Janss posse gets bang for its
120 skiers, 20 teams
in "Cowboy Up," benefit
By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer
Sun Valley’s 1984 Olympic giant
slalom silver medalist Christin Cooper always provides clear summaries
of the action in her television coverage of skiing—and she said it best
at the Janss Pro-Am.
"We’re pretty easily entertained
around here. We know it’s a great thing to go up and come back down,"
said "Coop" during Saturday night’s awards banquet in the Limelight Room
of Sun Valley Inn. Going up Baldy and tearing back down through
springlike conditions is just what 120 skiers on 20 teams did Saturday
on the final day of the three-day Janss Pro-Am. It was a fun atmosphere,
mixing superb skiers with those less skilled.
The winning Wells Fargo Shootout team celebrates at Saturday’s
Janss Pro-Am banquet. From left, they are David Shames, David Logsdon,
Michael Schlatter, Alma Mills, Kim Nalen and pro Paul Carson. Express
photo by Willy Cook
Like television sports broadcaster
Tim "DNS" Ryan, who has paired with Cooper on many telecasts. At the
banquet he said, "I was so excited to chase Christin Cooper down the
hill that I blew out of both of my skis in the starting gate."
With many famed ski racing
personalities in attendance, Ryan also paid tribute to the 1984 U.S.
Women’s Ski Team. There were three of those team members in attendance
at the Janss—Cooper, Tamara McKinney and Maria Maricich.
Ryan said, "It was the best-ever
U.S. women’s ski team, in the era from 1980 to 1984. The team also
included Cindy Nelson, Holly Flanders and Debbie Armstrong. And 20 years
later, they’re still 22!"
Great attitudes prevailed as the
Janss posse certainly got the most bang for its buck during the seventh
The Janss Pro Am, named for the
late Bill Janss, owner of Sun Valley from 1964-77, is the most important
fund-raising activity for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation—which
oversees Sun Valley’s junior ski and snowboard teams.
"It was extremely successful,
comparable to last year as far as our fundraising totals," said SVSEF
executive director Don Wiseman. "We’ve already had a lot of interest in
teams forming for next year’s event."
Last year’s Janss Pro-Am netted
the ski foundation a little over $90,000.
Muffy Davis, pro for Don & The Buckaroos, scoots down Baldy
Saturday. Express photo by Willy Cook
This year’s special western theme
brought out the creativity of fashion horses. It was "Alpine Rodeo—Giddy
Up to Sun Valley." There was a mechanical bull at the banquet, plus hay
bales and a trick roper at the headquarters tent.
Talk about combined—there was a
prize combining the fastest racing time and best roping time. It was won
by Karoline Droege (7.1 seconds roping) and Steve Brown (4.1 seconds).
Once again, Kate Berman’s
organizing skills were instrumental to the event’s success. There were
318 people at Saturday’s banquet, and the outlook is solid for next
Berman said, "I believe that the
energy and enthusiasm for this particular event will put us ahead for
Segment on Jack Simpson
A highlight of Saturday’s banquet
was a special tribute to a real cowboy, the late Jack Simpson of
Ketchum. He was one of the original Sun Valley Ski Team coaches and
founders back in the 1960s.
Born and raised on a farm near
Wendell, Simpson learned "cowboying," on a ranch near Fairfield and
moved to Ketchum in 1939.
At 16, he set a course record in
the Diamond Sun race on Baldy. He then devoted his time to putting
together a junior racing program in Sun Valley with people like Butch
Harper and Jim Savaria.
Amigo to the Janss Classic skiing stars, Michel Rudigoz cowboys up
during Saturday’s Janss banquet. Rudigoz, originally from Lentilly,
France, coached for the Sun Valley Ski Team from 1972-77 before
directing the great U.S. women’s ski team from 1980-84. Express photo
by Willy Cook
Filmmaker David Butterfield put
together a terrific film segment about Simpson, and the Limelight Room
banquet crowd heard from a couple of Simpson’s early ski students—Craig
Fenwick and Pam Street.
Fenwick said, "Jack co-founded the
original Ski Team Alliance. He was a strong disciplinarian, developing
principles and standards we had to adhere to—or we’d have to leave the
team. He was a coach, a mentor and a lifetime friend. Jack helped
developed a value system for us that we took into our entire lives.
