The Week in Review: 1/24/17


This is the third 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 23, 2017:


Madda Mourier-Floyd

ALPINE: Madda Mourier-Floyd, a fourth grader at Community School, recently moved to the valley from California. Her ski experience prior to relocating was minimal, in the form of the occasional ski trip with her family. Even from the start of dryland training, Madda’s coaches recognized her athletic potential. Madda has worked hard to turn that potential into personal growth and progress; after essentially just one month of skiing, she was the second SVSEF finisher in the first Nastar girl’s race. Coach Brian Caulkins credits her development to not solely her athleticism, but her willingness to give 100% every day, her positivity and the respect and support she shows to her teammates.
Ava Lavigne

CROSS COUNTRY: Ava Lavigne, age eight, attends Hailey Elementary School. Dave Bingham, Cross Country Devo Head Coach, recounted how Ava constantly come to practice eager to learn and improve:

Ava approached me after New Year’s asking for a training plan to make her a better athlete. She has focused on learning technique perhaps more than any Devo skier I’ve ever seen, exemplified by her daily requests to work on specific technical skills and her pursuit to earn advanced ‘skill badges,’ usually only achieved by older team members. With dogged enthusiasm and a hard driving work ethic, Ava sets a positive example for the whole team.


Sammy Smith, right, with cross country teammates

FREESTYLE: Sammy Smith, a fifth grader who spends winter in Sun Valley and fall and spring in Boise, is a member of both the Freestyle Travel B Team and the Cross Country Prep Team. Talented beyond her years and stature, you wouldn’t know it unless you saw her for yourself out on the course; she is quietly fierce, extremely hardworking and incredibly humble. Eager to help her coaches, congratulate her teammates and take on whatever challenge comes next, Sammy is an athlete who even older teammates look up to.
Lachlan McFarland

PARK & PIPE: The Park & Pipe “I am SVSEF” athlete this week is Lachlan McFarland, a sixth grader at Community School. Conor Davis, Freeski B Team Coach, describes how Lachlan faced challenge head-on in Park City, persevering through any doubt and apprehension that naturally came with initial exposure to the halfpipe.

As a coach I was really impressed with Lachlan’s first travel trip to Park City this past week. All of our athletes were thrown into the halfpipe contest last Thursday morning with no prior training this year. In the hour of training before the contest, I was really impressed to see all of the athletes putting their game faces on. After his first training run, Lachlan commented as we were riding up the chairlift, “I forgot how scary the half pipe is.” By the end of the day, however, Lachlan had overcome his fear and was spinning left and right 540’s, and riding switch down the pipe. He even earned himself a second place medal for his age group. On our last run of the trip he announced, “I forgot how much fun the halfpipe is! I can’t wait to have our halfpipe open so that I can train this week.” I’m excited to see Lachlan’s confidence continue to overcome uncomfortable or scary situations in the future, and to watch him progress as both a skier, and as a young adult.




Gold Team: Chase Josey wins LAAX event in Europe

Chase Josey with women’s halfpipe winner Chloe Kim. (FIS-Miha Matavz)

Chase Josey, SVSEF alumni and current Gold Team snowboarder, has again proven his ability to capitalize at big events and to stay calm under pressure that comes with the territory. Earlier this season, Chase took third at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper in December. This past weekend, he won the LAAX Open men’s halfpipe in Switzerland, which was established this year as part of the FIS World Cup tour and describes itself as “the most important snowboarding event in the European mountains.” The Hailey native pulled out all the stops on his third run, laying down multiple doubles and ultimately out-finessing competitors Scotty James of Australia, and Iouri Podladtchikov, the Sochi Olympic champion fondly known as iPod and hailing from Switzerland. Chase’s result pushed him into the leading position on the FIS points list. (USSA Snowboarding)
Full results here
Further reading

All SVSEF Snowboard: Baldy Banked Slalom

Fist bump from Rick Millet. (Corey Warren)

