Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Town Series to start, and more from the slopes

Town Series on Baldy debuts Jan. 27

Teams are signing up for the 19th annual Sun Valley Town Series of Wednesday team races on Baldy's Cozy ski run. They start Wednesday, Jan. 27 and last through March 17. Sponsors are Sun Valley Co. and Watkins Distributing.

Sun Valley Race Department supervisor Mike Wrobel said a free race clinic is being offered to registered Town Series racers on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. on Cozy. But you have to be registered beforehand at the Warm Springs Lodge Desk.

Up to 300 racers on four-member teams enjoy the seven-week racing series each year. Each Wednesday race begins at 11 a.m. on Cozy. Two-time defending team champion is the Tekasoreass squad with Carl Rixon Jr., Matt Murphy, Sean Murphy and Chris Key.

Dates for the series of dual modified giant slalom races (with party locations in parentheses) are Jan. 27 (Roosevelt), Feb. 3 (Casino), Feb. 10 (The Cellar), Feb. 24 (Mahoney's), March 3 (Whiskey Jacques), March 10 (Lefty's) and March 17 (Apple's Bar & Grill).

The names of 20 racers from the top five teams in the season series are entered into a drawing for the grand prize of four Sun Valley 2010-11 season ski passes. That drawing takes place March 17 at Apple's.

Team cost is the same as last year, $360. Telemarkers, snowboarders and downhillers are welcome. Format is fastest single runs on five of the seven Wednesdays, and combined two runs on Feb. 24 and March 17. Call 622-6356 to sign up.

Halfpipe on Baldy

The cut on Sun Valley's Warm Springs halfpipe was regarded as "perfect" by the competitors of the first ever FIS Nor-Am skier halfpipe.

For the first time, the Utah-based URTUR circuit came to Baldy for a North American Freestyle halfpipe Friday and Saturday, Jan. 8-9.

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) hosted the event along with sponsors Smith Optics, Scott USA, Apple's Bar & Grill, Wrapcity, Paul and Carol Fremont-Smith and Sun Valley Co.

"For our very first event it was a huge success," said Andy Ware, SVSEF Freestyle Program Director.

Brian Callahan, Sun Valley's pipe/park director and his crew created the venue for skiers from Canada and the U.S. to show on their insane halfpipe skiing skills, Ware said. A total 30 competitors took part in two separate halfpipe events.

SVSEF freestyle ski athletes took advantage of their 18-foot home pipe, placing competitors on the podiums each day. Ware said most of the competitors praised the pipe.

Hannah Haupt returned to competition after suffering a torn ACL almost exactly one year ago to finish second overall both days in the women's division. Winning each day was Megan Gunning of Canada.

Last year's Junior National halfpipe champion Tai Wing Barrymore enjoyed an excellent weekend finishing second overall Friday and third overall on Saturday. Tai was hands down going bigger than any other competitor this weekend, Ware said.

The men's winner each day was Evan Schwartz of Weston, Ct.

Other SVSEF Freestyle ski team athletes Colter Brehmer, Trace Page and Ben Parker also skied well.

Brehmer qualified seventh Friday and fourth Saturday and finished ninth overall both days. Ben Parker, 14, was the youngest competitor. He narrowly missed finals both days. Parker finished 13th overall Friday and 14th Saturday. The top 12 made the cut for finals each day.

Trace Page also returned to competition for the first time after suffering a knee injury less than a year ago. Page finished 16th Friday.

Ware said, "I was very pleased with our results. This was our first event and these results will give us the momentum we need to continue skiing well. Sun Valley's early season efforts to build the halfpipe paid off. Our thanks to Sun Valley Co. and Brian Callahan and his crew for making such a terrific halfpipe."

Sun Valley's next home event is an Intermountain Division race Feb 4-7 featuring slopestyle, halfpipe, moguls, and dual moguls. The next Nor-Am halfpipe is Feb. 7 at Killington, Vt., with the Nor-Am Finals coming in March at Boreal, Ca.

Meanwhile, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation freestyle ski teamers had solid results in their first Intermountain Division event of the season at Park City, Utah last weekend. Competing were eight mogul team skiers and three from the halfpipe group.

Program director Andy Ware said there was a full field of competitors (125 total) in moguls that included the Australian National freestyle team. He said, "Our athletes fought hard and posted good results."

