Kate Stone 32nd and Quinn Closser 37th.
In the men’s U14 3km race, Fisher Gardner was 19th, Blake DeHart 20th, and Alex Shaffer 21st. Logan Smith won the girls’ 3km in 9:42.3. Luci Ludwig was fifth, Anja Grover eighth, Crosby Boe 17th, Anneka Thompson 27th, Lyla Maxell 29th and Meg Keating 30th. Sammy Smith again won the girls’ U12 2km race. Tucker Smith was fourth in the boys’ U12 2km, and McCallen Campbell was 11th. Taylor Dorland, who switched over from alpine this year, won the girls’ novice race. Teammate Sara King-Nakaoka was third and Grace Bloomfield was 12th.
Complete results

Alpine FIS and USSA in midst of competitions at Eric Hays Memorial in Park City

The 35th annual Eric Hays Memorial at Park City kicked off with open slalom races on the 17th, drawing athletes from all over the Intermountain region. Maddie Ferris, our SVSEF Athlete of the Month for November for demonstrating high levels of dedication and motivation in the dryland season, finished fourth in the women’s race. Teammate Lily Fitzgerald was seventh, Molly Milgard 17th, Katelyn Rathfon 18th, Merumo Ishimaru 19th, Carlota Pomes 27th and Grace Pepin 32nd. Bennett Snyder led the charge for SVSEF in the men’s slalom with a ninth place finish. Kristian DeWolfe was 12th, Hayden Terjeson 12th, and Thomas Klose 14th. Also finishing in the top 30 was Cooper Dart in 16th, Buey Grossman in 18th, Matt O’Connor 19th, Jack Smith 20th, Carter Jendrezak 22nd, Max Noddings 23rd, Wyatt Minor 24th and Noah Leininger 26th.
Racing continued on the 18th with a second slalom. Merumo Ishimaru, a Community School student who hails from Hokkaido, Japan and is part of the Sun Valley Ski Academy, skied a strong race and finished on the podium in second place. Lily Fitzgerald narrowly missed joining her, finishing in fourth. Molly Milgard was sixth, Katelyn Rathfon 10th, Alli Rathfon 11th, Carlota Pomes 14th and Grace Pepin 20th. Bennett Snyder again had the top SVSEF finish of the day in the men’s race, coming in fifth. Right behind him was teammate Kristian DeWolfe in sixth and Jack Smith in eighth. Charlie Lamb secured a top-15 spot in 15th, Carter Jendrezak was 16th, Buey Grossman 21st, Jake Blackburn 23rd, Max Noddings 25th and Noah Leininger 28th.
Yesterday’s race was a giant slalom, and two SVSEF athletes came out swinging to take one-two on the day in the women’s event. Alli Rathfon took the win, and Lily Fitzgerald was second, .06 seconds off the winning time. Katelyn Rathfon finished fifth, Merumo Ishimaru ninth, Marit Kaiser 19th, Maddie Ferris 23rd, Carlota Pomes 25th, Sage Holter 26th, and Molly Milgard 29th. Bennett Snyder broke through in the men’s race, also securing a podium with a second place finish. A solid grouping of SVSEF athletes followed, with Charlie Lamb in seventh, Wyatt Minor in eighth, Max Noddings in ninth, Buey Grossman in 10th and Jack Smith in 12th. Noah Leininger finished 14th, Charlie Stumph 15th, Cooper Dart 18th, Hayden Terjeson 20th, Carter Jendrezak tied for 23rd and Julian Plank was 26th.
Today is the final day of racing, with a second giant slalom.
Complete results

