Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation cross-country ski racers had some bragging rights when the weeklong 2011-12 SuperTour Finals opened March 24-25 at balmy Craftsbury (Vt.) Outdoor Center.
U.S. Nordic "B" teamer Simi Hamilton, 24, won the SuperTour finals men's freestyle prologue for a second straight year—establishing his dominance in the mid-distance sprint. SVSEF racer Mike Sinnott finished sixth of 104 men.
SVSEF podium performances were Cole Morgan's second place among J1s (ages 16-17) in the prologue and Kevin Bolger's second place in Older Junior (18-19) in Sunday's men's 15-kilometer classic race.
Besides Hamilton, last weekend's race winners were Midwest ace Jessie Diggins in the women's prologue; Vail's Kris Freeman in men's 15k classic; and Alaska's Sadie Bjornsen women's10k classic.
SuperTour season point leaders through last weekend:
Men's overall: 1—Sylvan Ellefson (Vail) 367 points. 2—Karl Nygren (CXC) 319. 3—Mike Sinnott (SVSEF) 284. 4—Matt Gelso (SVSEF) 261.
Men's sprint: 1—Karl Nygren (CXC) 160. 2—Mike Sinnott (SVSEF) 157. Men's distance: 1—Sylvan Ellefson 280. 2—Matt Gelso 203. 3—Matthew Liebsch (Team Strong Heart) 200. 4—Tad Elliott (Vail) 191.
Women's overall: 1—Jessie Diggins (CXC) 520 points. 2—Jennie Bender (CXC) 500. 3—Caitlin Gregg (CXC) 494.
Women's sprint: 1—Jessie Diggins 195. 2—Jennie Bender 194. Women's distance: 1—Jessie Diggins 325. 2—Caitlin Gregg 310. 3—Jennie Bender 306.
Events rounding out the SuperTour week at Craftsbury when double SuperTour points are awarded for all races:
Tuesday, March 27: Classic 1.5-kilometer and 1.3k sprint qualifications and heats.
Wednesday, March 28: 6-kilometer freestyle hill climb, pursuit start.
Friday, March 30: U.S. National women's 30k freestyle and Junior Women's 15k.
Saturday, March 31: U.S. National men's 50k freestyle and Junior Men's 20k. At stake for men and women are prizes of $1,200 for first place, $600 for second and $300 for third place.
Top results and SVSEF racers from last weekend's prologue and classic races:
Prologue 3.2k freestyle
Men, March 24: 1—Simi Hamilton (SVSEF/USST) 5:59.4. 2—Sylvan Ellefson (SSC Vail) 6:06.0. 3 (tie)—Noah Hoffman (SSC Vail/USST) and Erik Bjornsen (APU/USST) 6:10.9.
6—Mike Sinnott (SVSEF) 6:13.5, 14 seconds back. 44—Cole Morgan 6:52.7 (2nd J1), 0:53 back. 55—Kevin Bolger (6th OJ), 1:05 back. 91—Zach Lindahl (13th J1), 1:47 back. 99—Ketchum Wilt (15th J1), 2:05 back. 101—Jake Adicoff (16th J1), 2:10 back (104 finishers).
Women, March 24: 1—Jessie Diggins (CXC/USST) 6:41.2. 2—Holly Brooks (APU) 6:48.4. 3—Sadie Bjornsen (APU) 6:49.8.
11—Chelsea Holmes (SVSEF) 7:04.1 (5-FS), 22 seconds back. 20—Morgan Arritola (11-FS), 0:32 back. 22—Alexa Turzian (13-FS), 0:40 back. 38—Margaret Pope (5-J1), 1:03 back. 39—Jesse Knori (6-J1), 1:04 back (74 finishers).
Classic mass start races
Men 15k, March 25: 1—Kris Freeman (SSC Vail/USST) 41:11. 2—Noah Hoffman 41:13. 3—Erik Bjornsen 41:27. 4—Simi Hamilton 41:42 (31 seconds back). 9—Sylvan Ellefson 42:31.
10—Mike Sinnott 42:49 (6-MS), 1:37 back. 43—Kevin Bolger (2-OJ), 4:27 back. 68—Cole Morgan (8-J1), 6:15 back. 86—Zach Lindahl (12-J1), 8:57 back. 96—Ketchum Wilt (16-J1), 10:43 back. 100—Jake Adicoff (17-J1), 14:22 back (101 finishers).
Women 10k, March 25: 1—Sadie Bjornsen 31:15. 2—Rosie Brennan (APU) 31:21. 3—Holly Brooks 31:41. 6—Jessie Diggins 32:00.
13—Chelsea Holmes 34:08 (7-FS), 2:52 back. 28—Alexa Turzian (12-FS), 4:33 back. 47—Jesse Knori (5-J1), 5:39 back. 60—Margaret Pope (9-J1), 7:45 back. DNF—Morgan Arritola (69 finishers).