Fourteen Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation cross-country skiers led by Olympic Development team member Mike Sinnott competed last week in Haywood Nor-Am races hosted by Black Jack Ski Club at Rossland, B.C., Canada.
Coaches Rick Kapala and Travis Jones joined SVSEF elite racers and promising upper level juniors on North America's premier development series of races. Local kids gained valuable experience and posted solid results in Canada.
Sinnott, 25, put together a series of top results behind some of the best U.S. and Canadians in the field. In the women's events, 28-year-old Nicole DeYong of Sun Valley was right up there in the classic and freestyle events.
In Saturday's Nor-Am "Mini Tour" calcuations, Sinnott finished fifth of 87 racers behind hometown hero George Grey. Sinnott had made the "A Final" and finished sixth Friday in the Teck Sprint Finals on a 1.6-kilometer freestyle course.
Coach Kapala said, "Mike was fighting for the overall podium right up until the end. His distance racing is much improved. And some of our juniors had a good weekend."
DeYong earned the quarterfinals and ended up 21st in Friday's 1.4k women's Teck Sprint Final, then she was 10th of 55 women in the "Mini Tour." Another ODT racer, Colin Rodgers of Sun Valley, was second in the sprint "B Final" and eighth in men's "Mini Tour."
Other SVSEF racers on the trip were Matt Gelso, Scotty Phelan, Max Christman, William Spiller, Torin Tucker, Zach Lindahl, Ketchum Wilt, Kelsey Dickinson, Maggie Williams, Morgan Atkinson and Carrie Heagey.
Phelan won the "B Final" of Friday's Junior Men's1.6k freestyle sprint, in fifth place overall, while Dickinson and Williams also made the "A Final" in the Junior Women's 1.4k free sprint. They were fourth and fifth overall, with Atkinson taking the "B Final" title.
Results by race:
Dec. 17, Open Women's 1.4k free sprint: 1—Sadie Bjornsen (APUNSC). 21—Nicole DeYong (quarterfinalist).
Dec. 17, Open Men's 1.6k free sprint: 1—Stefan Kuhn (Canmore, Alberta). 6—Mike Sinnott ("A" finalist). 8—Colin Rodgers (2nd "B Final"). 15—Matt Gelso (quarterfinalist).
Dec. 17, Junior Men's 1.6k free sprint: 5—Scotty Phelan ("B Final" winner). 12—Max Christman. 13—William Spiller. 15—Zach Lindahl. 18—Torin Tucker. 19—Ketchum
Wild (all quarterfinalists).
Dec. 17, Junior Women's 1.4k free sprint: 4—Kelsey Dickinson ("A" finalist). 5—Maggie Williams ("A" finalist). 7—Morgan Atkinson ("B Final" winner). 9—Carrie Heagey (3rd "B Final").
Dec. 18, men's 10k freestyle: 1—Lars Flora (Alaska) 21:53. 5—Mike Sinnott 22:05. 23—Colin Rodgers 22:47. 26—Matt Gelso 22:53. 57—Max Christman 24:42. 65—Torin Tucker 25:05 (72 finishers).
Dec. 18, women's 5k freestyle: 1—Holly Brooks (APUNSC) 12:06. 9—Nicole DeYong 12:41.
Open Men Mini-Tour: 1—George Grey (Rossland). 5—Mike Sinnott. 8—Colin Rodgers. 50—Scotty Phelan. 61—Max Christman. 70—Torin Tucker. 74—William Spiller. 81—Zach Lindahl. 83—Ketchum Wilt.
Open Women Mini-Tour: 1—Holly Brooks (APUNSC). 10—Nicole DeYong. 35—Maggie Williams. 36—Kelsey Dickinson. 44—Morgan Atkinson.
Dec. 19, men's 15k classic pursuit: 1—Stefan Kuhn (Canmore) 1.04:53. 5—Mike Sinnott 1.05:38. 25—Colin Rodgers 1.08:22. 26—Matt Gelso 1.08:45. 64—Scotty Phelan 1.14:33. 68—Max Christman 1.15:49. 72—William Spiller 1.16:38. 75—Torin Tucker 1.21:05. 76—Ketchum Wilt 1.21:33. 79—Zach Lindahl 1.22:35 (84 racers).
Dec. 19, women's 10k classic pursuit: 1—Jessica Diggins (Minnesota) 45:24. 13—Nicole DeYong 48:16. 34—Kelsey Dickinson 52:46. 37—Maggie Williams 53:22. 39—Morgan Atkinson 54:57. 53—Carrie Heagey (55 racers).