Freestyle kicks off competition at U.S. Selections in Winter Park

Winter Park in Colorado is currently hosting Freestyle U. S. Selections, which serve the purpose of qualifying skiers for NorAm competition starts, and possibly U.S. World Cup starts. The events draw highly qualified competitors from all over the U.S., as they’re a stepping stone to national and international events. Athletes competed yesterday in moguls, and will again compete on Wednesday in moguls and Thursday in dual moguls. SVSEF's Eliza Marks put down a solid result with a 41st place finish, in a field of competitors from China, Austria, Australia, and across the U.S. Eliza was the youngest athlete in the women's event, and competed against women up to ten years her senior. Holden Largay led the charge in men's moguls for SVSEF, finishing 18th. Brody Buchwalter was 46th, Luke Rizzo 47th, Alex LaFleur 50th, Hunter Diehl 57th and Wilson Dunn 58th in a highly competitive field of 67. The competition continues Wednesday – stay tuned.
Complete results

The Week in Review - 12/13/16

It’s been an eventful week for SVSEF athletes, with early season races in the books and productive training sessions on fresh snow. Efforts both in competition and practice have been focused, grounding and energizing – now’s the time to put all that training to use, work on areas of improvement, seek challenge and have a grand old time in the upcoming winter season.


Cross Country Gold Team finds Super Tour podiums at Silver Star

Cole Morgan in hot pursuit (second from L).
Cole Morgan in hot pursuit (second from L).

Cole Morgan (L) finished second and Matt Gelso (far R) fifth in the men's sprint.

Following a strong Super Tour opener at West Yellowstone, the SVSEF Cross Country Gold Team headed north to the Sovereign Lakes Nordic Center in Silver Star, BC, where they spent the week training in preparation for the second round of Super Tour races. Saturday featured a 1.2-km classic sprint, followed by a 15/10km freestyle race on Sunday. The race weekend came with temperatures in the single digits, compared to the sub-zero numbers the team saw all week prior. Julia Kern of the SMS Elite Team won the women’s sprint, followed by Liz Guiney of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project in second, and Kaitlynn Miller, of the same affiliation, in third. Mary Rose qualified for the B-final, finishing 10th overall. Reese Hanneman of Alaska Pacific University took first in the men’s race, followed closely by SVSEF Gold Team skier Cole Morgan, who was 0.87 seconds out of first and who had won the men’s qualifier earlier that day. SMS Elite Team skier Ben Saxton rounded out the podium in third. SVSEF’s Matt Gelso continued his solid Super Tour efforts with a fifth place finish.
Chris Mallory, Cross Country Gold Team Head Coach, gave some insight about the day. "Cole Morgan started things off right for the team Saturday with a blazing fast classic qualifier, winning by four seconds. He opted to double pole the course, which played to his strengths well. After three rounds of racing, Cole placed second on the day to Hanneman in a tough double pole battle down the finishing stretch.  It was a great spectating course with a series of four climbs that wound in and out of the stadium. Gelso also skied strong all day, making it to the A Final.  He was one of the few to go with kick wax all day and stride the final decisive climb. It was fun to watch the two guys take two different approaches to the course, both having some success."
Sunday's freestyle race featured fresh snow and tough climbs. Scott Patterson of APU took the men’s 15km win in a time of 40:00.2. Gelso maintained the consistency he's shown from early on this season, skiing into second place, 13.2 seconds behind Patterson. Tad Elliot of Vail finished third. SVSEF’s Jack Hegman was 10th, Rogan Brown 11th, and Cole Morgan 28th. APU took home another win on Sunday, with Chelsea Holmes leading the women’s field. Katharine Ogden of SMS Elite was second, and her teammate Erika Flowers was third. Mary Rose led the SVSEF women in fifth; Deedra Irwin skied to ninth, and Annie Pokorny to 23rd. Rose and Irwin's results marked their best races of the season thus far.
Gelso's result on Sunday secured his top spot on the U.S. Super Tour points list, and earned him World Cup starts beginning in late January in Sweden and South Korea.
The Gold Team returns home to Sun Valley for a breather before their next stint at Soldier Hollow for the Senior Nationals the second week of January.
Complete sprint results
Complete distance results
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Cross Country Devo, Prep and Comp Team athletes warm up with local Winterstart races

