It's mid-March, which means local alpine ski racers have earned enough International Ski Federation (FIS) points to qualify for late-season races like Junior Olympics and Western Regional finals.
Those Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and Hailey Ski Team racers who have qualified for the Intermountain Division team to the Western Region J3 (ages 13-14) Olympics March 20-24 at Bogus Basin north of Boise are:
Boys: Tanner Farrow (ranked #4), Miles Sweek (#8), Connor Farrow, Harlan Collins and Tim Kanellitsas. Girls: Teagan Palmer (ranked #3), Nicole Roos (#8), Amanda Stelling and Sierra Fox.
In the final J3 JO giant slalom qualifier March 3 at Park City, Stelling podiumed in 3rd place among the girls with Teagan Palmer 9th and Marly Morgus 10th, while Tanner Farrow was 6th and Harlan Collins 9th among the boys.
J1 and J2 men, women
SVSEF racers Riley Berman and Michael Radford qualified for the National J2 (ages 15-16) Junior Olympics March 3-9 at Aspen, Colo. Placings prior to Tuesday's slalom:
Radford 8-DH, 9-SG 7-GS; Berman DNF-DH, 32-SG and DNF-GS.
Headed to Western Region Junior Championships March 26-April 1 at Mt. Bachelor, Ore. are Radford, Berman, Miles Fink-Debray, Colter Brehmer, Scott Smith, Bergen Palmer, Alisa Durkheimer, Bailey Ireland and Calley Brown.
Locals qualifying for the Western Region Finals at Park City March 27-30 were Nina Hirner, Delaney Willey, Jasmine Campbell, Ali Maricich, Willie Adicoff, Gregory Roos, Tyler Davis and Jake Freeman.
Soldier Mountain Racing's Durkheimer placed 7th of 25 giant slalom girls, Ireland 11th, Maricich 13th and Hirner 15th in the final Junior Olympic qualifier March 3 at Snowbasin, Utah. Bergen Palmer was 13th of 45 men, Brehmer 19th and Adicoff 20th in the Snowbasin men's GS qualifying final race March 3.
Also, seven locals competed March 6-9 in Western Region FIS tech races at Schweitzer Moiuntain in northern Idaho.
Top results were Bailey Ireland 9th GS/15th SL and Alisa Durkheimer 6th GS/10th SL. Others were Nina Hirner 22nd GS; Bergen Palmer 18th SL; Colter Brehmer 30th SL; Willie Adicoff 48th SL; and Gregory Roos 36th SL.
Weisel, Savaria go 1-2
Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation second-year J4 (ages 11-12) alpine racers Kipling Weisel and K.J. Savaria went 1-2 among 76 two-run finishers in Saturday's Intermountain Division J4-J5 Championships at Brundage Mountain near McCall.
Weisel, trailing after the first run, won the giant slalom on Alpine with a time of 1:21.49, .50 seconds ahead of Savaria (1:21.99). The SVSEF pair placed 1-2 overall and among the J4s. Meanwhile, second-year J5 (ages 9-10) Haley Cutler of SVSEF podiumed with a J5 second in Saturday's GS.
Sunday's slalom racing was also successful for the 35 SVSEF and Hailey Ski Team kids who comprised about 25% of the field of 145 racers from Idaho, Wyoming and Utah in the North/South Series finale.
K.J. Savaria and Weisel went 1-2 among the J4 boys, just .09 seconds apart, and Eli Conrad of SVSEF podiumed with a J5 second place. SVSEF's Samantha Busby grabbed a third place among the J5 girls.
Here are local class placings by race for the IMD North/South finals:
J4 girls (ages 11-12): Marlow Mizer 12-GS/8-SL; Telar McClure 17-GS/7-SL; Spencer Thomas 24-GS; Natalie Bunting 27-GS/22-SL; Jordan Fitzgerald 29-GS; Sofia DeWolfe 33-GS/12-SL; Ellie Punnett 34-GS/34-SL; Hannah Dies 35-GS/33-SL; Gina Rickling 36-GS/30-SL; Lena Perenchio 44-GS/29-SL; Marcia Smith 46-GS/32-SL.
J4 boys: Kipling Weisel 1-GS/2-SL; K.J. Savaria 2-GS/1-SL; Ben Kanellitsas 10-GS/6-SL; Cole Caulkins 19-GS/12-SL; Tanner Josey 20-GS/30-SL; Reed Matthews 23-GS/22-SL; Logan Shipley 31-GS/50-SL; William Harder 41-GS/47-SL; Michael Weaver 42-GS/23-SL; Gray David 44-GS; Finn Isaacson 46-GS/44-SL; Gus Conrad 48-SL.
J5 girls (ages 9-10): Haley Cutler 2-GS; Samantha Busby 6-GS/3-SL; Josie Allison 9-GS/5-SL; Abby Norton 14-GS/9-SL; Olivia Weisel 16-GS/12-SL.
J5 boys: Eli Conrad 7-GS/2-SL; Will Long 8-GS/16-SL; Austin Savaria 10-GS; Yuri McClure 11-GS/9-SL; Taylor Cooper 12-GS/7-SL; Emmett Say 13-GS/10-SL; Kyle Maxwell 15-GS/11-SL.
Great scenery, great course for The Great Ski Race
Sun Valley cross-country skiers including some of the more adventurous members of the Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski team took part Saturday, March 1 in the 33rd anniversary edition of The Great Ski Race, a 30-kilometer (18.43-mile) wave start race from Lake Tahoe over Starratt Pass to Truckee, Ca. The long downhill into Truckee provides spectacular views in one of the West's biggest races. It raises funds for Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue. There were 1,032 starters and 966 finishers on March 1.
Winning the overall title was Oregon's Marshall Greene (1.06:51). Cracking the top 10 in ninth place was former Sun Valley racer Matt DeCarufel (1.13:17) of Reno, Nev. Abigail Larson of Salt Lake city (1.17:18, 28th overall) just nipped SVSEF Olympic Development Team racer Kate Underwood (1.17:19) for the women's title. SVSEF coach Ashley McQueen (1.22:57) was 51st overall, the seventh woman and sixth in the tough 20-29 women's class.
In 11th place among all women, 75th overall and winning girls' 18-19 was SVSEF's Mad Dog Marissa Dreyer (1.24:54). Other local juniors were Brandon Wade (101st overall, 2nd men's 14-15, 1.28:31); Nicol Wheeler (157th overall, 4th boys' 14-15, 1.33:50); and Keller Gibson (246th overall, 1st girls' 16-17, 1.41:38). Another local finisher was Tisa McCombs (489th overall, 13th women's 50-59, 2.05:32).
Win a day skiing with Casey Puckett
Four-time U.S. Olympian Casey Puckett, 35, of Aspen, one of America's top ski cross athletes, is looking for a ski partner in Sun Valley on Sunday, March 16. And you can sign up for a chance to win the prize.
KJUS Uncompromising Skiwear and The Brass Ranch of Sun Valley are presenting the "Ski with Casey" giveaway. One lucky person will win a chance to match their skills for a day with Puckett, who is one of the top competitors in this week's 48Straight Jeep King of the Mountain Series events in Sun Valley.
To enter, visit either Brass Ranch location in Sun Valley (the village mall or at River Run) anytime this week. Following Saturday's ski cross finals, at 5 p.m. at the Brass Ranch River Run, Puckett will draw the winner. Complete details and rules can be found at skiwithcasey.com.