Week in Review: March 13




Junior Nationals
Junior Nationals bring together the best cross country athletes from each region throughout the U.S. for four races.Over 350 racers took part. This year, Junior Nationals were held at Soldier Hollow in Utah, an Intermountain region venue. The week commenced with a 5/10km classic interval start, with SVSEF’s Sydney Palmer-Leger leading the charge for SVSEF and the Intermountain region with a win in the U16 category. Annika Landis, a SVSEF alumni who now attends Middlebury College, also skied to first in the U20 age group. SVSEF’s U16 girls had a great day all together, placing all girls close to the top half of the field – Sydney-1, Logan Smith-4, Anja Jensen-28, Sascha Leidecker-34 and Luci Ludwig-35. Despite illness, Johnny Hagenbuch was sixth for U18 men, and Henry Raff had his best result of the week in 14th for U20 men.
SVSEF skiers got off to a good start in the freestyle sprint qualifiers on Wednesday, March 7, with all U16 girls qualifying for rounds, Logan and Sydney qualifying for second and fourth places, Cash Dart qualifying for U16 heats in fifth, and PG Will Solow qualifying second for U20 men. Alumni Annika Landis and Emily Siegel qualified for U20 women in 12th and 16th, and U18 women Sophia Mazzoni and Lily Brunelle qualified for heats in 12th and 15th.
In heats, Sydney Palmer-Leger and Logan Smith made it all the way to the A final. Logan stuck with the front group in the final heat, powering past the athlete in the lead on the final big climb to assert herself in first for the remainder of the race. Logan won, and teammate Sydney finished third. Will Solow made it all the way to B finals, where he finished fifth in his heat and 11th overall. Johnny Hagenbuch won the B final for U18 men, putting him in seventh overall. In the U20 women’s A finals, Annika Landis placed fifth.
The 5/10/15km mass start freestyle on March 10 was a tough race – over 30 competitors dropped out throughout the day. Conditions were rough, with warm temperatures and unpredictable snow. Sydney Palmer-Leger, who was leading the U16 women in the 5km, fell on a long downhill with rollers, leaving her with whiplash and concussion. Cash Dart injured separated his shoulder after a fall in the crowd at the start. Despite these setbacks, SVSEF had some highlights for the day – Johnny Hagenbuch found the podium in third for U18 men, and Annika Landis did the same, finishing second for her second podium of the week in the U20 women’s 10km. Lily Brunelle skied will in the U18 5km category, finishing 14th overall, as did Kirsys Campbell and Eve Jensen, who finished 36th and 38th. Emily Siegel had a solid effort, finishing 15th in the U20 women’s event. Drew Palmer-Leger did, as well, finishing 28th in the U20 men’s 15km.
The last event was a team relay on Saturday, with three 3km classic legs. Annika Landis pulled her team up from sixth place onto the podium in third on her anchor leg, and Logan Smith anchored her U16 team, taking the group into seventh.
The Intermountain region was fourth overall in the 10-team Alaska Cup standings, and SVSEF placed fifth in a group of 43 college and club teams, behind Loppet Nordic, Stratton Mountain School, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Alaska Pacific Nordic.
Top Finishes
U20 Men:
Will Solow- 11, skate sprint
Henry Raff- 14, classic distance
Drew Palmer-Leger- 28, skate distance
U20 Women:
Annika Landis- 1, classic distance
Emily Siegel- 15, skate distance
U18 Men:
Johnny Hagenbuch, 3, skate distance
U18 Women:
Sophia Mazzoni -13, skate sprint
Lily Brunelle – 14, skate distance, skate sprint
Kirsys Campbell 36, skate distance
Eve Jensen- 38, skate distance
Ella Wolter- 51, skate sprint
U16 Men:
Cash Dart, 17, skate sprint
U16 Women:
Sydney Palmer-Leger- 1, classic distance
Logan Smith- 1, skate sprint
Anja Jensen- 16, skate sprint
Sascha Leidecker- 18, skate sprint
Luci Ludwig- 28, skate sprint