Alum Alexa Turzian, Gold Team skier Kelsey Phinney and Comp Team Coach Kristin Monahan stay in sync. © Glen Allison
Alum Alexa Turzian, Gold Team skier Kelsey Phinney and Comp Team Coach Kristin Monahan stay in sync. © Glen Allison

The snowstorm we saw last weekend left Galena Lodge with over a foot of fresh powder, just in time for the annual Winterstart event. This year, there were two, four and eight-kilometer options for participants. All courses began in the ever-scenic Senate Meadows and headed up Jenny’s Way into the woods before breaking out at the northeastern side of the field. The snow was soft and temperatures cold, which meant slightly slower going. In the men’s two-kilometer race, Blake DeHart finished first in a time of 7:40. Right behind him was Fisher Gardner, who finished second in 7:43. Alex Shafer was third, and Mats Radl-Jones fourth; all are SVSEF skiers. In the women’s two-kilometer race, SVSEF’s Sammy Smith took first in a time of 7:26. Anja Grover was just one second off the winning time, landing her in second place. SVSEF’s Berkeley Canfield finished fourth, Taylor Dorland fifth, Anneka Thompson sixth, and Riley Siegel, the only Devo participant, crossed the line in eighth.
© Glen Allison
Eve Jensen lease Anja Jensen (unrelated). © Glen Allison

The four-kilometer option headed up Nello’s and brought racers to the southern end of the meadows. SVSEF skiers made up the entire men’s and women’s fields for this length. Sebi Radl-Jones took first in the men’s race with a time of 15:50; Jake Gorham was second. Luci Ludwig topped the women’s field in 16:40, and was followed by teammates Christine Estep in second, Tia Vontver third, Kate Stone fourth, Kate Horowitz fifth and Quinn Closser sixth.
Racers who opted for the eight-kilometer course skied the four kilometer course twice. There were no SVSEF athletes in the men’s race, which was won by Bill Nurge in a time of 27:11. SVSEF alum Alexa Turzian won the women’s event in 30:11, followed by Kristin Monahan, SVSEF Comp Team Coach. Monahan’s athlete Eve Jensen rounded out the podium in third, Gold Team skier Kelsey Phinney was fourth, and SVSEF’s Anja Jensen, Sascha Leidecker and Ellie Gorham were fifth, sixth and seventh.

 A number of SVSEF athletes opted to forgo the race in preparation for the upcoming JNQ races, which will take place this weekend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There will be a classic interval start race on Friday, followed by a mass start freestyle race on Saturday. This is the first of three IMD JNQ events; the second takes place here in Sun Valley, January 21-22, and the final weekend of JNQ racing will bring athletes back to West Yellowstone the weekend of February 11.

Complete results
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SVSEF Gold Team skier Kipling Wiesel and PG athlete Haley Cutler stake out top finishes in Canada

Kipling Weisel at Lake Louise. (photo by Brett Jacobson)
Kipling Weisel at Lake Louise. (photo by Brett Jacobson)

Lake Louise in BC hosted two Nor-Am downhills and one Canadian National Championship downhill. According to SVSEF FIS coach Brett Jacobson, “cold temperatures and clean skiing rule up in Lake Louise. Highs of -9 with lows creeping to -30 degrees Fahrenheit all week helped to make an amazing racing surface. Lake Louise staff and volunteers worked their tails off to make one of the best courses available.” SVSEF Gold Team skier Kipling Wiesel and PG skier Haley Cutler made the most of the favorable course – Weisel finished in sixth and eighth in the Nor-Am downhills, and Cutler was fifth for her first race, but did not finish her second. In the Canadian National Championship downhill, Weisel narrowly missed the podium, skiing into fourth. Cutler rebounded from a hard tumble in the previous Nor-Am downhill on a very difficult section of the course, and ended up in sixth for the third event.
At Panorama Resort, the terrain was “unrelenting and challenging, yet consistent.” Cutler came in seventh place in her first super G, and Weisel finished 18th and 13th in the two races. Races at Panorama continue through the 18th of December  – look for more results soon.
Complete Lake Louise results
Panorama Results
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Hanna Blackwell before dropping into the pipe at Copper.
Hanna Blackwell before dropping into the pipe at Copper.

