The Week in Review: 3/7/17


“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


Tommy Hovey

ALPINE: Tommy Hovey, who skis on Devo, is this week’s I am SVSEF athlete for Alpine. Observed Brian Caulkins, head devo coach, “Tommy started the season strong and continues to work hard to improve his skiing. Every weekend he comes ready for more feedback and advice. He does not shy away from more advanced topic, such as being more patient in the turn, but instead listens, learns, and applies consistently.Tommy is a wonderful teammate and is always willing to help others. He is humble, fun to be around, and respected by all. We can’t wait to see Tomy’s trajectory over the course of the next month! Tommy also had the fastest time at the Kindercup for all ski team age groups.”
Anna Gilman

CROSS COUNTRY: This week’s I am SVSEF athlete is Anna Gilman, a member of the Croy Devo Team. Throughout the season, Anna constantly impressed her coaches with her upbeat nature, her words of kindness towards teammates, and her level of maturity. She always came to practice ready to learn, play, and enjoy the outdoors; she was a great example to younger athletes on the team. In the face of adversity, Anna has proven her ability to rise to the occasion, as demonstrated at the Devo Triathlon this past weekend. In the midst of the blizzard, her ski fell off, and she was unable to get it back on. Anna finished the race on one ski, showing perseverance and a positive attitude to make the most of an unfavorable situation.
Simone Williams and Lainee Ludington

FREESTYLE: This week we have two athletes for Freestyle, stepsisters Simone Williams and Lainee Ludington. The pair just joined Freestyle Devo this year. According to Jennifer Diehl, freestyle and freeskiing prep and devo team manager, “Simone ‘Mo’ and Lainee are two delightful step sisters on the Freestyle Devo Team. They are not only supportive and encouraging of each other, but they grant the same courtesy and respect to every teammate. They make new friends, listen to their coaches, and put in 150% at training. They have come so far in their skiing this season because they put in such tremendous effort. They also try everything with a smile: moguls, powder, boxes, rails, and racing. These two individuals are exceptional and they both exhibit everything SVSEF. We are so proud of you Lainee and Mo!”
Sebastian Lerner

PARK & PIPE: Pat Lee, snowboard team manager, had a lot of good things to say about this week’s I am SVSEF athlete, Sebastian Lerner. “Sebastian is calm cool and collected, always showing up with a smile on his face to training. He and his brother, Nico, have attended every event so far on the USASA Big Mountain West schedule. Prior to the Park City event, Sebastian showed up to train on his days off, showing he has great drive and motivation. The training paid off, as he battled his way onto the podium in Park City. I’m super stoked to see him standing up on the podium with a great group of competitors in a tough age bracket.”


Freeski & Snowboard

Will Griffith, Ridge Dirksmeier and Ryan Dobi

Freeski and snowboard athletes were in Park City, Utah, for their last USASA Big Mountain West series event of the season. This was the final opportunity for athletes to qualify for USASA National Championships, which will be held at Copper Mountain in Colorado in April. With four days of competition, athletes took on two halfpipe and two slopestyle events, which was double the normal amount of competition in one weekend that they’ve seen this season. ,The event hosted between 65 and 110 competitors each day, depending on the discipline. Freeski athletes had great performances throughout, with some reaching the podium for the first time this season. The team brought 10 athletes to the competition. The Snowboard team also brought 10 athletes to compete in the double-header; by the end of the weekend, a total of 10 SVSEF snowboarders stood on podiums.
Head Freeski Coach Tyler Conway gave a breakdown of the first slopestyle event. “The first day of slopestyle was a good warm up for the team and a chance for athletes to get adjusted to the course and fly through the air in Park City. Slopestyle is a sport where you need to go fast, take chances and do so with finesse, control and style.”
Just missing the podium on the first day were freeski athletes Ridge Dirksmeier, Joey Markthaler and Will Griffith.
Nico Lerner on top of the halfpipe podium, photo by Alexia Lerner.

