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Sun Valley Skiers Named to U.S. Ski Teams
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Dasha Romanov won a silver medal at the 2023 U.S. Alpine Championships at Sun Valley Resort. PHOTO: Heather Black
 
 
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Thursday, May 18, 2023
 

BY HEATHER FOSTER

Seven Sun Valley Education Foundation athletes so far have been named to national teams by U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

SVSEF Cross Country Alumni John Steel Hagenbuch and Sydney Palmer-Leger, along with SVSEF XC Gold Team athlete Sammy Smith, were again named to the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.

SVSEF Alpine Alumni Jack Smith and Dasha Romanov return to the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team, along with newcomers Finnigan Donley and Colin Hanna, both graduating in 2023.

 
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John Steel Hagenbuch skied for Dartmouth College this past winter. COURTESY: John Steel Hagenbuch
 

Twenty-three athletes were nominated to the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team on May 9 based on set criteria. Johnny Hagenbuch returns to the B team and Sydney Palmer-Leger makes a move from the Development team to the B team based on her strong results this past season.

“I’m really excited to keep working towards my goals with the U.S. Ski Team and Dartmouth,” said Hagenbuch, now skiing for Dartmouth College and the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. “Next year my main focus is to achieve top results at the World U23 Championships in Planica and at the NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs.”

Rising high school senior Sammy Smith will be back for her second year with the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Development team after racing her first World Cup last season in Drammen, Norway, while also competing as a member of the SVSEF XC Gold Team during the 2023-24 season. 

“I’m super grateful to be back on the U.S. Ski Team for my second season,” said Smith, Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team and SVSEF XC Gold Team athlete. “Getting to ski on a team with such a supportive and positive culture is an incredible privilege. And opportunities to represent the U.S. and compete at the international level are experiences that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”

 
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Finnigan Donley was named PHOTO: Tim Carter
 

According to U.S. Ski & Snowboard, each athlete who accepts their nomination to the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team will receive top-of-the-line athletic and medical support, world-class coaching, sport science, sports medicine and access to the USANA Center of Excellence facilities, including on-site high-performance staff and education. 

Fifty-five athletes were named to the U.S. Alpine Team on May 11 based on their published criteria. SVSEF Alumni Jack Smith and Dasha Romanov make the move up to the C team, while Finnigan Donley and Colin Hanna will join the D team for the coming competition season.

“I’m super excited for my third year with the Stifel U.S. Alpine Women’s Ski Team!” said Romanov, who won a silver medal at the U.S. Alpine Nationals held in Sun Valley in March. “Moving up from D to C team has been a goal of mine so I’m super happy to accomplish that! I’m super thankful for the support I have received from Sun Valley to help me accomplish these goals.

Also, could not have done this without my parents. They have been my biggest supporters in ski racing and I would not be where I am today without them. It truly takes a big team and I’m really grateful for everyone who has helped me along in this journey so far.”

 
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Sammy Smith competes at the 2023 World Junior Championships. PHOTO: FlyingPointRoad
 

High school senior and SVSEF FIS Team athlete Finnigan Donley was named “Rookie of the Year” by U.S. Ski & Snowboard during the opening ceremonies at the U.S. Alpine Nationals held in Sun Valley in March. The award was voted on by U.S. Ski Team athletes. Donley was voted in as rookie of the year for his impressive results at U18 Nationals, where he won the super-G and was second in the downhill.

He also won a gold medals in junior competition at the U.S. Alpine Nationals held in Sun Valley.

“It’s a great honor to be named to the U.S. Ski Team,” said Donley. “This has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. I am excited to work hard during the off-season and push myself against other high-level skiers!”

Colin Hanna will graduate from Sun Valley Community School this spring, and he also met the qualification criteria to be nominated to the alpine team.

 
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Colin Hanna charges the course. PHOTO: Tim Carter
 

“I am super excited for what is to come, and I can’t thank SVSEF and all of my coaches throughout the years for making this possible,” said Hanna, SVSEF Alum (class of 2023).

Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team:

C Team:

Dasha Romanov SVSEF Class of ‘19

Jack Smith ‘19

D Team:

Finnigan Donley ‘23

Colin Hanna ‘23

Stifel U.S. Cross Country Team:

B Team:

John Steel Hagenbuch ‘19

Sydney Palmer-Leger ‘19

D Team:

Sammy Smith ‘24


 

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