Hanna Blackwell competes at Rev Tour at Copper

(words by Tyler Conway, SVSEF Head Freeski Coach)
Hanna Blackwell set out to compete in the U.S. Revolution Tour on December 10, 2016 at Copper Mountain Resort in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This being an Olympic qualifying season, athletes from all over the world competed in this halfpipe event. The Rev Tour is a stepping-stone to the U.S. Freeskiing Team and serves as a platform for young athletes to make a name for themselves. With limited halfpipe training due to unseasonably warm temperatures, Hanna took advantage of the only halfpipe open in the USA. She skied well for the first competition of the season, finishing in 30th. This shows the importance of the halfpipe and slopestyle ski training that Dollar Mountain provides for the SVSEF Freeski Team; helping us compete with the world’s best.
Complete results

Cross Country – West Yellowstone Rendezvous Results

Rogan Brown in the men's 10km skate race.
Rogan Brown in the men's 10km skate race.

On Saturday, November 26, SVSEF cross country skiers got back into the swing of racing in West Yellowstone, Montana, after spending a week of training on the Rendezvous Ski Trails there. West was hit with about a foot of snow the day before the Comp and Prep contingents were to depart Friday, November 18 – the athletes, who were prepared for a continuation of the running and roller ski training they’ve been stacking up all spring, summer and fall, stepped onto snow on Saturday, November 19. With two sessions a day, the skiers were fitting in a hefty amount of on-snow hours. Gold and PG skiers arrived Monday and got some solid time on snow before the races that were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Both races were FIS-sanctioned and drew athletes from across the U.S., most of whom consider West Yellowstone a staple in their schedule for early winter on-snow training. In the men’s 10km skate race on Saturday, Gold Team skier Rogan Brown powered into second place with a time of 20:59.1, behind SMS T2 skier Patrick Caldwell, who claimed victory in 20:32.4. Teammate Jack Hegman wasn’t far behind, taking fourth place overall, only .3 seconds out of third. PG skier Eli Jensen had a standout race, with a 17th place finish overall and a win in the U20 age group. In the women’s 5km skate on Saturday, Gold Team skier Mary Rose took sixth, Annie Pokorny 14 and Kelsey Phinney 16 in a field of 76 competitors. Comp Team skier Eve Jensen was 43, Lily Brunelle 51, Ella Wolter 55, Sophia Mazzoni 56, Laine Allison 59 and Katherine Estep 69. In the U16 men’s race, SVSEF’s Johnny Hagenbuch took the win in a time of 11:28.7 in a field of 24 on the 5km course.
Sunday featured a 10km/5km classic race. Gold Team skier Matt Gelso looked strong throughout and claimed silver in the men’s division, which included 70 athletes. He broke a pole with .5km to go, but was able to maintain composure and secure his spot on the podium. According to Chris Mallory, Gold Team Head Coach, most of the athletes opted to double pole the course, as the biggest climb was taken out of the race due to conditions. Gelso was one of only two skiers in the top ten to choose to use classic skis and kick wax. In the women’s 5km classic with a field of 74, Deedra Irwin was just out of the top ten, skiing to 11. PG Kae Fink came in 23, and teammate Sarah Goble was second in the U20 category and 32 overall. Kat Paul, an Australian skier who has skied for SVSEF in the past, was 34, Kirsys Campbell 54, Jenna Nurge 56, Chloe Tanous 57, Laura Anderson 63 and Michaela Petty 69.
With an influx of skiers throughout the week and warm temperatures, Mallory commended the organizers of the event, as they “put together some really good tracks with only a few inches of snow on the ground.” SVSEF Comp Team athletes head back to West Yellowstone today to join Gold and PG skiers who stayed there to get more training on snow – they’ve been getting in some good intensity workouts, and conditions should be better this weekend as a few more inches accumulated on Sunday. A total of 30 SVSEF athletes will compete in the SuperTour opener that was moved from Bozeman, Montana, for lack of snow there.
Results from last weekend can be found here.

