Saturday, August 8, 2020
Johnny Hagenbuch Takes Boulder Mountain Tour at 18
Johnny Hagenbuch charges towards the finish line across from SNRA headquarters.
Sunday, February 2, 2020


At 18 Johnny Hagenbuch is still in high school.

But the Sun Valley Community School senior didn’t let youth deter him as he bested former Olympians and his teammates on the U.S. Ski Team to win the 47th annual Boulder Mountain Tour.

In a sport where skiers don’t typically come into their prime until years later, young Johnny charged across the finish line by a body’s length in front of five other guys. He even bested his last year’s third-place finish by five minutes.

Ola Jordheim, Maximilian Bie, Johnny Hagenbuch and Kevin Bolger line up for Kim Hagenbuch.

“It was a really fun race, a great group of guys and, unfortunately, a lot of broken poles. I cracked my poles, although I didn’t break them clear through. But at least three other guys broke theirs completely,” he said as he headed to the cookies at the VAMPS booth.

Sun Valley’s own Katie Feldman, 23, recaptured second place—so close to first-place finisher Guro Jordheim that some onlookers thought Feldman had won the race.

Jordheim’s twin brother Ola Jordheim took second place in the men’s race, followed by Maximilian Bie, another Norwegian. Erika Flowers took third in the women’s race.

This year’s field of nearly 850 skiers was perhaps the strongest ever, according to Rick Kapala, head coach for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Nordic program.

The elite men charge at the sound of the airhorn at the starting line outside Galena Lodge.

It included 28-year-old six-time U.S. Nordic Championship distance gold medalist Erik Bjornsen, who was among those who had a chance to take gold at the end. It also included SVSEF’s Gold Team’s Kevin Bolger, a 2018 U.S. skate sprint silver medalist who came in fourth.

Other racers included four-time U.S. Nordic Olympian Andy Newell and the SVSEF Gold Team’s Peter Holmes who won last year.

Hagenbuch housed his fellow podium mates—Utah Utes Ola Jordheim and Maximilian Bie, as well as fourth-place finisher Kevin Bolger—the night before the race.

 “It must’ve been something that I served them at breakfast,” said Johnny’s mother Kim Hagenbuch, as she described heaping bowls full of oatmeal.

Racers cross Highway 75 on a carpet of snow volunteers spread.

 Everyone agreed that it was the perfect day for a ski race with clear cold temperatures over night that were headed to the lower 40s under sunny skies. As the pack neared the finish line, the lead seemed to zig-zag back and forth between Johnny Hagenbuch, Ola Jordheim, Peter Holmes, Maximilian Bie and Kevin Bogner.

 Hagenbuch, a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and the first high school student named to the U.S. Ski Team’s Nordic program, said he tried to stay in the clear as the men began breaking poles.

“When I hit the sign saying we were 1 kilometer out, I thought I’d gun for it,” said Hagenbuch, who is headed next to the World Juniors at Oberwiesenthal, Germany, where he hopes for a repeat of last year. He and his relay teammates won the United State’s first ever under-20 cross country gold medal at the U.S. Men’s Junior Worlds Team in Finland.

Matt Gelso, who won the Boulder Mountain Tour two years ago, was one of those who broke his pole.

Racers cross the bridge opposite Galena Lodge where they will turn south and head down the Harriman Trail.

“I broke it with 5K to go so I had to ski with one pole the rest of the way,” he said.

Erika Flowers, the fastest female in the 2019 Boulder Mountain Tour, pulled a fast move at Russian John  but could not hang on to it.

“From that point on I decided I needed to ski smart. And then Guro nipped me at the end,” said Feldman, who came in just behind her bicycle-racer father Richard Feldman, who finished two minutes ahead of his daughter.

That Jordheim won wasn’t surprising. Guro Jordheim, a six-time All-American from Norway now at the University of Utah, has been on a hot streak, winning four consecutive races on the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association circuit before taking coming to Sun Valley for the Boulder.