Making the podium in their age groups Friday and Saturday were Zana Davey, Claire Siderman, Joey Richardson, Nathan Moses and Trevor Norris in moguls, and Hannah Haupt in halfpipe. Here are overall and class results for SVSEF:

Moguls: Zana Davey 7th/5th overall and 5th/2nd F2; Claire Siderman 29th/25th overall and 3rd/1st F4; Aunika Phillips 8th/18th overall and 6th/8th F2; Joey Richardson 15th overall and 2nd M2; Nathan Moses 25th/13th overall and 7th/3rd M2; Trevor Norris 22nd overall and 3rd M3; Wyatt Wilson 45th/34th overall and 10th/5th M3; J.T. Neely 53rd overall and 14th M3.

Halfpipe: Hannah Haupt 4th/5th overall and 2nd/2nd F2; Ben Parker 6th/12th overall and 3rd/7th M3; Wyatt Wilson 14th overall and 8th M3.

Plenty of Utah fun for snowboard team

The New Year got off to a great start in Utah for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Snowboard Team at the Canyons (slopestyle) and Park City (22-foot pipe) last weekend.

Program director Andy Gilbert said the Canyons course was defiantly rail and box heavy with four jib options going into a double jump to finish things off. In the first heat Ryan Roemer and Rex Kelly slayed the top section and finished fourth and ninth.

Stacked with Sun Valley riders, the second slopestyle heat featured standouts Chase Josey (smooth combos for 3rd place) and Mal Prior (5th) in the 20-rider Open class.

In Women's 16-17, Ali Appleton and Josie Bunce attacked the course all day with big air clean jib lines. Appleton had a big method air on the bottom jump to finish first, while a nice mute landed Bunce right behind in second.

Other SVSEF standouts were Wyatt Bunce (2nd Jams Men 18-22), Sam Strong (7th Junior Men 16-17) and Dash Stethem (10th Junior Men).

Park City's pipe was in amazing condition, the weather was great and kids were showing it. Sun Valley riders were head and shoulders above the rest in the Open class.

Chase Josey's 5-5-7 combos were too much for the field and landed him his first Open Class victory. Mal Prior was riding like one of the big boys with tweaked out 5's way over head, this smooth style landed Mal a silver medal for second place.

On the ladies side Hailey Rheinschild went bigger than anyone and kicked out huge methods—good enough for her first win of the season in Youth Women Division 14-15. Bunce and Appleton went 1-2 with Bria Gillespie fourth in the Junior Women Division 16-17.

Sam Strong nabbed third place with solid high airs and a front 3-cab three combo in Junior Men 16-17. Dash Stethem in Juniors had a solid fourth place. Back from an injury, Wyatt Bunce started things off right with a 5-5-7 combo and a win in the Jams Men 18-22.

Other standouts in Youth Men 14-15 were Rex Kelly (5th) and Ryan Roemer (9th).

Here is the rest of the coaching staff of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Snowboard Team. Comp team—Jacob Tyler and Jon French. Prep team—Josh Keefer. Devo team—Billy Olson (head coach), Zach Venzon and Jon French. The Interns: Ed Sawicz, Yancy Caldwell.

Telemark skiers enjoy Saturday's runs

Twenty-two telemark skiers and snowboarders helped the Sun Valley Telemark Series crack open its 30th season Saturday with the "cult classic" All-Terrain race featuring bumps, jumps and gate running on Baldy's Cozy ski run. Results:

Men's Elite Telemark: 1—Adam Majors, 32, 96.61. 2—Trent Stumph, 45, 112.91. 3—Danny Walton, 37, 134.82. 4—Erik Lisk, 28, 137.67.

Women's Elite Telemark: 1—Jennifer King, 36, 156.70. 2—Hannah Young, 32, 163.19. 3—Mollie Holt, 29, 169.37.

Men's Sport: 1—Brendan Coyle, 27, 129.38. 2—Jonathan Klaus, 27, 131.91. 3—Jeff Bailey, 33, 144.87. 4—Gregg Hedin, 38, 147.61. 5—Doug Oplt, 29, 163.53. 6—Ryder Bennett, 33, 181.96. 7—Will Resko, 30, 209.61. DSQ—Rick Lethbridge, 32.

Women's Sport: 1—Lacie Hernandez, 30, 191.47. 2—Heidi Andersen, 35, 206.05. 3—Nicole Wark, 29, 210.86. 4—Jenn Kuhlmann, 38, 249.95.

Snowboard Men: 1—Mike Connelly, 45, 90.55. 2—Jim Slanetz, 45, 91.26.

Snowboard Women: 1—Fee Stabenow, 16, 119.74.

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