Cross Country Gold and PG Teams Make Strides at Frozen Thunder Camp

Hundreds of truckloads of snow later, Canmore opened their “Frozen Thunder” trail to cross country skiers on October 22. The Alberta Parks Canmore Nordic Centre saves man-made snow over the summer and spreads it over 2km of trail each year. Among those who made the trek to Alberta were the SVSEF Cross Country Gold and PG Teams. Set against the striking backdrop of the Canadian Rockies, SVSEF skiers spent the week fitting in a high-volume block of training that was both technique and tactic intensive. The group made significant progress in their final preparation heading into the race season, with the advantage of early season skiing and a couple race efforts to cap it all off.
The first race of the camp took place on October 28, with a 7.5 km freestyle for women and 12 km for men. SVSEF Gold Team skier Mary Rose took sixth in the women’s event, and teammate Matt Gelso skied into second place, just 4.6 seconds out of first. Sarah Goble, a PG skier for SVSEF, had a strong showing with a second place finish in the junior women category.
The second event of the week was a classic sprint, which consisted of a morning qualifier followed by three heats in a “King’s Court” format. This unique style involves heats in which competitors are seeded based on their qualifier. In the heat races, the top two move up a bracket, while the bottom two move back. On Tuesday, heats went off every minute, which lent plenty of action and excitement to the day. Variable conditions, with two inches of fresh snow from the night before on top of the old man-made tracks, made for interesting waxing that went from hardwax to klister, with constant changes in between. By the end of it all, some competitors were opting to double pole in the final heats. Top SVSEF results came from Gold Team skier Kelsey Phinney, who took first overall in the women’s race. Teammate Mary Rose finished fourth, and Jack Hegman claimed third in the men’s event.
The teams head back to Sun Valley today to continue training before they head to West Yellowstone at the end of November. Following a tune-up race there on November 25, the first Super Tour races of the season will be in Bozeman, Montana, December 3-4.
(For a recap of the Frozen Thunder distance races, read the FasterSkier article here.)

Chris Mallory Returns to SVSEF as Cross Country Gold Team Head Coach

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is pleased to welcome Chris Mallory back to the organization as head coach of the SVSEF Cross Country Gold Team. Mallory returns to the Wood River Valley after a three-year stint at the University of Vermont, where he was the Catamounts’ Cross Country Team assistant coach. Mallory assumes his new role out west following the departure of Gold Team coach Colin Rodgers, who has accepted the position of program director for the Green Mountain Valley School Cross Country program in Waitsfield, Vermont.
Rick Kapala, SVSEF Cross Country program director, commented, “We are really excited to have Chris returning to our SVSEF Cross Country program. Chris has a track record of demonstrated success at every level and he brings the depth of knowledge combined with a high energy work ethic that is critical for success at the Gold Team level.”
Growing up, Mallory skied out of Colchester, Vermont, before racing for the University of New Hampshire, where he received a bachelor of science degree in recreation management and policy in 2005. According to the University of Vermont, he was a member of the UNH ski team all four years and a captain for two years – Mallory earned All-EISA honors two times, and twice was an Academic All-American. After college, he was an invaluable member of the SVSEF cross country staff for eight years as the Post Grad Team Head Coach and as an assistant coach for the Comp Team, prior to coaching at UVM.
Mallory will be working with a number of athletes at SVSEF who he has already had the opportunity to coach; former UVM skiers Jack Hegman and Cole Morgan are new to the SVSEF Gold Team this year, and returning teammate Rogan Brown also skied under Mallory while racing for UVM. Earlier in his career, he coached another Gold Team athlete, Annie Pokorny, when she skied for SVSEF as a junior racer.
Mallory said, “It’s exciting to be back with the SVSEF program, which has an amazing ski community behind it. I’m looking forward to the challenge of heading the Gold Team program. There is a strong, deep team assembled there this season, and it will be fun to see where the athletes can take themselves.”