"We’ve waited a long time for
this, but we’d like to thank the Ski Education Foundation for honoring
Jack. He did it all for us. And we are better people for having known
Street added, "Jack had a vision.
He was known for his dry land training—it was butt kicking."
Many say the U.S. Ski Team had its greatest ski teams in the early
1980s. Veterans of those great American teams, together at the Janss
Classic, are, from left, Tamara McKinney, Christin Cooper and Mark Tache.
Express photo by Willy Cook
Other former ski teamers under
Simpson who attended Saturday’s banquet included Penelope Street, Robbie
and Danny Bell, Pat Simpson and John Sabala, according to master of
ceremonies Kevin Clarke of Maine, who donated his services for the
Prizes and Tom West
Presentation of special awards was
made during the banquet. Among the awards was Most Inspirational, and
the recipient was Peder Monsen of Friends of Janss.
Winning Best Costume were Leah and
The second-place Sweethearts of the Rodeo pose, flanked by announcer
Kevin Clarke (left) and SVSEF chief Don Wiseman (right). Team
members, from left, are Jane Reynolds, Elteina Campbell, Tamara
McKinney, Doran Key, Karen Tietje and Mary McDonald. Express photo by
Most Improved was Karen Tietje of
Sweethearts of the Rodeo. And ski teamer Michael Greer was awarded the
$1,200 Bill Janss Scholarship from the Janss Pro-Am Classic.
This year’s Speed Cup winner was
the Dirty Half Dozen team owned by Kipp Nelson that included pro Zac
Crist, Steve Brown, Matt Murphy, Kipp Nelson, Robin Sarchett and Carl
Rixon Jr., who was celebrating his 22nd birthday.
Four of the top eight fastest
single-run times belonged to Dirty Half Dozen racers. Here, by the way,
are the top single-run times last weekend:
Top ten single-run times, men:
1—Sean Higgins 22.77 seconds. 2—Carl Rixon Jr. 23.11. 2—Robin Sarchett
23.11. 4—Einar Bohmer 23.22. 5—Skip Merrick 23.30. 6—Biche Rudigoz
23.34. 7—Zac Crist 23.64. 8—Matt Murphy 23.83. 9—John Buxman 23.99.
10—Steve Porino 24.01.
Top five single-run times, women:
1—Heather Flood Daves 25.12. 2—Elteina Campbell 25.26. 3—Christin Cooper
25.72. 4—Karoline Droege 25.93. 5—Tamara McKinney 26.02.
Of course, no fundraising banquet
would be complete without a live auction and there were four items
auctioned off by Kevin Clarke.
The classic Lucchese cowboy boots
donated by Rue de Shoe went for $1,100. The authentic chuck wagon,
restored by Ron Gillette in 1991 and donated by Gordon and Terry Player,
went for $6,000.
A "Mexican Memories," barbecue
fiesta for 30 people was auctioned off for $5,500. The item, complete
with mariachi band, was donated by Alex and Pat Higgins, Andy and Kate
Berman, Jim Cimino, Mike and Jan Turzian.
Drawing the most interest and the
evening’s spine-tingling buzzer-beater outcome was the final auction
item—one week for two couples at Chris Pravda’s house during the 65th
Hahnenkamm weekend Jan. 17-24, 2005 in Kitzbuehel, Austria.
The auction turned into a bidding
battle between the "Mayor of Warm Springs," chiropractor Tom West of the
Acorns squad, and Paul Fremont-Smith of the Spurs International team.
With every $1,000 increment in the
bidding, West stayed in the game like a Bull Moose—standing to full
height and extending his black hat like Teddy Roosevelt on a bender.
Fremont-Smith was quieter in his bids and the pot quickly grew towards
the $10,000 mark.
Finally, the prospect of $10,000
for a trip to Austria literally put West on his back on the floor, his
cowboy boots stuck up in mid-air, while the auctioneer tried to
determine if West’s upraised cowboy boots constituted a bid or were
merely a flag of surrender.
Needless to say, Fremont-Smith
took the prize at $11,000 and everybody thought the process was over.
That’s when West, refreshed by the prospect of saving some money after
his near-miss, strode to the stage and seized the microphone.
With the bravado of someone who
had played well and still lost, West proposed a deal with something for
everyone. West suggested that he and Fremont-Smith share the trip and
boost the final pot to $15,000 ("it’s for the kids"), so they would pay
Fremont-Smith bought it.