In the Snowboard Grommet (8-9) division, Nico Lerner had a stellar performance on the day and took the win. For Snowboard Menehune (10-11) boys, Jack Verhaeghe built on a solid season with a third place finish, followed by teammate Walker Pate in fourth.
The second day of the event featured halfpipe competition. In the Freeski Breaker boys category (12-13), Ridge Dirksmeier took the win. SVSEF had great grouping, with Dylan Mill in third place, teammate Lachlan McFarland in fourth, Luke Higgins in fifth and Joey Markthaler in sixth. In the Freeski Open women’s class, Hanna Blackwell finished first.
Two SVSEF athletes made the podium in the Snowboard Breaker (12-13) girls competition, with Maddie Hothem in second and Zoe Bacca in third. Nico Lerner continued his streak with a win in the Snowboard Grommet (8-9) boys category. Jack Verhaeghe and Walker Pate hung tight again, each stepping up a spot in the Snowboard Menehune (10-11) boys competition, into second and third. In a field of six athletes, Elk Spencer finished second for Snowboard youth (14-15).
Hanna Blackwell

Saturday again featured slopestyle competition, although the format was altered due to conditions. Conway explained, “the weather rolled in with heavy winds, making it hard to ski the slopestyle course. This forced race officials to switch to a one-run competition for the day. Everyone in the field had one opportunity to put down their best run for the conditions that day.” For the Freeski Breaker boys, once again it was Ridge Dirksmeier in third and Joey Markthaler in fourth. In the Freeski Menehune category, Ben Fethke took the win. Ryan Dobi made his way into third place in the Freeski Junior men category; likewise, Will Griffith finished third in the Freeski Open men’s category.
For snowboarders, Nico Lerner found the podium for a third time, this time in third. Brother Sebastian Lerner was also third in his age class, Snowboard Menehune (10-11).
Sunday was the final day of competition, which took place in the halfpipe. This time taking the top spots for the Freeski Breaker boys were Joey Markthaler in first and Lachlan McFarland in second. Just missing the podium was Dylan Mills, who finished fourth. Teammate Sam Ware skied to fifth. In the Freeski Menehune boys’ class, Ben Fethke finished second. Ryan Dobi again reached the podium for Freeski Junior men, taking second place. In the Open Freeski women’s class, Hanna Blackwell took her second win for the weekend.
The Lerner brothers finished the weekend strong, with Nico finishing second in Snowboard Grommets and Sebastian third in Snowboard Menehunes. Elk Spencer claimed second for Snowboard Youth.
The Freeski Team next competes here at home at USSA Junior Nationals at Dollar Mountain, starting March 16 and running through March 19.
3/2 Slopestyle 1 Results
3/3 Halfpipe 1 Results
3/4 Slopestyle 2 Results
3/5 Halfpipe 2 Results


Update from Gold Team Head Coach Chris Mallory

Kelsey Phinney in a skate sprint in Latvia.

This weekend the Cross Country Gold Team was racing far and wide, with athletes competing in Latvia at Scandinavian Cups, at the West Yellowstone Rendezvous and in Truckee, California at the Great Race Marathon. Kelsey Phinney joined the Norwegian Henning Ski Club for a weekend Mini Tour in Latvia, gaining a great amount of experience racing some of Scandinavia’s fastest women and World Cup regulars. Her top result came in the skate sprint where she qualified in sixth place, and finished the day in ninth.
A large part of the men’s team made the drive over to West to compete in the 25/50km marathon races there. Jack Hegman and Cole Morgan won the 25km classic and skate races, while Rogan Brown battled BSF’s Silas Talbot in the 50km to eventually take second place in a sprint to the finish.  There were many familiar faces from the Sun Valley cross country community taking part in West, all enjoying the perfect course conditions this year.
Finally, Gold Team veteran Matt Gelso took the hometown win in the 30km Great Ski Race in Truckee. This year’s event sounded very similar to the 2017 Boulder Mountain Tour, with 6-10 inches of snow on the course and tough light, making for a slow and tough grind to the finish.
Next stop for three athletes on the team (Cole Morgan, Jack Hegman, and Matt Gelso) are the World Cup Finals in Quebec City, March 17-19. These will be the first ever World Cup starts for Cole and Jack, competing against the 50 best athletes on the World Cup, but on North American soil.

Comp and PG Teams

Johnny Hagenbuch, on his way to second place in the U16 men’s 5km skate race. Photo by Hank Dart.