2016 Golf for Gold Recap

The winning team of (L-R) Tom Van Hamerlyck, John Iosonides, Marc Reinemann and Keith Reidy with their trophy.

Although golf is fundamentally a competitive sport, it was a leisurely and genial Tuesday for SVSEF Golf for Gold participants at the Bigwood Golf Course in Ketchum – the focus of the day was on having a good time and raising funds for the SVSEF Gold Team. The event drew 19 teams of four, who competed in a nine-hole scramble. In a scramble, all players tee off, choose the best shot and continue to play in that manner. The score consists of the lowest number of strokes on each hole.
The winning team this year with a score of 27 was comprised of Marc Reinemann, Keith Reidy, Tom Van Hamerlyck and John Iosonides. The competition was tight, as the team consisting of Jack Dies, Mike Connelly, Jamie Hjort and Hanley Dawson came in second place in a card-off. In third was the team made up of Jamie Everett, Mark Eshman, Scott Lucas and Scott Harris. Hanley Dawson and Suzanne Walsh harnessed power and strength to earn the Longest Drive Award, while Chris Edwards and SJ McNichol won Closest to the Pin.
The Golf for Gold tournament, which just saw its third go-around, is a recent reinstatement of one of SVSEF’s original fundraisers, the John Harker Memorial Golf Tournament (1981-1991). Proceeds benefit the SVSEF Gold Team, which was formed in 2005 to financially support our elite athletes who compete on an international level. Present at the tournament this year were Gold Team athletes Jacob Beebe, Wing Tai Barrymore, Chase Josey, Cole Morgan, Jack Hegman and Rogan Brown. The evening ended with a buffet dinner with fresh Alaskan salmon thanks to Pride of Bristol Bay and steak prepared by Bigwood Grill. Thank you to Edwards Builders and Washington Federal for sponsoring the event, to Bigwood Golf Course for hosting, to Silver Creek Ford and Goode Motor for the potential hole-in-one prizes of trucks, and to Kelleher Family Vineyard, Pioneer Saloon, Pride of Bristol Bay, Sun Valley Company, The Valley Club, The Cellar, Sushi on Second, Kirk Anderson, Bigwood Bar & Grill and Bigwood Golf Course for their sponsorship and support. A big thanks as well to all of our volunteers and participants; the day was a huge success and we look forward to teeing off with you again next year!
For KMVT's story on the event, click here.

August Newsletter

In case you missed it: the August 2016 parent newsletter.

2016-2017 Gold Team Preview

Cole Morgan

A bizarrely sizeable portion of my tenth year around the sun was spent practicing my autograph on soccer balls, so I would have it down pat when the U.S. National Team decided they wanted me to join the lineup. Despite the absurdity of this rehearsal of sorts, I do not think my dreams of glory and prestige in athletics were an anomaly to those of the general public. But despite the draw of making a living competing in a sport you love, hardly any of us end up taking the chance and making the sacrifices to try to turn those ambitions into reality. To do so takes immense self-discipline, a good amount of natural, raw talent and unsurpassed levels of dedication to the sport. It is a steep and unpredictable mountain to conquer, if you consider the odds, but one that the SVSEF Gold Team athletes here in Sun Valley are tackling in full force.
At SVSEF, there are thirteen athletes who have taken the leap and are pursuing their dreams of competing at a high level in their respective sports. This foray into competitive, professional athletics is far from easy; each athlete is training constantly but often holds down another job, and there are numerous side projects that have become required in order to make it in the industry – one must have a prominent social media presence, secure sponsors and write blog posts or make appearances at events that engage their specific sport, to name a few of the additional demands.
The Gold Team, originally called the Olympic Development Team, was incorporated into SVSEF in 2005. The program was founded with the intention of assisting athletes who have risen to compete at national and international levels; athletes receive financial assistance and access to top-tier training environments. Their involvement in the local community encourages healthy active lifestyles for the younger SVSEF athletes and greater knowledge and support of snow sports.
Some of the SVSEF Gold Team athletes were born and raised in the Wood River Valley. Others spent a brief period of time here to train or race, and still others are completely new to the program. Regardless, a few constants remain true across the board; these skiers and snowboarders are full-time athletes who are dedicated to sharing their enthusiasm and appreciation for the sport both here in our community and to a broader audience across the U.S. and the world.
Eight athletes form the Cross Country Gold Team – of these, four are new to the team this year. It’s a strong group of skiers who have seen success at the collegiate level and beyond ­– with the caliber of these athletes, the team is looking cohesive and competitive this season. Head Coach Colin Rodgers laid out the principal team goals for this season:

