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.