Drum roll, the team race
Two years ago, the Janss Pro-Am
team winner was Surefoot headed by former pro and Ketchum resident Billy
Shaw. Shaw set a precedent that year when he donated all his team’s
winnings to the new Bill Janss Scholarship Fund.
This year’s top four winning teams
continued the tradition by donating their winnings back to the ski
foundation and its Janss Fund. The total was $18,500, of which 15% went
to the SVSEF, leaving $15,725 to be split among the four teams.
Pro Paul Carson’s Wells Fargo
Shoot Out team, thanks to a great re-run by Alma Mills, captured first
place and won 40% or $6,290.
Taking second place in a
tiebreaker was pro Tamara McKinney’s Sweethearts of the Rodeo (30% or
$4,718) squad ahead of third-place Stumbling Tumbleweeds captained by
Doug Woodcock (20% or $3,145). In fourth place was John Buxman’s Blazing
Saddles six-some (10% or $1,572).
Members of the top four teams won
Here are the 20 teams and their
skiers, in order of finish:
Wells Fargo Shoot Out—Pro:
Paul Carson. Racers: David Logsdon, Alma Mills, Kim Nalen, Michael
Schlatter and David Shames.
Sweethearts of the Rodeo—Pro:
Tamara McKinney. Racers: Doran Key, Mary McDonald, Jane Reynolds, Karen
Tietje and Elteina Campbell.
Doug Woodcock. Racers: Keri Desler, Paul Hamilton, Sue Teren, Warwick
Phillips and Mike Taggett.
Blazing Saddles—Pro: John
Buxman. Racers: Tyler Davis Jeffers, Cheryle Hall, Sean Higgins, Tyler
Palmer and Biche Rudigoz.
Deepshit Cattle Co.—Pro:
Jim Taylor. Racers: Jenna Hall, Robert Hall, Tom Hall, Sandy Eccles and
Big Hat No Cattle—Pro:
Maria Maricich. Racers: Jonathan Neeley, Rebecca Neeley, Ron Neeley,
Michel Rudigoz and Tim Ryan.
Polebender Posse—Pro: Mike
Frost. Racers: Brant Cooper, Cameron Cooper, Margie Cooper, Ben Walker
and Cam Cooper Sr.
Posse—Pro: Skip Merrick.
Racers: Janet Appleton, Liz Brown, Rufus Brown, J.R. Reagle and G.T.
Smiths & Wesson—Pro: Hans
Standteiner. Racers: George Giroux, Emily Hilding, Scott Robinson,
Rachel Wheeler and Heidi Williamson.
Nutty But Nice—Pro:
Christin Cooper. Racers: Lisa Ferguson, Paige Griffin, Kate Olerich,
Teresa Hukari and Julie Nowell.
Dirty Half Dozen—Pro: Zac
Crist. Racers: Steve Brown, Matt Murphy, Kipp Nelson, Carl Rixon Jr. and
Don & The Buckaroos—Pro:
Muffy Davis. Racers: Will Hovey, Phil Erlanger, Mark Johnson, Gile
Williams and Don Wiseman.
Einar Bohmer. Racers: Paul Fremont-Smith, Crystyan Kowalczuk, Hank
Minor, Sean Murphy and Rienhard Siller.
Ahola. Racers: David Butterfield, Adi Erber, Steve Holzman, Ryan Doremus
and Matt Carlson.
Acorns—Pro: Mark Tache.
Racers: Brian Barsotti, Tyler Hesse, Tom Monge, Ron Sali and Tom West.
Friends of Janss—Pro: Chris
Pravda. Racers: Jim Ferguson, Susie Ferguson, Brent Hansen, Mark Masur
and Peder Monsen.
Maverick Boys and Dance Hall
Girls—Pro: Steve Porino. Racers: Amanda Black, Heather Black, Happy
Hawn, Jonathan Monschke and Cara Porino.
Sun Valley Silver Spurs—Pro:
Heather Flood Daves. Racers: Matt Baxandall, Weylin Bibb-Barret, Kathy
Kerrick, Charlie Kucher and Ken Pratt.
Craig Sabina. Racers: Dawn Hofheimer, James Jones, Rob Kolb, Frank
Salvoni and Michael Mcfall.
Kowboys and Injuries—Pro:
Karoline Droege. Racers: Maggie Acker, John Koth, Matt McNeal, Pete
Smith and Steen Sorensen.