Cole, Jack and Kelsey will be gunning for the U-23 World Championships which will be hosted by Soldier Hollow in Midway, UT. Qualification will be dependent upon results at the U.S. Championships in January. It will be exciting to have these athletes have the opportunity to pursue a World Championship birth on American soil!

Older athletes will be targeting U.S. Nationals, also to be held at Soldier Hollow in January 2017 – and then if those races go well they may be named to the U.S. World Championship Team. Lahti, Finland will be hosting the championships this year in February.

Returning from previous seasons with the Gold Team are Matt Gelso, Rogan Brown, Mary Rose and Deedra Irwin. The new athletes you will see out on the trails, cruising along on a distance ski or pounding out a set of intervals, are Jack Hegman, Cole Morgan, Kelsey Phinney and Annie Pokorny.

Matt Gelso
Matt Gelso

Veteran Matt Gelso has been skiing with the SVSEF Gold Team for six years, since graduating from the University of Colorado. He has raced throughout Europe and the U.S. and has competed at FIS World Cups and the FIS World Ski Championships. Gelso has garnered top three results at U.S. National Championships, and won an NCAA individual championship. Gelso hopes to make it to the World Ski Championships again this February.
Rogan Brown
Rogan Brown

Rogan Brown, originally from Durango, Colorado, is 24 years old and received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Vermont, where he was a member of the ski team. His main goals this season are to improve his sprint racing and land on the podium at U.S. Nationals this January, which will take place in Utah. Having lived in the Wood River Valley for two years, Brown is “continually impressed by its unity and ski culture.”
Mary Rose also grew up skiing in Colorado, in Steamboat Springs and then for the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since graduating, Rose has posted competitive results, setting her up for elite racing opportunities. In 2014, she competed at the Under-23 World Championships, multiple Scandinavian Cup races, Europa Cup races and Europa (OPA) Cup Finals. The following season, she had two top 10 finishes at the U.S. National Championships, qualifying her for the U.S. Ski Team’s OPA Cup trip in Central Europe. Domestically, Rose has been successful on the SuperTour circuit, with a win, a second place and a fifth place finish. This season, Rose is focusing on the SuperTour circuit, where she will look to qualify for the FIS World Cup and World Championships.
Mary Rose
Mary Rose

Deedra Irwin
Deedra Irwin

The fourth returning cross country Gold Team skier is Deedra Irwin, who hails from Wisconsin. This will be Irwin’s second season with the Gold Team; last year, she led the charge for the female athletes, with multiple top 15 results, a few top 10 results, and a win in both the Elite Birkebeiner Sprints and the American Classic Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wisconsin. In 2015, Irwin qualified to compete in Almaty, Kazakhstan as part of the U23 World Junior Team. The athlete went to school at Michigan Technological University, where she majored in exercise science, minored in international Spanish and coaching, and competed on the cross country running, track and cross country ski teams. Going into this season, Irwin will be concentrating on classic sprinting.
Jack Hegman
Jack Hegman

