Top U12 Athletes Vie for Overall Honors in the Intermountain Division

The 2022 U12 IMD Alpine Championships brought the top 100 under-12-years-old boys and girls ski racers from 13 teams across Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah to Sun Valley to compete across four disciplines in giant slalom (GS), slalom (SL), panel slalom (Panel SL), and kombi. A “kombi” consists of a mixture of standard turns and gates within one course and is designed to create tactical awareness by the athletes. The competition was fierce with the Idaho and Wyoming clubs in the North seeing new competition out of Utah from the South for the first time this season.

“We were so excited to have the U12 IMD Championships back in Sun Valley,” said Adele Savaria, SVSEF Alpine North Series Head Coach. “It’s always great to host championship events on our home hill and the kids had so much fun racing and getting to see other teams from the Intermountain Division. Our kids worked so hard to qualify for these Championships and their results showed it,” said Savaria. “We are so proud of the entire team!”

The boys took to the race hill first on Friday and Saturday for two full days of racing. First on the schedule was the kombi, comprised of SL, Panel SL, Stubbies, SL, and GS into the finish. SVSEF’s Declan O’Toole took 4th place on the podium and Henry Flynn 6th, both within 3.46 seconds of the top step. Corbin Flood, Kai Sammis, and Wyatt Limburg rounded out the top 14 with fractions of a second between them. Cameron Beck snuck into the top 16, and it was Snowbird Ski Education Foundation (SBSEF) that dominated with a top-three sweep.

The boys GS saw SVSEF’s Henry Questad and Wyatt Limburg on the podium in 4th and 5th. Cameron Beck, Corbin Flood, and Henry Flynn took 16th, 19th, and 20th respectively to give SVSEF five boys in the top 20. SBSEF saw a repeat with the top three steps in the GS.

SVSEF’s Declan O’Toole raced to 2nd place in the boys 2-run SL on Saturday and Corbin Flood landed another solid performance in 10th. In the 1-run Panel SL, Cameron Beck and Kai Sammis tied for 8th place for the SVSEF crew. And the South took the top four podium spots home to SBSEF.

“Reflecting on the last four days, the coolest part for me was how the community came together to put on a really high quality event for this age group, said Will Brandenburg, SVSEF Alpine Program Director. “There weren’t a lot of bells and whistles—just a perfectly prepared and challenging venue for these young kids to compete on. From the parents making BBQ, to the hard-working cat drivers, ski patrol, and mountain operations crew from Sun Valley Company, we all collectively created a cool environment for the event.” Brandenburg was Chief of Race for the event.

Game time started on Sunday for the girls, and four clubs were in the mix for top spots in the kombi. The girls kombi course switched things up and tested the agility of all the athletes with GS, Panel SL, SL, Panel SL, and finally GS again to the finish line. Sasha Preuss came away in the top SVSEF spot in 5th place and Bianca Smith raced to 9th, just 1.01 seconds behind her teammate. It was a close battle between Jackson Hole Ski Club (JHSC) in 1st and 2nd, SBSEF in 3rd, and Park City Ski Club (PCSC) in 4th, all within 2.99 seconds across the finish line.

The girls GS saw three SVSEF teammates in the top 10. Sasha Preuss snagged another podium in 5th. Bianca Smith and Jasmine Smiley closed out the top 10 in 9th and 10th respectively, and Savannah Pringle and Taylor Rundell raced to strong 11th and 13th. Elle Deckard earned a very respectable19th and her teammate, Fernanda Hurtado, crossed the line in 21st, with only 0.20 between them. It was in the GS that Taryn Moe out of JHSC earned her second top-three podium finish and first of three 1st place wins of the championship.

A two-run SL and one-run Panel SL were on deck for the girls on the final day racing. Three SVSEF athletes raced into the top 20 in the SL—Bianca Smith in 6th, Jasmine Smiley in 12th, and Elle Deckard in 19th. It was a hat trick for Sasha Preuss with 4th place in the Panel SL and her third podium of the series. Bianca Smith found another top ten in 9th and Jasmine Smiley a strong 13th in the final race.

At the end of the race series, the North and South each took home an overall title. Taryn Moe out of JHSC won the overall with 1st place finishes in the GS, SL, and Panel SL, plus a 2nd place in the kombi. Patrick Meirowitz from SBSEF came away with the overall for the boys with matching results—three wins in the GS, SL, and Panel SL, and a 2nd place in the kombi.

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