Canadian and U.S. Nordic national team racers dominated last weekend's SuperTour cross-country distance races on the Galena Lodge trail system north of Ketchum.
It was the highest caliber cross-country ski event in North America prior to nationals in January—and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation organizers pulled it off despite scant snow.
Promising Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski teamers more than held their own and gained valuable USSA points racing against some of the top World Cup stars who are currently shut out of European competition due to mild weather there.
Two-time U.S. Olympian Kris Freeman, 26, from Andover, N.H. won Saturday's 10-kilometer men's classic race by 17 seconds over Drew Goldsack of the Canadian nationals. Women's winner was Amanda Ammar, 20, of Canada.
Former Sun Valley skier Lars Flora, 28, of Anchorage was fifth overall under Saturday's clear skies for the 119 skiers including 70 men.
Current Sun Valley junior Reid Pletcher, 18, proved his eighth-place SuperTour sprint finish last Wednesday was no fluke by placing 12th overall and the leading junior in Saturday's deeper field. And 18-year-old rising star Alexa Turzian of Sun Valley was the top junior and ninth overall in the 5k classic women's race.
Also on the junior classic podium Saturday were Sun Valley's Taylor Sundali, 17, and Mike Matteson, 18.
USST star Freeman ripped off another victory in Sunday's men's 30k freestyle race with Flora third and Sun Valley Olympic Development teamers Zach Simons and Colin Rodgers placing seventh and 12th.
Women's winner at the 15k skate distance was 26-year-old Caitlin Compton of Warren, Vt. and the Central Cross Country Ski Association. The 2004 Northern Michigan graduate and ex-Junior Olympic 10k skate queen won by four seconds over Fairfield's Morgan Arritola, 20, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation grad racing for the USST.
Sun Valley's Turzian excelled again in the elite field with a sixth-place freestyle finish just 0:48 back. She was the top junior again, edging Liz Stephen of the U.S. Ski Team by five seconds.
Mali Noyes, 17, of Sun Valley won the women's 5k skate race by six seconds Sunday and Ian Havlick, 18, of Sun Valley podiumed in third place for the junior men's 10k skate race.
There were 100 racers in Sunday's more blustery winter weather.
Saturday and Sunday's races at Galena Lodge were the sixth and seventh events of the 26-race, $130,000 Super Tour for 2006-07. The SuperTour moves to Soldier Hollow, Utah for Dec. 16-17 races.
Results by race—formats classic Saturday and freestyle Sunday:
Men's 10k (70 racers): 1—Kris Freeman (USST) 25:01. 5—Lars Flora (APU/Subaru) 25:50 (0:49 back). 12—Reid Pletcher (SVSEF) 26:25 (1:23, 1st Junior). 17—Colin Rodgers (FSX/SVSEF) 26:42 (1:40). 35—Zack Simons (FSX/SVSEF) 27:42 (2:40). 37—Matt DeCarufel (UnivNevada) 28:20 (3:18). 38—Taylor Sundali (SVSEF) 28:22 (3:20, 2nd Junior). 41—Mike Matteson (SVSEF) 28:35 (3:33, 3rd Junior). 43—Colin Struthers (SVSEF) 28:38 (3:36, 4th Junior). 50—Ian Havlick (SVSEF) 29:26 (4:24, 7th Junior). 54—Scott Krankkala (SVSEF) 30:27 (5:25, 9th Junior). 55—Max Durtschi (SVSEF) 30:43 (5:42, 10th Junior). 59—Travis Job (SVSEF) 31:03 (6:01, 11th Junior). 60—Chris Holmquist (SVSEF) 31:42 (6:40, 12th Junior). 67—Connor Brown (SVSEF) 34:26 (9:24, 18th Junior). 70—John Leavell (SVSEF) 38:45 (13:43, 21st Junior).
Women's 5k (49 racers): 1—Amanda Ammar (Canadian National) 14:45. 7—Kate Whitcomb (FSX/SVSEF) 15:25 (0:40). 9—Alexa Turzian (SVSEF) 15:28 (0:42, 1st Junior). 11—Kate Underwood (Subaru/SVSEF) 15:37 (0:51). 12—Morgan Arritola (USST) 15:38 (0:52). 23—Nicole Deyong (FSX/SVSEF) 16:10 (1:25). 28—Mali Noyes (SVSEF) 16:31 (1:46, 7th Junior). 30—Kaelin Kiesel (BSF Elite) 16:53 (2:07). 41—Bronwen Raff (SVSEF) 18:21 (3:36, 15th Junior). 44—Julia Bowman (SVSEF) 18:40 (3:54, 17th Junior). 46—Courtney Hamilton (SVSEF) 19:01 (4:15, 19th Junior). 47—Rosie Gilchrist (SVSEF) 19:50 (5:04, 20th Junior).
Men's 30k (39 racers): 1—Kris Freeman 1.16:37. 3—Lars Flora 1.17:39 (1:02 back). 7—Zack Simons 1.19:35 (2:58). 12—Colin Rodgers 1.20:54 (4:16). 29—Matt DeCarufel 1.26:01 (9:23). 39—Chris Mallory (SVSEF/Rossignol) 1.33:43 (17:06).
Women's 15k (33 racers): 1—Caitlin Compton (CXC) 43:24. 2—Morgan Arritola 43:29 (0:05). 6—Alexa Turzian 44:13 (0:48, 1st Junior). 13—Kate Whitcomb 45:25 (2:00). 15—Kate Underwood 45:51 (2:26). 17—Nicole Deyong 46:22 (2:57). 25—Kaelin Kiesel 48:16 (4:51).
Junior men's 10k (13 racers): 1—Wyatt Fereday (Bogus Basin) 27:00. 3—Ian Havlick 27:04 (0:04). 4—Scott Krankkala 27:11 (0:11). 5—Taylor Sundali 28:04 (1:04). 6—Scotty Phelan (SVSEF) 29:32 (2:32).
Junior women's 5k (15 racers): 1—Mali Noyes 15:07. 5—Bronwen Raff 16:16 (1:09). 8—Makayla Cappel (SVSEF) 16:39 (1:32). 10—Courtney Hamilton 16:54 (1:47). 11—Tess Dahlgren (SVSEF) 17:29 (2:22). 12—Julia Bowman 17:31 (2:24). 15—Keller Gibson (SVSEF) 22:08 (7:01).