Chase with his teammates and coaches in Pyeongchang. Photo from Chase Josey.


Chase Josey Finishes Sixth in Men’s Olympic Snowboard Halfpipe

The stakes were high in the Olympic men’s snowboard halfpipe final, with all four Americans (Chase, Jake Pates, Ben Ferguson and Shaun White), Australian standout Scotty James, 2014 Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano, and a host of other top athletes from around the world vying for gold.
SVSEF alumni Chase Josey, 22, went into the finals in seventh place after qualifiers the day before. In his first qualifying run, he clipped the lip of the halfpipe, had a funny landing and scored a 47.75. Chase made up for that run on his second and final in the qualifier, riding smoothly and moving up from 20th to seventh with a score of 83.75.  
After Chase’s first run in the finals on February 14, he sat in third behind Shaun White and Scotty James. A spill on his second run after going big left it all up to the third and final run – he was in fourth after Ayumu Hirano moved into first with a second run score of 95.25. Chase improved upon his initial score of 87.75 with a top score of 88.00, and an amazing sixth place finish overall in the world’s most prestigious event for the sport.

Park & Pipe: USASA Park City

Park & Pipe athletes competed in Park City at a USASA event, with a Rev Tour qualifier in the Sunday event. “It was a super productive weekend for all the kids – they did extremely well, especially given they only had one day of riding pipe under their belts,” said Progression Team Head Coach Pat Lee. “Thursday was pipe training, in 50 degree weather with slushy snow – it couldn’t have been better for the kids to step into the pipe. Many SVSEF athletes found the podium throughout competition on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In Sunday’s qualifier for the Rev Tour, all of our male athletes (who weren’t already qualified) punched their tickets to the Tour.”

Coach Ricky gives some encouragement

Athletes competed in two halfpipe events on February 9. Highlights include second place for Harper Mallett, third for Joey Markthaler and fourth for Ridge Dirksmeier for freeski youth men (14-15), and a podium finish for Jack Verhaeghe in second for snowboard breaker boys (12-13). Barrett Beyer, the youngest competitor, skied well in all events. Maddie Hothem and Olive Gilbert finished third and fourth for snowboard breaker girls (12-13), Nico Lerner stole first for snowboard grommet boys (8-9), as did Caleb Hothem for snowboard menehune boys (10-11). Phebe Ericksen and Channing Curci both took second for their age groups (snowboard open class, snowboard youth women).
In the second event, Harper Mallett and Ridge Dirksmeier found the podium, taking first and third for freeski youth (14-15). Jack Verhaeghe was second for snowboard breaker boys (12-13), Olive Gilbert nabbed a podium in third for snowboard breaker girlrs (12-13), Nico Lerner stole second for snowboard grommet (8-9) boys, and Caleb Hothem won the snowboard menehune (10-11) age group.
Snowboard team, photo by Tiffany Curci.

Slopestyle on February 10 had a bigger showing, with 136 competitors. Charlie Price was eighth for freeski breaker boys (12-13), while Easton Turck and Zeppelin Pilaro went four and five for freeski menehune boys (10-11). Will Griffith placed fifth in the freeski open class, with 10 competitors. Ridge Dirksmeier and Joey Markthaler both had a great day, taking top spots on the podium in second and third for freeski youth (14-15) in a field of 13. Jack Verhaeghe also made the podium for snowboard breaker boys (12-13). Maddie Hothem and Olive Gilbert went hard for snowboard breaker girls, finishing third and fourth. Nico Lerner had another great day, topping the snowboard grommet (8-9) podium. Julian Gluck, who hails from Boise but who comes and trains with SVSEF, won the snowboard junior men class (16-17). Caleb Hothem took second for snowboard menehune boys (10-11), Phebe Ericksen was second for snowboard open women, and Channing Curci was second for snowboard youth women (14-15).
Freeski podium

The final day of competition was another halfpipe event. Rylan Mann stepped it up and took home third for freeski menehune boys (10-11), and teammates Spencer Ferries and Easton Turck were close behind in fourth and sixth. Ridge Dirksmeier, Harper Mallett and Joey Markthaler went one-two-three for freeski youth (14-15). In snowboarding, Maddie Hothem and Olive Gilbert again finished third and fourth. Nico Lerner grabbed another podium in second for grommet boys, as did Caleb Hothem in first for menehune boys. Channing Curci got her third second place for women’s snowboard youth.
RESULTS – FEB. 9 (1)
RESULTS – FEB. 9 (2)

Course inspection before the second run at Whiteface. Photo by Brett Morris.