The sixth annual Baldy Banked Slalom took place Saturday, January 21. Nineteen hand-made berms were built for the course that wound down the side of Baldy, from the top of Warm Springs to I-80. Each competitor had two opportunities to get down the course as quickly as possible; the start list ran from top to bottom, then got switched up and went bottom to top for the second run. The top prize for the event was a coveted spot in the Baker Banked Slalom, which is now in its 31st year and is so popular that a portion of the entries for the event have to be chosen by lottery. Competitors can qualify through results at other banked slaloms, which is the case with the Baldy Banked, along with 11 other similar events, staged from Maine to Switzerland to Japan.
The event drew 107 competitors, from pros to young kids –  SVSEF current athletes as well as alums and parents threw their names in the mix. Elk Spencer and Aidan Greene made a dent in the pro-open division, with the ninth and tenth fastest times in a field of 33. Clara Jenner, a SVSEF alum, took the women’s race with a time of 50.891 seconds. Rick Millett, SVSEF Snowboard Coach, narrowly missed the win in the men’s pro-open, taking home second place.
The Baldy Banked Slalom is a unique event in its layout and its inherent nature; it is an important celebration of snowboarding in Sun Valley, and this year it was a great opportunity for SVSEF to be together as a team and for athletes to support one another in an all-inclusive environment.
Full results here


Devo/Prep/Comp/PG/Gold: Sun Valley JNQ

Anja Jensen leads Chloe Tanous and Logan Smith in the classic sprint. (Hank Dart)

SVSEF hosted Intermountain’s second Junior National Qualifier, with a classic sprint on Saturday and a distance skate race on Sunday. A big thank you goes out to everyone who helped in making the event, which hosted over 300 athletes from across our division, a resounding success.
By Ashley Knox, Cross Country Comp Team Head Coach
The cross country team had a great weekend of racing on their home course. We had a beautiful day of classic sprint racing on Saturday; the tracks were in great shape and the SVSEF crew came out ready to throw down. Sunday brought us some snow and a hard distance skate course filled with lots of killer uphills and flying downhills.
For the Prep Team, Sebi Radl-Jones had a great result in Sunday’s skate race, finishing 15th in the U16 boys category. Sammy Smith raced up an age group into the U14 girls and took third place. Taylor Dorland put in a great effort and took the win in the Novice category on Sunday.
For the Comp Team, the highlight of Saturday’s classic sprint race was seeing four SVSEF girls in the U16 girls final and Chloe Tanous’s breakout result of sixth place. Peter Wolter and Eli Jensen skied two very strong laps of the challenging 5KM course on Sunday and took the top two podium spots for the U18/20 men. Eve Jensen had her career best Junior National Qualifier result, coming in seventh in the U18/20 Women.
This was the second Junior National Qualifier of the season and the team seems to be finding their form. We had some great results and some kids are really starting to see the fruits of their labor. As always, the team is ready to keep training hard and is looking forward to racing in the third and last Junior National Qualifier in West Yellowstone, Montana, February 11-12.
Full results here

Gold Team: Super Tour in Truckee, CA

The Super Tour continued in Truckee, California, with a classic sprint on Saturday. Jack Hegman missed the men’s A finals but ended up in seventh overall. Teammate Rogan Brown was 17th. Deedra Irwin was also seventh overall for the women, Mary Rose was 13th and Annie Pokorny was 14th. Unfortunately, Sunday’s 10/5km skate race was cancelled due to weather and large amounts of snow.
Men’s sprint results
Women’s sprint results

Gold Team: Cole Morgan qualifies for FIS World Championships

SVSEF Gold Team skier Cole Morgan has been named one of 17 athletes who will represent the U.S. at FIS World Championships in Lahti, Finland next month – the first event is February 23. Cole, a very strong sprinter, edged out Ben Saxton, an SMS athlete for his sprint spot; as the two were tied in sprint points, it came down to their fourth race, where Cole edged out Ben in the U.S. Nationals skate sprint qualifier. (FasterSkier) The event, which runs February 22-March 5, draws the top cross country athletes from around the world. It will be live streamed on
Read more about the team