New to the team this year are former University of Vermont skiers, Jack Hegman and Cole Morgan. Hegman is originally from Huntington, Vermont, and studied Computer Science at UVM. He is a three-time NCAA All-American and has represented the U.S. at the World Junior Championships. Hegman’s current and former teammate Cole Morgan is from Bozeman, Montana, and skied for UVM after a post-graduate year skiing for SVSEF back in 2012. Morgan was the third American in the 2015 U.S. National Championships classic sprint, and has been named to two World Junior Championships teams. This season he is focusing on the U23 World Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah.
Annie Pokorny
Annie Pokorny

The other two new recruits to the Cross Country Gold Team also attended school in Vermont; both skied for Middlebury College. Kelsey Phinney grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and attended Middlebury, where she studied neuroscience. Phinney skied for the U.S. at the U23 World Championships this past winter in Romania, and has her sights set on U23 Worlds in Utah this season. Her teammate Annie Pokorny skied for Middlebury but is originally from the West, where she grew up racing between Park City, Utah, and Spokane, Washington. She joined SVSEF as a junior in high school in 2009 and attended the Community School. At Middlebury, Pokorny majored in philosophy, was an NCAA All-American, a three-time member of the U.S. U23 World Championship team, and raced on Europe’s Scandinavian and Europa Cup circuits.
Returning to the Gold Team alpine lineup are Tanner Farrow and Kipling Weisel. Both athletes grew up skiing with SVSEF. Farrow has been involved with SVSEF since he was eight years old; he recently turned 23. The athlete attended Wood River High School and was named to the U.S. Ski Team on his 18th birthday – he has spent the past four seasons competing at the Nor Am and Europa Cup level. Although he was not renamed to the U.S. Ski Team at the completion of the 2015-2016 season, he will continue to pursue skiing at the World Cup and Olympic levels. Farrow recently accepted an offer to compete for the University of Denver, whose ski team is the reigning NCAA national champion. Kipling Weisel, also a SVSEF alum, now skis for Dartmouth College and is a member of the U.S. Alpine C Team. Last season he posted strong results, finishing 16th overall on the NorAm circuit and earning six top 10 results. At the U.S. Alpine Championships here in Sun Valley this past March, Weisel finished ninth in alpine combined and was the third junior racer overall in the event. He will graduate from Dartmouth in 2018.
Tanner Farrow
Tanner Farrow. Photo by Hillary Maybery.

Chase Josey

In the snowboarding world, SVSEF Gold Team member Chase Josey continues to impress. Josey grew up snowboarding for SVSEF here in Sun Valley. The athlete had standout results throughout last season, with a second place finish at the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix and a bronze medal in halfpipe at X Games Oslo. In 2015 he won the renowned Red Bull Double Pipe.
Gold Team freeskier Jacob Beebe has proven to be a promising competitor, and he has many years ahead of him as a seventeen-year old. Beebe is on the U.S. Rookie Halfpipe Team and resides in Bend, Oregon, where he attends Summit High School. In 2016, Beebe was 12th in the halfpipe at X Games Oslo and fifth at the Aspen Snowmass Freeskiing Open Halfpipe. His goals for this coming season are to qualify for X Games Aspen and to make finals at Dew Tour and Grand Prix events.
Tai Barrymore
Tai Barrymore

Rounding out the Gold Team is freeskier Tai Barrymore. Barrymore grew up in Sun Valley and graduated from Wood River High School in 2010; he was a skier for SVSEF beginning his junior year of high school. The 24-year old took first place at the Copper Mountain Grand Prix World Cup in 2012, second place at the Killington Dew Tour in 2013, is a four-time X Games athlete and seven-time Dew Tour athlete. Barrymore participated in every Olympic qualifier in 2014 for Sochi. The athlete suffered a torn ACL last year and is eager to get back into competition this season.
We are excited to see what the 2016-2017 season has in store for our Gold Team athletes; we know they will do big things, and we are glad to be along for the ride.
If you are interested in supporting SVSEF Gold Team athletes, there is a fundraiser on August 16th whose proceeds benefit the Gold Team. For more information about the Golf for Gold Tournament, please visit the website at or contact Jody Zarkos with questions (, 208-726-4129 ext. 102).