local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 public meetings

 previous edition

 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info
 classifieds info
 internet info
 sun valley central
 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs
Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Janss posse gets bang for its buck

120 skiers, 20 teams
in "Cowboy Up," benefit

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley’s 1984 Olympic giant slalom silver medalist Christin Cooper always provides clear summaries of the action in her television coverage of skiing—and she said it best at the Janss Pro-Am.

"We’re pretty easily entertained around here. We know it’s a great thing to go up and come back down," said "Coop" during Saturday night’s awards banquet in the Limelight Room of Sun Valley Inn. Going up Baldy and tearing back down through springlike conditions is just what 120 skiers on 20 teams did Saturday on the final day of the three-day Janss Pro-Am. It was a fun atmosphere, mixing superb skiers with those less skilled.

The winning Wells Fargo Shootout team celebrates at Saturday’s Janss Pro-Am banquet. From left, they are David Shames, David Logsdon, Michael Schlatter, Alma Mills, Kim Nalen and pro Paul Carson. Express photo by Willy Cook

Like television sports broadcaster Tim "DNS" Ryan, who has paired with Cooper on many telecasts. At the banquet he said, "I was so excited to chase Christin Cooper down the hill that I blew out of both of my skis in the starting gate."

With many famed ski racing personalities in attendance, Ryan also paid tribute to the 1984 U.S. Women’s Ski Team. There were three of those team members in attendance at the Janss—Cooper, Tamara McKinney and Maria Maricich.

Ryan said, "It was the best-ever U.S. women’s ski team, in the era from 1980 to 1984. The team also included Cindy Nelson, Holly Flanders and Debbie Armstrong. And 20 years later, they’re still 22!"

Great attitudes prevailed as the Janss posse certainly got the most bang for its buck during the seventh annual event.

The Janss Pro Am, named for the late Bill Janss, owner of Sun Valley from 1964-77, is the most important fund-raising activity for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation—which oversees Sun Valley’s junior ski and snowboard teams.

"It was extremely successful, comparable to last year as far as our fundraising totals," said SVSEF executive director Don Wiseman. "We’ve already had a lot of interest in teams forming for next year’s event."

Last year’s Janss Pro-Am netted the ski foundation a little over $90,000.

Muffy Davis, pro for Don & The Buckaroos, scoots down Baldy Saturday. Express photo by Willy Cook

This year’s special western theme brought out the creativity of fashion horses. It was "Alpine Rodeo—Giddy Up to Sun Valley." There was a mechanical bull at the banquet, plus hay bales and a trick roper at the headquarters tent.

Talk about combined—there was a prize combining the fastest racing time and best roping time. It was won by Karoline Droege (7.1 seconds roping) and Steve Brown (4.1 seconds).

Once again, Kate Berman’s organizing skills were instrumental to the event’s success. There were 318 people at Saturday’s banquet, and the outlook is solid for next year.

Berman said, "I believe that the energy and enthusiasm for this particular event will put us ahead for next year."


Segment on Jack Simpson

A highlight of Saturday’s banquet was a special tribute to a real cowboy, the late Jack Simpson of Ketchum. He was one of the original Sun Valley Ski Team coaches and founders back in the 1960s.

Born and raised on a farm near Wendell, Simpson learned "cowboying," on a ranch near Fairfield and moved to Ketchum in 1939.

At 16, he set a course record in the Diamond Sun race on Baldy. He then devoted his time to putting together a junior racing program in Sun Valley with people like Butch Harper and Jim Savaria.

Amigo to the Janss Classic skiing stars, Michel Rudigoz cowboys up during Saturday’s Janss banquet. Rudigoz, originally from Lentilly, France, coached for the Sun Valley Ski Team from 1972-77 before directing the great U.S. women’s ski team from 1980-84. Express photo by Willy Cook

Filmmaker David Butterfield put together a terrific film segment about Simpson, and the Limelight Room banquet crowd heard from a couple of Simpson’s early ski students—Craig Fenwick and Pam Street.

Fenwick said, "Jack co-founded the original Ski Team Alliance. He was a strong disciplinarian, developing principles and standards we had to adhere to—or we’d have to leave the team. He was a coach, a mentor and a lifetime friend. Jack helped developed a value system for us that we took into our entire lives.

"We’ve waited a long time for this, but we’d like to thank the Ski Education Foundation for honoring Jack. He did it all for us. And we are better people for having known him."

