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

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

Maya Ligthner
ALPINE:  North Series Head Coach Scott McGrew spoke to Maya Lightner's hard work and dedication, as she is this week's I am SVSEF athlete for alpine.

Maya Lightner has brought an incredible amount of focus and energy to her training these past few weeks. She battled it out with her friend and teammate Paige DeHart for the overall Monroe cup win this week. It is great to see maya working hard and having the results to back up the drive and passion she has. Great job this past week maya and congratulations! Maya has been a gracious teammate both on off the field and we are excited for a strong end to the season for her.

Katherine Estep
CROSS COUNTRY: From Ashley Knox, Head Comp Team Coach:

Katherine Estep has quietly put more work into ski team and working towards her goals than she would ever let on to. She is sweet, hardworking, modest, and holds herself to the highest standard. This year she faced the disappointment of having her goal of making Junior Nationals just within reach, only just to miss it – not for a lack of effort or ability. In that disappointment, Katherine was graceful and still the smiling girl who we as coaches love having around. We could see her determination, focus, and resolve already shifting to what she needs to accomplish and do now in order to make sure she reaches her goals and beyond next year.

Toby Rafford
FREESTYLE: Toby Rafford is a young athlete who is making his way up, and really leading the charge for the younger athletes. He just qualified for Junior Nationals, held here March 13-19. According to coach John Grigsby, Toby has been working hard on learning a back-full (back-flip with a 360) and just qualified that on snow this past weekend. He is hoping to use it at Junior Nationals. Said Grigsby, “Toby has turned over a new leaf and has really shown that he’s dedicated to improving.” Beyond his efforts on the snow, Toby is always on top of his grades.  
Ryan Dobi
PARK & PIPE: Ryan Dobi, an athlete on the SVSEF Freeski Team, has put in the work and has been trying a new run in slopestyle all season. At first he wasn’t landing his slopestyle run in competition. Coach Tyler Conway said that, "despite this, Ryan has been sticking with the goals that he set in the beginning of the year; he has practiced and worked hard at perfecting his run, which earned him a top spot in the slopestyle event over the weekend."  




From Andy Gilbert, SVSEF Snowboard Coach
L-R: Caleb Hothem, Jack Verhaeghe, Walker Pate
The SVSEF Snowboard Team traveled to Jackson Wyoming to compete in the USASA Big Mtn. West Snowboard Series. Athletes competed in slopestyle at Snow King Resort on Saturday, February 25. The team was made up entirely of U12 athletes. Although small in stature, the athletes rode with confidence, on a course that featured a rail box combo, medium sized jump, to bigger jump, and larger rail package. Nico Lerner stepped onto the podium in second with a solid run consisting of clean straight airs and solid rails. On the ladies’ side, Channing Curci took the win for Breaker Girls 12-13 with a frontside air and a “chicken salad” grab on the jumps and clean rails. Maddie Hothem landed in second with clean straight airs and good amplitude. Olive Gilbert took the silver in the Menehune Girls. Jack Verhaeghe and Walker pate went one and two in the Menehune Boys 10-11. Jack went frontside 360, method air to nose press on the box feature. Walker landed backside 360, frontside 180 and a clean box feature. Sunday in the halfpipe at Teton Village, the kids really stepped up their game. Nico Lerner took the gold in the Grommet Boys 8-9 with good amplitude and solid grabs. Olive Gilbert took a silver medal in the Menehune Girls 10-11 group with an ally oop 360 and good straight airs. Maddie Hothem had good amplitude all day which landed her in third in the Breaker Girls 12-13 division. In the same group, Channing Curci pulled down a silver medal with a run that featured  frontside 360 to half cab. And in the Menehune boys 10-11 group, the Sun Valley boys pulled the podium sweep! Caleb Hothem, who went huge all day and was leading after his first run, ultimately finished third. Walker Pate had runs that showed good tail and creative spins, and finished second. Taking the win with great amplitude and good trick selection was Jack Verhaeghe.   The pipe and park at Dollar has been paying off and is only getting better as we get into the best training time of our season. Up next, the team heads to Park City for our series finale, beginning on Thursday, March 2. After that will will know our National Championship Team and will begin preparing for that event the first week of April.    