All Freestyle: Park City Freestyle Classic

Holden Largay in 1st and Wilson Dunn in 2nd for M19 singles

SVSEF Freestyle athletes, from age six and up, competed at the Park City Freestyle Classic Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a two-run singles competition, and Sunday was supposed to have both a one-run singles and duals seeded from singles; due to extreme weather with 70mph winds, athletes competed in the one-run single event only; duals were cancelled. This competition had a high-level point value, as there were a number of top athletes in attendance, including some who are on the Nor-Am Tour. Points from this event go towards qualifying for Junior Nationals and Nationals.
Seventeen SVSEF athletes performed well despite their limited access to moguls training. Holden Largay continued his podium streak, making this the fifth competition straight in which he’s secured a top-three finish  – he podiumed both days (third on Saturday, second on Sunday). Wilson Dunn had his top performance of the year thus far, pulling out a back X and a loop with a grab, which landed him fifth overall on Saturday and making it onto the podium for M19s against a tough field. Said coach John Grigsby, “Wilson really stepped it up – he had a fifth on day one and on day two he still made top ten, which was huge for him. He’s putting stuff together now that he’s getting time and experience at a training venue.” Addie Rafford was sixth on Saturday in the women’s competition, and teammates Esmee Verheijen and Eliza Marks finished eighth and 11th.
The big story of the day for Sunday was a M17 podium sweep; Henry Cherp won, Luke Rizzo was second and Alex LaFleur third; this was a big deal, as it was a high-level competition for these athletes with a total of 55, male and female, in attendance. The girls also stepped it up, with Addie Rafford taking third, Eliza Marks ninth and Liesl Beyer 15th.
This weekend, Freestyle and Freeski athletes will compete at home at the Sun Valley Freestyle & Freeskiing Spectacular. Freestyle events kick off Saturday at 10:15 a.m. – stop by if you have a chance to support SVSEF Freestyle and Freeski athletes.
Saturday results
Sunday results


Travel Team: Park City

Hanna Blackwell with a win

Seven SVSEF Freeski athletes traveled to Park City for the first USSA halfpipe and slopestyle competition of the season. For most SVSEF athletes, this was the first time they were able to train in the halfpipe this season. All of the athletes performed well, with some placing in their age groups as well as overall. The purpose of competitions like this one is not to chase points, but to gain experience of competition and to gain confidence in slopestyle and halfpipe. It takes many hours of airtime training to build the skills and ability to take it to the next level. Joey Markthaler finished second in his age class in the halfpipe, Lachland McFarland was third for his age class and Hanna Blackwell was first in her age class and third overall.
According to Tyler Conway, Freeski Head Coach, the slopestyle course at Park City was one of the best, with jumps comparable in size to the ones on the Dew Tour.  Said Conway, “as a team, we have not skied jumps this size yet. Everyone on the team stepped up to the challenge and performed their best slopestyle runs for the conditions and size of the course.” In a slopestyle event, you have to complete every feature on the course to get a good score. Will Griffith had another solid performance in slopestyle – his run featured a first rail blind 270, second rail front 450 out, third rail front 270, first jump switch right 540 mute grab, second jump rodeo 720 safety grab and third jump double cork 900 (dub9) safety grab, landing him second in his age class.
This weekend, Freestyle and Freeski athletes will compete at home at the Sun Valley Freestyle & Freeskiing Spectacular. Freeski events kick off Thursday at 10:15 a.m. – stop by if you have a chance to support SVSEF Freestyle and Freeski athletes.
Results to come


Sammis Camas Camp and Downhill

SVSEF Alpine athletes are currently in Fairfield, Idaho, at Soldier Mountain for an intensive speed camp from Monday, January 23-Wednesday, January 25. This is an exceptional opportunity for SVSEF athletes to hone skills on applicable terrain that is closed to outside parties. Monday consisted of a terrain camp, complete with drills and stations focusing on aerodynamics, technical turns, glide turns, terrain adaptation, jumping and tactics. Today, athletes will fit in training runs and the Sammis Camas race. The idea is to build on the skills practiced on Monday, run sections in the morning and full length runs in the afternoon. The Sammis Camas race will be the final run of the day. Wednesday, the final day of the camp, has USSA and Master’s races on the schedule and is intended for older athletes only.