Street added, "Jack had a vision. He was known for his dry land training—it was butt kicking."

Many say the U.S. Ski Team had its greatest ski teams in the early 1980s. Veterans of those great American teams, together at the Janss Classic, are, from left, Tamara McKinney, Christin Cooper and Mark Tache. Express photo by Willy Cook

Other former ski teamers under Simpson who attended Saturday’s banquet included Penelope Street, Robbie and Danny Bell, Pat Simpson and John Sabala, according to master of ceremonies Kevin Clarke of Maine, who donated his services for the fourth year.


Prizes and Tom West

Presentation of special awards was made during the banquet. Among the awards was Most Inspirational, and the recipient was Peder Monsen of Friends of Janss.

Winning Best Costume were Leah and Ron Sali.

The second-place Sweethearts of the Rodeo pose, flanked by announcer Kevin Clarke (left) and SVSEF chief Don Wiseman (right). Team members, from left, are Jane Reynolds, Elteina Campbell, Tamara McKinney, Doran Key, Karen Tietje and Mary McDonald. Express photo by Willy Cook

Most Improved was Karen Tietje of Sweethearts of the Rodeo. And ski teamer Michael Greer was awarded the $1,200 Bill Janss Scholarship from the Janss Pro-Am Classic.

This year’s Speed Cup winner was the Dirty Half Dozen team owned by Kipp Nelson that included pro Zac Crist, Steve Brown, Matt Murphy, Kipp Nelson, Robin Sarchett and Carl Rixon Jr., who was celebrating his 22nd birthday.

Four of the top eight fastest single-run times belonged to Dirty Half Dozen racers. Here, by the way, are the top single-run times last weekend:

Top ten single-run times, men: 1—Sean Higgins 22.77 seconds. 2—Carl Rixon Jr. 23.11. 2—Robin Sarchett 23.11. 4—Einar Bohmer 23.22. 5—Skip Merrick 23.30. 6—Biche Rudigoz 23.34. 7—Zac Crist 23.64. 8—Matt Murphy 23.83. 9—John Buxman 23.99. 10—Steve Porino 24.01.

Top five single-run times, women: 1—Heather Flood Daves 25.12. 2—Elteina Campbell 25.26. 3—Christin Cooper 25.72. 4—Karoline Droege 25.93. 5—Tamara McKinney 26.02.

Of course, no fundraising banquet would be complete without a live auction and there were four items auctioned off by Kevin Clarke.

The classic Lucchese cowboy boots donated by Rue de Shoe went for $1,100. The authentic chuck wagon, restored by Ron Gillette in 1991 and donated by Gordon and Terry Player, went for $6,000.

A "Mexican Memories," barbecue fiesta for 30 people was auctioned off for $5,500. The item, complete with mariachi band, was donated by Alex and Pat Higgins, Andy and Kate Berman, Jim Cimino, Mike and Jan Turzian.

Drawing the most interest and the evening’s spine-tingling buzzer-beater outcome was the final auction item—one week for two couples at Chris Pravda’s house during the 65th Hahnenkamm weekend Jan. 17-24, 2005 in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

The auction turned into a bidding battle between the "Mayor of Warm Springs," chiropractor Tom West of the Acorns squad, and Paul Fremont-Smith of the Spurs International team.

With every $1,000 increment in the bidding, West stayed in the game like a Bull Moose—standing to full height and extending his black hat like Teddy Roosevelt on a bender. Fremont-Smith was quieter in his bids and the pot quickly grew towards the $10,000 mark.

Finally, the prospect of $10,000 for a trip to Austria literally put West on his back on the floor, his cowboy boots stuck up in mid-air, while the auctioneer tried to determine if West’s upraised cowboy boots constituted a bid or were merely a flag of surrender.

Needless to say, Fremont-Smith took the prize at $11,000 and everybody thought the process was over. That’s when West, refreshed by the prospect of saving some money after his near-miss, strode to the stage and seized the microphone.

With the bravado of someone who had played well and still lost, West proposed a deal with something for everyone. West suggested that he and Fremont-Smith share the trip and boost the final pot to $15,000 ("it’s for the kids"), so they would pay $7,500 apiece.

Fremont-Smith bought it.


Drum roll, the team race

Two years ago, the Janss Pro-Am team winner was Surefoot headed by former pro and Ketchum resident Billy
Shaw. Shaw set a precedent that year when he donated all his team’s winnings to the new Bill Janss Scholarship Fund.