Ryan Dobi on top of the podium.
The SVSEF Freeski Team competed in the USASA Jackson Hole slopestyle, halfpipe and rail jam event over the weekend. There were a number of podiums, with Harper Mallet taking first and scoring the highest hun of the day in the Freeski Breaker (12-13) boys category. Joey Markthaler shared the podium with him in third. Ryan Dobi, Freeski Junior (16-18), won all three events for the weekend. Kyle Kope, Freeski Youth (14-15) narrowly missed the podium, with a fourth place in the rail jam. The team heads to Park City this coming weekend, March 2-5, for King of the Wasatch Series Finals. All events are AFP Bronze Level certified ski events and Rev Tour qualifiers if the athletes meet the requirements to compete in Rev Tour competitions. This is the last competition of the Big Mountain West series, and the final opportunity for athletes to qualify for USASA Nationals, which are held in April at Copper Mountain in Colorado. Full results here  

Cross Country

Prep and Devo Teams

Quinn Closser, Christine Estep and Taylor Dorland post-race.
A total of 275 athletes from the Intermountain Region, as well as from Alaska, descended upon the Lake Creek trails in Ketchum for this year’s Intermountain Youth Championships. The IYCs are a great opportunity for younger athletes to get a feel for what competition is like, to interact and race with other teams, and to see how their training throughout the season has paid off. The weekend started with an individual start skate race, ranging from one to five kilometers, determined by age group.Athletes competed in a combined downhill and obstacle course in the afternoon, making their way down Torin’s Tucker (older athletes) and Big Biathlon (younger athletes), and navigating over bumps and through fencing mazes and bamboo forests.Sunday’s race was a classic mass start, on the same course as the skate race the day before, and seeded based on results in the two events the previous day. All athletes skied well throughout the weekend, taking advantage of having trained on the course all season. Notable performances came from Sammy Smith, who won all three events in the U12 girls' division, and teammates Anika Vandenburgh and Berekely Canfield who found the podium multiple times throughout the weekend (Anika finished second in the skate and second in the downhill, while Berkeley was third in the downhill and second in the classic). Julia Sinnamon finished second for U10 girls in the downhill. Logan Smith also found the podium in each competition, with two second-place finishes in the skate and downhill behind Alaska's Quincy Donley, and a win in Sunday's classic race, after pulling away from the pack about halfway through. Luci Ludwig skied strong throughout, and ended the weekend with a third place finish in the classic. In her first race for SVSEF, Addy Bevers took bronze in the women's novice division in the skate race. Sebi Radl-Jones finished third in the U16 5km race, second in the downhill and third in the classic. Christine Estep finished her season as a Prep Team skier with a win in the U16 girls' classic race on Sunday.   The U14 Cup awards the top ten U14 athletes, based on their races throughout the season. Logan Smith won for girls, and teammate Luci Ludwig was third overall. Anja Grover made the top ten in eighth. The Sportsmanship Award went to Jackson Hole Ski Club, and the Overall Team Award, given to the team with the highest points for the weekend, went to McCall. Full results here


North Series and Mini World Cup Teams

Reece Walther-Porino, © Glen Allison
SVSEF hosted the Monroe Cup this past weekend, named in honor of former SVSEF executive director Lane Monroe. Lane also coached with the U.S. Ski Team. The event was well-attended, with nearly 200 competitors. Said Scott McGrew, Alpine Program Director and Head North Series Coach, “It was good to see the Mini World Cup crew in action. This was their first opportunity to compete at the North Series, and the weekend presented a great opportunity for the athletes to get some experience in an event with a larger field.” A big thanks to Steve Porino for announcing during Saturday’s race, and to volunteers who helped make the event run smoothly. The overall Monroe Cup winners were Maya Lightner (SVSEF) and Sebastian Brunner (JHSC), who were the overall U12 winners for the weekend. These two athletes will have their names engraved on the Monroe Cup trophy, shared over the years by many USST members, NCAA athletes, and other stellar kids from the past 20 years. Full results here  

IMD Team

Ryder Sarchett, in first place.
The IMD Team was at Snow King in Jackson for their final qualifier, where conditions were great, with a good show of sunshine to balance out the cold. SVSEF stepped it up, with athletes winning five out of the six races; they competed in two slalom events and one giant slalom. Ryder Sarchett swept the weekend, winning all three events for men. Jessica Blackburn won the second slalom, and Marit Kaiser topped the girls’ podium in the giant slalom. Head Coach James Tautkus commended his athletes for “bringing it to the racecourse this past weekend; it was rewarding as a coach to see everything we’ve been working on come alive, from top to bottom. This team really knows how to step it up when they need to; when there’s pressure, or when they’re on the line, they resort to second gear.” Full results here