U14 Speed Project at Grand Targhee Resort, Wyoming

The Grand Targhee Speed Project is easily the best camp offered for the U14 age group anywhere in the country; the timing of the camp along with what it is able to offer is pretty unique. With exposure to speed terrain and a carefully orchestrated breakdown of the different elements of a speed course, athletes have the opportunity to further develop their understanding and education of all the different pieces of technical and tactical components. An athlete typically has to be a U16 and from a western region; this camp is put on for the Intermountain Division, and is for 12-14 year olds, allowing them to get good, in-season exposure that will ultimately make them more successful in competition. This is the second year of the camp.
Grand Targhee designates a number of parts of the main mountain to building out five different sections of speed training. The three-day camp features a day of skiing education, video and feedback, a day focused on volume, and a third day that links it all together in one long track. Said James Tautkus, IMD Head Coach, “turning in speed courses is so much different than in tech courses, and learning patience to let that turn build is really transferable. Our kids don’t normally have exposure to that; capturing this as a younger athlete is pretty radical.”

USSA: Wes Barron Speed Series

Nathan Gowe

The Wes Barron Speed Series at Jackson Hole was USSA scored, open to U14s and older and ran Friday through Sunday with three Super Gs. In a large field that had U14, U16 and U19 athletes, SVSEF skiers managed to secure solid finishes, despite the obvious disparity in age difference. The intention with this series was to get valuable mileage; to get more experience under the belt, to get into the start gate, to improve competition skills and fundamentals. With all the hype around racing, it’s sometimes hard to direct any degree of focus towards becoming better athletes overall. Coach James Tautkus put it well when he explained that “anytime you have the opportunity to compete, it’s an opportunity to know where you’re at; it affirms what you’re already doing right and shows where things need to improve. We had some shining lights there this weekend, and all of the kids took something away from the experience.” The challenge for the weekend was to slow it down, to execute as best they could every day and take their skiing further. As first year U16s, the SVSEF athletes are challenged to build a longer turn than they were used to at the U14 level, which had smaller skis and smaller turns. SVSEF skiers took to the challenge, showing interest in watching feedback video and making improvements along the way – the team is taking this thing that they love and trying to make more out of it. The effort showed in their results every day, even if that meant climbing up the ladder by a couple spots.
Sage Holter was the girls’ top finisher on Friday in 18th. Merumo Ishimaru jumped up from bib number 128 to 31st. Ridley Lindstrom was 15th in the boys race, Johannes Liaboe 18th, Ryder Sarchett 19th (up from bib 33) and Josh Blackburn 22 (up from bib 51). On Saturday, Carly Walther-Porino was 19th in a field of 99 racers. Cailin Chandler, Sage Holter and Ella Koplin went 21-22-23. Ridley Lindstrom just missed top-10 on day two, finishing 11th. The boys’ field was also large, with 87 competitors. On Sunday, Falon Hanna stepped up and into 18th for the girls, and teammate Marit Kaiser went from bib 52 to 23rd. Ridley Lindstrom continued his consistency, ending up in 19th on Sunday, just ahead of teammate Ryder Sarchett in 20th.
Full results here

FIS: Squaw Valley

Erin Smith (Brett Jacobson)

Yuri McClure in third (Brett Jacobson)

FIS athletes headed to Squaw for a series of racing, only to be met with rough weather conditions and three races of the four cancelled as a result. Said Brett Morris, SVSEF Women’s FIS Head Coach and Mental Conditioning and Performance Coach, “the one GS that was completed was really challenging. The Red Dog race venue at Squaw is a steep and challenging hill with lots of terrain. This is the same hill that they will run the women’s World Cup on later this year. In addition to the challenging hill, the snow was so soft that the course eroded really quickly making for extremely tough conditions.” Despite the conditions, SVSEF athletes did a great job of navigating a tricky course. Yuri McClure was third for U19s and ninth overall, and Julian Plank skied phenomenally from the back of the group to finish seventh in U19s and 17th overall. Haley Cutler finished sixth overall, and Erin Smith came in third for U19s and eighth overall.
Complete men’s results (U19s are YOB 1998-2000)
Complete women’s results