Jake and guide Sawyer Kesselheim


SVSEF alum Jake Adicoff is currently representing the U.S. at the Paralympics in Pyeongchang. This is the Bowdoin senior’s second Paralympic Games; he first competed in Sochi in 2014. In the men’s VI 20km skate race on Monday, Jake took fifth overall. In the March 14 1.5km classic sprint, Jake had a strong qualifying race with the second fastest time. In his semifinal heat, he tied Canadian Brian McKeever, who has won multiple Paralympic medals, to progress to the finals. In a heat of four athletes, Jake was unfortunately disqualified on a skating violation. Next up is a 7.5km classic race on Saturday.
Five former SVSEF athletes represented their schools at NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs, March. Peter Wolter and Katie Feldman, who are both alumni of the cross country program, represented Middlebury College and the East Region. Peter Wolter, in addition to being named to NCAAs, was the EISA Rookie of the Year. Joining Peter and Katie was Eli Jensen (Montana State), a longtime member of the program, and Sam Wood (Middlebury) and Braden Becker (Williams), who were both PG athletes in the SVSEF program and who have continued to train with us as members of the Summer Training Group.
In the women’s 5km classic, Katie placed 19th overall. Braden was 15th in the men’s 10km classic, one second ahead of Sam in 16th. Peter was 24th, and Eli finished 34th.
In the men’s 20km skate, the top alumni finisher was again Braden, this time in 11th. Sam repeated his result from two days prior, skiing to 16th. Peter finished 25th and Eli 34th. Katie had a great race, coming in 13th in the women’s 15km.


Following his standout World Cup premier, in which he finished 11th in the skate sprint, Kevin Bolger competed in his first 50km in the infamous Holmenkollen, skiing to 52nd on the World Cup circuit. In the March 7 classic sprint, he finished 50th.

Ben in first



Two SVSEF athletes, Ben Fethke and Harper Mallett, competed at U.S. Freeskiing Junior Nationals in Park City. As an 11-year-old, Ben was the U13 national champion in halfpipe. In the overall field, which included athletes significantly older (mostly 15-19 year olds), Ben was eighth – an amazing result, given the competition. Harper Mallet also had a strong showing, finishing second in the U15 category and seventh overall. Ben also competed in the slopestyle event, which was held on a course that will be used for FIS World Championships next year. He came in second for U13s, and was 50 out of 86 overall. Both of Ben’s results (in slopestyle and halfpipe) were the best for an 11-year-old at Junior Nationals in recent years.

Photo: Paris Pratt


IFSA big mountain skiers competed at Breckenridge Nationals. Paris Pratt had an outstanding two runs, edging out Crested Butte’s Avery Bernholtz for the win in the 15-18 female category. Joe Goitiandia had solid scores, as well, finishing 10th out of 40 competitors in the 12-14 male category. Wilson Dunn and Black Harmon stuck together, skiing to 46th and 48th in the 15-18 male group, and Molly Kucher was 23rd for 15-18 females.


The Rev Tour at Mammoth got started yesterday with a slopestyle event. SVSEF’s Will Griffith finished 42nd overall in a field populated by 57 athletes, mainly from the U.S. and Canada. His next event is the big air competition on March 14.


Chase Josey wrapped up his season at the U.S. Open in Vail (he finished third in the 2017 iteration of the event). The Olympian qualified second for men in the halfpipe semifinals on March 8, behind Ayumu Hirano, but clipped the deck in finals on March 10, compressing his back. Chase finished ninth overall.

© Glen Allison


Five SVSEF athletes have qualified for U.S. Alpine National Championships, and nine have qualified for U.S. Alpine Junior National Championships; both events will be held in Sun Valley this year. Additionally, three SVSEF alumni have qualified for Nationals. Read about our qualified athletes here.

Alpine FIS

Nor Am finals are underway as of Monday in Kimberly, British Columbia. SVSEF alumni Kipling Wiesel had a solid first race, with a ninth place finish in the giant slalom. In the second giant slalom on Tuesday, he was 16th. Lily Fitzgerald did not finish her second slalom run on Monday, and Alli Rathfon did not finish her first run. Competition continued Tuesday with another slalom; Lily finished 40th overall. 


Haley Cutler represented the University of New Mexico at NCAA Championships in Steamboat. In the March 7 giant slalom, Haley placed 13th, and was the third UNM skier. In the slalom on March 9, she was 21st.



SVSEF athletes competed at Junior Nationals in Park City; the event hosted athletes based on the top 60 male and female U18 athletes in the country. A highlight of the week was Sammy Smith’s victory in the F13 singles, while achieving 10th overall in a field with athletes up to age 18. Rainey Wilson took 11th for F17 (34th overall), and Luke Rizzo finished fifth in the M17 category (19th overall).