FIS: Eastern NorAms

FIS skiers Erin Smith and Lily Fitzgerald headed east for Eastern NorAms. Following training at Burke and an Eastern Cup at Middlebury to prep for Whiteface, Erin and Lily jumped into giant slalom competition on 2/13. In her first NorAm race, Lily finished 26th, and Erin finished 29th in tough, icy conditions. Competition continues today with another giant slalom, followed by two days of slalom. Experience on the NorAm circuit is helpful in setting up points for start positions for next year, and in getting a feel for racing at a high level. Alumni Kipling Weisel is also on the East Coast for NorAms – he posted 20th in the giant slalom at Stowe Mountain Resort/Spruce Peak.

Snowbasin Intermountain Cup U16 SG Qualifier/Park City Intermountain Cup U16 Slalom Qualifier

SVSEF athletes competed in three super G qualifiers at Snowbasin. Two skiers found a spot on the podium; Josh Blackburn finished third in the first super G, and Carly Walther-Porino also took bronze in the women’s second super G. Marit Kaiser, Finn Mallinen and Charlie Snyder all had top finishes in fifth, and Buey Grossman had a top result in sixth. SVSEF had strong groupings, with three athletes in the top 10 in the first men’s race and four in the third. Similarly, the women had three in the top 10 in the first competition, four in the second, and three in the third. Athletes switched to slalom qualifiers for a final day at Park City; Buey Grossman took fourth, Charlie Snyder sixth and Ridley Lindstrom eighth. Park City dominated the top ten on the women’s side, but Marit Kaiser found her way to ninth and Carly Walther-Porino 11th.

Ryder Sarchett at OPA Cup

After a successful stint at the U16 National Performance Series at Burke, Ryder Sarchett (one of our SVSEF athletes of the month for January) competed in Malbun, Liechtenstein, at the OPA Cup. This event featured top U16 racers from the strong eastern European countries. Ryder led the American contingent, with a 10th place finish in the slalom on February 8. Ryder was the second fastest skier in the first run of the giant slalom race on February 9, but did not complete his second run.
“It was a great experience for Ryder,” said coach Chuck Harris, who traveled with Ryder to Europe. “He got better everyday. When he got off the plane, he was not the fastest U.S. athlete, but by the time the trip was over he was clearly the best. Whether that carries over for the rest of the season…time will tell.”


Mogul Regional Championships

SVSEF mogul athletes traveled to Park City to compete at Regionals, with two singles and one dual event. Sammy Smith led the charge for SVSEF women, winning her age group (F13) in both singles events, and finishing sixth and eighth overall in a field of athletes who ranged from F13 to FSr. Rainey Wilson was consistent throughout the weekend, with strong 12th place finishes in both singles events. Tilly Babcock, a F13 like Sammy, finished 31st in the strong women’s field. Luke Rizzo posted a sixth and 14th in singles, and Toby Rafford stepped up with a 13th place overall finish as a M15. Henry Buell had a weekend best of 22nd, and Alex Austin 23rd. Erik Babcock was 33rd in both singles events. In the make-up events, which had smaller competitive fields, Rainey was eighth in duals, and Tilly was 12th. Alex was 10th for men, Erik 18th, Henry 20th and Luke 27th. In the singles make-up event, Rainey finished 6th, Tilly 13th, Luke 9th, Henry 13th, Alex 17th and Erik 23rd.

Kelsey Phinney, stoked on sprinting


Gold Team Update

Kelsey Phinney was sixth in the Norwegian Cup Skate sprint in Aasen, NOR. She’ll race again in Trondhiem in a Scando Cup series in a week and a half.
Jack Hegman won the Dartmouth Carnival/Eastern Cup 10k Skate, and Rogan Brown was second. Matt Gelso won the Denver RMISA 10km Classic.
For March, Jack and Kelsey have qualified for US Team OPA Cup trip. Rogan is an alternate for that trip as of now.
After this weekend the Super Tour leader will receive period 4 World Cup starts. Kevin Bolger is currently leading.