This year’s top four winning teams continued the tradition by donating their winnings back to the ski foundation and its Janss Fund. The total was $18,500, of which 15% went to the SVSEF, leaving $15,725 to be split among the four teams.

Pro Paul Carson’s Wells Fargo Shoot Out team, thanks to a great re-run by Alma Mills, captured first place and won 40% or $6,290.

Taking second place in a tiebreaker was pro Tamara McKinney’s Sweethearts of the Rodeo (30% or $4,718) squad ahead of third-place Stumbling Tumbleweeds captained by Doug Woodcock (20% or $3,145). In fourth place was John Buxman’s Blazing Saddles six-some (10% or $1,572).

Members of the top four teams won belt buckles.

Here are the 20 teams and their skiers, in order of finish:

Wells Fargo Shoot Out—Pro: Paul Carson. Racers: David Logsdon, Alma Mills, Kim Nalen, Michael Schlatter and David Shames.

Sweethearts of the Rodeo—Pro: Tamara McKinney. Racers: Doran Key, Mary McDonald, Jane Reynolds, Karen Tietje and Elteina Campbell.

Stumbling Tumbleweeds—Pro: Doug Woodcock. Racers: Keri Desler, Paul Hamilton, Sue Teren, Warwick Phillips and Mike Taggett.

Blazing Saddles—Pro: John Buxman. Racers: Tyler Davis Jeffers, Cheryle Hall, Sean Higgins, Tyler Palmer and Biche Rudigoz.

Deepshit Cattle Co.—Pro: Jim Taylor. Racers: Jenna Hall, Robert Hall, Tom Hall, Sandy Eccles and Judy Jellinek.

Big Hat No Cattle—Pro: Maria Maricich. Racers: Jonathan Neeley, Rebecca Neeley, Ron Neeley, Michel Rudigoz and Tim Ryan.

Polebender Posse—Pro: Mike Frost. Racers: Brant Cooper, Cameron Cooper, Margie Cooper, Ben Walker and Cam Cooper Sr.

Posse—Pro: Skip Merrick. Racers: Janet Appleton, Liz Brown, Rufus Brown, J.R. Reagle and G.T. Thomas.

Smiths & Wesson—Pro: Hans Standteiner. Racers: George Giroux, Emily Hilding, Scott Robinson, Rachel Wheeler and Heidi Williamson.

Nutty But Nice—Pro: Christin Cooper. Racers: Lisa Ferguson, Paige Griffin, Kate Olerich, Teresa Hukari and Julie Nowell.

Dirty Half Dozen—Pro: Zac Crist. Racers: Steve Brown, Matt Murphy, Kipp Nelson, Carl Rixon Jr. and Robin Sarchett.

Don & The Buckaroos—Pro: Muffy Davis. Racers: Will Hovey, Phil Erlanger, Mark Johnson, Gile Williams and Don Wiseman.

Spurs International—Pro: Einar Bohmer. Racers: Paul Fremont-Smith, Crystyan Kowalczuk, Hank Minor, Sean Murphy and Rienhard Siller.

Terminators—Pro: Terry Ahola. Racers: David Butterfield, Adi Erber, Steve Holzman, Ryan Doremus and Matt Carlson.

Acorns—Pro: Mark Tache. Racers: Brian Barsotti, Tyler Hesse, Tom Monge, Ron Sali and Tom West.

Friends of Janss—Pro: Chris Pravda. Racers: Jim Ferguson, Susie Ferguson, Brent Hansen, Mark Masur and Peder Monsen.

Maverick Boys and Dance Hall Girls—Pro: Steve Porino. Racers: Amanda Black, Heather Black, Happy Hawn, Jonathan Monschke and Cara Porino.

Sun Valley Silver Spurs—Pro: Heather Flood Daves. Racers: Matt Baxandall, Weylin Bibb-Barret, Kathy Kerrick, Charlie Kucher and Ken Pratt.

Thunderspring Spurs—Pro: Craig Sabina. Racers: Dawn Hofheimer, James Jones, Rob Kolb, Frank Salvoni and Michael Mcfall.

Kowboys and Injuries—Pro: Karoline Droege. Racers: Maggie Acker, John Koth, Matt McNeal, Pete Smith and Steen Sorensen.


City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.