Thirteen Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation alpine ski racers hit the road and slopes last week for their first races of the season at Snow King in Jackson Hole, Wyo. and Mammoth Mountain, Ca.
Harlan Collins, Amanda Stelling and Nicole Roos led the way for the SVSEF.
The two separate events called the Western Region Open Series were early-season U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association regional FIS races designed to help older racers improve their FIS points and the younger racers (1st-year J2s) establish a point profile prior to any qualifying races.
The nine Sun Valley young men were among 99 regional racers competing in two days of giant slalom and two days of slalom Dec. 10-13 on Elk Run at Snow King Resort.
In addition, four SVSEF young women were among 50 talented racers working on SL and GS at Mammoth Mountain—the final giant slalom happening Tuesday afternoon.
Particularly sharp at Mammoth Mountain were Stelling (5-SL Saturday and 3-J2, 16-SL Sunday and 5-J2) and Roos (14-SL Saturday and 8-J2, 18-SL Sunday and 7-J2). In Monday's GS, Roos nearly cracked the top 10 (11-GS/4-J2) with Stelling right behind (13-GS/5-J2).
Others from Sun Valley at Mammoth were Sofia DeWolfe (35-SL/20-J2 and 34-SL/18-J2, and 37-GS/21-J2) and Reta Flynt (39-SL/12-J1 and 43-SL/15-J1, and 43-GS/13-J1).
Collins had an excellent four-race tech series at Snow King and cracked the top five of his J1 (ages 17-19) class twice in slalom Sunday and Monday. He ended up in the top 10 of the J1s in each of the four events.
Here are the race finishes for the nine SVSEF men, starting with two GS events and ending with two SLs:
Harlan Collins (21-GS/8-J1 and 14-GS/9-J1, 9-SL/4-J1 and 12-SL/5-J1); Miles Sweek (27-GS, 34-GS, DNF-SL, 20-SL/10-J1); Kipling Weisel (9-GS/3-J2 and DNF-GS, 30-SL/10-J2 and DNS-SL); Tanner Dirstine (26-GS and 31-GS, DNF-SL and DNF-SL);
KJ Savaria (67-GS and 32-GS/9-J2, 55-SL and 38-SL/12-J2); Connor Farrow (39-GS and 38-GS, 44-SL and 33-SL/9-J2); Colin Waycott (59-GS and 53-GS, DNF-SL and 49-SL); Cole Caulkins (71-GS and 65-GS, DNF-SL and 56-SL); Logan Shipley (86-GS and DNF-GS, 52-SL and DQ-SL).
Next up for Sun Valley kids are the 30th Eric Hays Memorial Open Series races Dec. 16-19 on Payday at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. Slaloms for men and women are Thursday and Friday (second runs under the new Payday lights), with giant slalom Saturday and Sunday. Classes are A, J1, J2, J3 (ages 13-20).