The Week in Review: 1/17/17


This is the second 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 16, 2017:


Paige DeHart

ALPINE: A sixth grader at Wood River Middle School, Paige DeHart embraces all aspects of the sport of alpine skiing as a member of the North Series Team. This past weekend, she was the ladies’ victor on Saturday at Snow King, and was leading the race following her first run on Sunday until she went down on the second run, just five gates from the finish. Said Scott McGrew, Alpine Program Director and North Series Head Coach, “despite the fact that she didn’t make it through Sunday’s race, Paige was an all-star in how she dealt with it.  There were a few moments of disappointment, then full recovery to back supporting her teammates and having a great time.  She is a phenomenal teammate, a great competitor, and a beautiful skier. She loves this sport, and it shows.” On top of all that, Paige goes above and beyond with her level of commitment; last Friday night at Rotarun, she showed up in -16 degree weather to get in that extra training.
Peter Wolter

CROSS COUNTRY: Peter Wolter, a senior at Community School, is an example of how an athlete can lead both by example and by establishing a strong, positive presence on a team. Coach Ashley Knox noted that “he always brings a great attitude to practice and is a great team leader.” Peter makes an extra effort each year to put together a team fleece, jacket, etc.; he cares about the cohesiveness of the group and recognizes the value of the team as a support network that is essential for success, forged from mutual respect and a common mindset amongst athletes. Peter demonstrates how athletic success and leadership are not mutually exclusive, but in fact build each other up; he has pre-qualified for Junior Nationals with his results at Senior Nationals.
Katie Markthaler, center, with teammate Sammy Smith on the right.

FREESTYLE: According to coach John Grigsby, Katie Markthaler, a tenth grader at Wood River High School and a member of the Freestyle Travel A Team, “has made huge improvements in her skiing over the past few weeks, and her jumping has improved greatly.” This is attributed, in part, to an awesome attitude and a positive outlook; she’s come a long way over a short period of time. On top of all that, she’s a great source of support to her teammates when it matters most.
Charlie Price

PARK & PIPE: A sixth grader at Community School, Charlie Price comes to Freeski Travel Team training every day on time and fully dedicated to the task at hand. Observed coach Tyler Conway, “I’ve watched him crash a few times and end up a little frustrated, but he gets right back up and tries again.” Charlie stands out with his ability to listen and observe, to really absorb and process new information. His willingness to learn sets him up for success, both on the hill and off.



Gold Team

By Chris Mallory, Gold Team Head Coach

Cole Morgan training last month.

In Tuesday’s 20/30km mass start classic races, the loop was shortened to a 3.75km lap on a majority of man-made snow which made for good klister skiing. A big rain storm came through the day before, wiping out much of the natural snow, but Soldier Hollow luckily has some impressive snow making capability. The day started with the men’s 30km where Rogan Brown had another standout distance race, repeating his seventh place finish from a couple days prior in the 15km skate. More known for skating ability, this was a great race for him.
On Thursday, the week wrapped with a skate sprint qualifier. This was the final race used for U.S. Team selection for World Championships in Lahti, Finland, a month from now. About an hour before the start a significant snow storm rolled in, which really slowed the trail conditions down, but still allowed for a fair race with everyone dealing with the change. Cole Morgan continued his string of strong sprint results taking the second American spot on the day to Logan Hanneman of APU, and was closely followed by roommate/teammate Jack Hegman who was the third American a half second back. Apparently you live together, you race together! The Canadians raced strong this day taking the top three spots.
Cole Morgan, Kelsey Phinney and Jack Hegman have all qualified for U23 World Championships.

The women’s race then followed with Kelsey Phinney having a strong showing as the fifth American, and top U23, solidifying her spot on the U.S. U23 World Championship team a couple weeks from now, back in Utah.  Cole and Jack will join her representing the U.S., January 30th-February 5th at Soldier Hollow.
With Matt racing World Cups the next few weekends in Europe, the rest of the team will be headed to Truckee, CA, this weekend for another SuperTour Race series before coming back to race the Boulder Mountain Tour here in town. Then it’s to the Midwest for SuperTours in Michigan and the American Birkiebiener for the rest of February.
Full results here 


North Series Team

The North Series Team had their first big weekend of racing at Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A total of 30 athletes competed in two giant slalom events, January 14-15.
By Scott McGrew, Alpine Program Director and North Series Head Coach

Tommy Normand (4th) and Cole Curci (2nd) on the GS podium on Sunday.