A total of 15 SVSEF athletes are currently in Lake Placid, New York, for the USSA Cross Country Junior Championships, colloquially known as Junior Nationals. The event hosts regional teams from across the U.S., as well as some international athletes. Races were supposed to take place at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, but rain washed away that plan; they are now being held at the Olympic Jumping Complex down the road, which is the training base for U.S. Biathlon. Event organizers have set up a 2.5km loop of manmade snow for the event.
U16 skier Johnny Hagenbuch started the week off right in the men’s 5km individual start skate race, which took place Monday, March 6. Johnny skied into second place in a field of 67 of the best cross country athletes in the nation, representing Intermountain and SVSEF. In the U20 women’s 5km, PG skier Sarah Goble was fourth, and was the third American finisher. In the U20 men’s 10km skate, Peter Wolter was the fifth American in the men’s U20 10km race, and PG skier Eli Jensen was the sixth. Andrew Siegel, a PG, was another top-20 finisher, ending up in 12th. In the women’s U16 5km event, Sophia Mazzoni came in 18th, followed closely by teammate Anja Jensen in 19th. The next event, a 1.5km classic sprint, takes place on Wednesday, March 8.
Full results here

Devo Team

Devo athletes from Croy and Lake Creek congregated at Lake Creek on Saturday, March 4 for the annual Devo Triathlon to close out the season. The event combined a downhill, an obstacle course, and a skate segment into one race. Despite the storm that rolled in as the event started, athletes navigated the course with composure. This event was also included the end-of-the-season banquet, and athletes received awards for a job well done.
(Results are on their way)


Mini World Cup

Athletes took to Dollar Saturday and Sunday for the final Mini World Cup races. Saturday was a super G; the second run was cancelled due to blizzard conditions. Sunday was a Komi race on Cozy; the course started at the road on Cozy, with a slalom running down to the town start. From there, a GS course ran to the finish.
Mini World Cup Team Head Coach Tor Jensen was pleased with the positivity and camaraderie at the event. “ It was great to see the excitement and energy, and to see these athletes out ready to go in tough weather with limited visibility on Saturday. To hear them cheering for their teammates over the radio was awesome; they did a great job and it is really fun to see how much they are all improving.”
In the super G, Paxton Sammis took the win for the boys, followed by Tucker Smith and Abel Marx. Taylor Hovey won in the girls’ race; Eden Gardner was second, and Josie Sarchett third. In the Kombi event, Tucker Smith took the win, with Paxton Sammis second and Owen Walker third. Taylor Hovey again won for the girls, followed by Jodiewillow Maguire in second and Josie Sarchett in third.
The Mini World Cup team will finish up the season this coming Sunday with a skills test.
SG results here
Kombi results here


USSA athletes headed to Bogus Basin for the Trudi Bolinder Speed Qualifier, which was a U16 qualifying event. Although the event initially intended to host three USSA scored super G races, one was cancelled due to weather. SVSEF claimed victory in both the men’s and women’s competition on March 3, with Lily Fitzgerald and Jack Smith standing on top in both races. Alli Rathfon finished second in both events, and SVSEF had four female athletes in the top 10 in the first race and three in the second. Bennett Snyder made the podium in the men’s first super G, finishing third. SVSEF also had four male athletes in the top 10 in the first race. Jack Smith took another win on March 5, with Buey Grossman not far behind in fourth.
Full results here
Based on results from qualifiers throughout the season, a number of SVSEF U16 athletes have made the cut for IMD Championships. Look here for the list, coming soon.

U12 and U10 Athletes qualify for IMD Championships

A total of 31 SVSEF athletes have qualified to attend IMD Championships, which will be held March 17-19 in Park City.
U12 Girls: Paige DeHart, Maya Lightner, Goldie Kirk, Laura Daves, Reece Walther-Porino, Chloe Vogel, Isabella Hattrup, Lowie Watkins, Charlotte Davis-Jeffers, Asia Angel, Natalie Gowe, Ruby Crist, Maeve Bailey, Ava Agnew, Scarlet Rixon, Jodiewillow Maguire, Ripley Scales, Eden Gardner
U10 Girls: Taylor Hovey
U12 Boys: Cole Curci, Max Meucci, Tommy Normand, Tor Johnston, Sacha Stern-Pre, Hank Moss, Zephyr Carruth, Bodin Lee, John Tumolo, Eric Parris, Owen Walker
U10 Boys: Tucker Smith


Photo courtesy of Jennifer Diehl.

Athletes between the ages of three and 12 took to Dollar for the 61st annual Kindercup on Sunday, March 5. The local event attracted over 300 kids, who made their way down the slalom course in good spirits, through bouts of spattering snow and wind. The event was not limited to alpine racers, and saw athletes from SVSEF cross country, freestyle and freeskiing programs.
Full results here


Alumni Chase Josey competed in his final event for the season, the halfpipe at the Burton U.S. Open. In qualifiers on March 2, Chase finished in ninth position, securing a spot in the finals on March 4 (the top 10 moved on). In the finals on Saturday, he solidified another top result for the season, finding his way onto yet another podium in a major international event. Chase finished in third place behind Shaun White and Australian Scotty James.
Full results here