Go ahead and ask Baldy skiers who they think was the best combination of skier and ski coach on the mountain. You'll probably get a one-word answer that's delivered quickly:
Craig "Cheeso" Kjesbo fought a brave three-year battle with cancer before passing away in Jan. 2009 at the age of 57. For 26 years, he was one of the best Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation coaches.
Smooth and steady, Cheeso was the first coach at the start and the last to go home," said Lane Monroe, former SVSEF executive director and head coach, during the 2008 Game Dinner, where Kjesbo was honored with the Jack Simpson Dedicated Coach Award.
"There was never a bad day on the mountain for Cheeso, and he translated that to all the kids he coached," Monroe said.
Last weekend, 112 Intermountain Division J3 (ages 13-14) alpine skiers came to Baldy's Hemingway and Greyhawk ski runs to remember Cheeso with J3 Junior Olympic qualifying giant slalom and slalom races. There were 22 SVSEF kids racing.
Second-year J3 William Harder podiumed with a third place of 48 two-run finishers in Saturday's GS. And SVSEF first-year J3 Haley Cutler ripped off a third-place finish out of 40 finishers in Sunday's slalom.
SVSEF results from the Cheeso series for 61 boys and 51 girls:
J3 (ages 13-14) boys: William Harder 3-GS/DSQ-SL; Jay Fitzgerald 5-GS/21-SL; Tanner Josey 9-GS/10-SL; Austin Savaria 15-GS/16-SL; Michael Levy 18-GS/23-SL; Gavin Shipley 25-GS/26-SL; Taylor Cooper 30-GS/DNF-SL; Peter Hastings 39-GS/31-SL; Carson Jones-Wilkins 45-GS/38-SL; Emmett Say DNF-GS/36-SL; Griffin Curtis DNF-GS; and Elliot Lewis DNF-GS/DSQ-SL.
J3 girls: Samantha Busby 4-GS; Haley Cutler 5-GS/3-SL; Madison Milgard 16-GS/8-SL; Megan Murphy DNF-GS/11-SL; Alexandra Black 19-GS/25-SL; Olivia Wentzell 22-GS/DSQ-SL; Julia Vorsteveld 25-GS/12-SL; Josie Allison 26-GS/26-SL; Chloe Francois 31-GS/24-SL; and Loni Unser 32-GS/35-SL.
Seven SVSEF racers are competing this week at Boise's Bogus Basin Ski Area in the 2011 Western Region Alpine Junior Ski Championships. Super giant slalom is today, with giant slalom and slalom March 10-13 to cap the week.
They are Sierra Fox, Amanda Stelling, Tanner Farrow, Connor Farrow, Tanner Dirstine, Ben Kanellitsas and Harlan Collins.
Will Snyder (2nd, 1st, 1st) led SVSEF racers at last weekend's Snowbasin (Utah) super giant slaloms. Other top efforts came from C-Travel Team kids Yuri McClure (3-6-7), Duncan Fuller (4-8-9), Wyatt Smith (13-46-13) and Katelyn Rathfon (14-19-45).
Teagen Palmer placed 12th of 32 finishers and Nicole Roos was 15th Saturday in the J2 Junior Nationals women's slalom race at Sugarloaf, Me. Other top results at the start of the racing week in Maine were KJ Savaria 12th slalom and Kipling Weisel 27th GS.
SVSEF J3s Carson Jones-Wilkins (2nd twice) and Griffin Curtis (4th, 6th) competed in the Intermountain Cup Soldier Mountain downhills March 1.