This past weekend was awesome for the North Series Crew. They brought an incredible game, and represented our community very well. There were some solid standout performances this weekend. The ladies commanded the event, pushing eight into the top 10 on Saturday and seven into the top 10 on Sunday. Paige DeHart lead the way on Saturday with an overall victory, while teammate Goldie Kirk had a fantastic weekend with a pair of silver medals. We saw a huge number of podium positions for SVSEF athletes at all age categories, including Dakota Barth’s U14+ victory and Taylor Hovey finding the U10 podium. In an extremely competitive field, the men put together a nice day with Tommy Normand landing in fourth position and Cole Curci climbing to claim second place overall. Our younger boys were charging hard and learning some super valuable lessons along the way. The amount of talent in that group is really solid and going to be fun to see develop.
We had a number of athletes new to ski racing at this event, which was really cool. The level of attention to detail required to unlock the secrets to this game are extraordinary and it was fun to see the spark of excitement in the eyes of all of our SVSEF athletes (and parents).
We have an awesome community of parents, and this weekend we had the opportunity to make a bunch of new friends and build more layers of support for our kids. Having a strong parent community is extremely important to providing the best possible experience for our athletes and I was super stoked to be able to spend time with everyone. Lots of fun was had by all.
Full results here


FIS athletes John Blackburn, Yuri McClure and Filippo Collini traveled to Waterville, NH for a FIS series last week. A cancelled flight and missing bags made for a challenging transition into race mode, as the boys missed all days of potential training. Races took place Wednesday in soft conditions; Filippo Collini finished 33rd in the first slalom. Thursday’s giant slalom race was cancelled due to fog, and athletes completed two giant slalom races on Friday (in order to fit the second giant slalom in, only the top 45 athletes competed in the second run of the second race). Collini was 35th in the first giant slalom of the day.
Said Nate Schwing, FIS Men’s Team Head Coach, “this series brings together the top U19 Men in the country for two days of training and four days of racing. There were some good skiing moments within the runs from the boys. The U19 men’s field is strong; maybe the best field I have seen from that age group. Our guys have the potential to compete at that level but we need to continue to fine tune some aspects of our preparation to have the confidence to execute our best skiing in consecutive runs.”
Full results here


Freestyle Travel Team

Luke Rizzo (1st) and Brody Buchwalter (2nd) on the duals podium.

SVSEF Freestyle spent the weekend at Snowbowl in Missoula, Montana, for a USSA Northern Division competition. The field was relatively small, with 38 total men and 12 women in competition; SVSEF brought 21 athletes to the event. The event was pertinent in that it gave SVSEF valuable time on a moguls course, and it helped in getting points towards Junior Nationals and Nationals. Saturday was a two-run singles event, and Sunday had two events – a one-run singles qualifier, followed by duals. Katie Markthaler skied really well, ending up on the podium; her skiing improved dramatically over just the past week. Luke Rizzo and Alex LaFleur both skied extremely well; Alex was really consistent and Luke took the win for duals. Wilson Dunn was fourth in the qualifier, and Holden Largay won Saturday in singles, followed by Alex in second. Sammy Smith took second on Saturday, followed by Katie in third. The Freestyle Team has a quick turnaround, leaving Sun Valley again this Thursday for Park City at The Canyons; the following week, they’ll be competing on their home turf.
Results have not yet been posted.

Prep Team

A number of SVSEF Freestyle/Freeski Devo athletes took it upon themselves to travel to Park City for Intermountain Freestyle Devo slopestyle and mogul events at the Utah Olympic Park, January 13 and 14. Charles Goodyear placed second in slopestyle and second in moguls for age class 2005, while Alex Leahy placed third in both slopestyle and moguls for age class 2007. Hunter McLaren was third in moguls for age class 2005, Nic Rubinstein first in moguls for age class 2006 and Austin McMahon fifth in moguls for age class 2007.

FS/FS athletes, post-competition in Utah.

Commented Jennifer Diehl, Freestyle/Freeski Prep and Devo Team Manager, “what impresses me most about these kids is that they went out there and took what they have been learning at ski team, applied it to a competition that they were a little nervous about, and gave it their all. And, without a coach at the event! That is what we are trying to instill in the athletes at the Devo and Prep levels: always be open to try new things…you might enjoy one discipline more than another, but you won’t know unless you give it a go!”