Hagenbuch and Guro Jordheim won $2,500 each for their win, plus a giant first-place cookie. Second-place finishers got $1,000 and third-place finishers, $500, along with cookies of their own.

Guro Jordheim said she had never skied the Boulder Mountain Course, except for the last six kilometers.

“It’s super fun, beautiful—one of the premier races. You have to be very tactical on it,” she said.

Maximilian Bie agreed. He came to the United States from Norway, he said, in part to evade some of the pressure on Nordic skiers in his home country. He finished third in the 20-km classic at the NCAA Championships in 2019 and helped lead the Utah Utes to the team title.

“The snow was great; the course fast,” said Bie, who is majoring in educational leadership and policy.

The full Boulder fielded nearly 650 people with the remainder taking part in the Half-Boulder.

Among the first timers in the full Boulder was Ward Loving, who is more often seen on the valley’s stages, most recently having taken part in the Company of Fools’ play reading “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail.”

Loving came here from Georgia and immediately fell in love with cross country skiing.

“I started training for this skiing from Baker Creek on down to the SNRA headquarters,” he said. “I just love spending time on the Harriman Trail. I especially love the bottom portion of the trail.”

Per Hjalmarsson and Shaun Marshall-Poyde, by contrast, have competed in the Boulder Mountain Tour at least 10 times dating back to the 1980s when they skied for the U.S. Ski Team.

“We love coming to this because it always seems like it’s spring here,” said Marshall-Poyde, who lives in Bozeman, Mont. “And the fact that you lose a thousand feet of elevation during the race makes us old guys look good.”

Tracy Groll, the vice president of Zions Bank, took his place among the spectators at the finish line, anxious to see the results of a race that Zions Bank has sponsored for the past five years.

 “I like the fact that it’s a community event—a good local event,” he said. “I’ve even skied in it with my kids. But I’m really more of a downhill skier.”



  1. Johnny Hagenbuch, 18, 1:17:07.2
  2. Ola Jordheim, 23, 1:17:08.0
  3. Maximilian Bie, 24, 1:17:08.1
  1. Guro Jordheim, 23, 1:25:50:3
  2. Katie Feldman, 23, 1;25:50.5
  3. Erika Flowers, 30, 1:25:50.9

FEMALE 13 and Under

  1. Ella McNeely 2:17.34.5
  2. Sarah Leidecker 2:44:07.0

    FEMALE 14-17

  1. Sarah Kilroy 1:31:44.0
  2. 2) Anneliese Bauer 1:51:16.4
  3. Ruby Gates 1:56:38.4

    FEMALE 18-24

  1. Guro Jordheim 1:25:50.3
  2. Katie Feldman 1:25:50.5
  3. Hannah Cole 1;27;17.4

    FEMALE 25-29

  1. Mary Rose 1:27:16.5
  2. Sloan Storey 1:32:58.8
  3. Julia Seyferth 1:34:19.9

    FEMALE 30-34

    1. Erika Flowers 1:25:50.9
    2. Marine Bjornsen 1:27:03.2
    3. Sarah Armstrong 1:31:21.3

      FEMALE 35-39

  1. Kellie Carim 1:32:42.4
  2. Laura Theis 1:43:12.8
  3. Erin Green 1:52:17.4

    FEMALE 40-44

  1. Kathryn Roberts 1:44:49.4
  2. Keri York 1:46:33.7
  3. Hannah Young 1:46:52.9

    FEMALE 45-49

  1. Brooke Hovey 1:31:21.3
  2. Jennifer Santoro 1:32:43.1
  3. Liv Jensen 1:35:50.0

    FEMALE 50-54

    `1)  Barbara Kreisle 1:44:47.8

  1. Tizz Strachan 1:45:55.0
  2. Michelle Tullis 1:58:57.7

    FEMALE 55-59

    1. Kim Kawaguchi 1:44.48.3
    2. Margaret Hepworth 1:45.01.8
    3. Kelly Allison 1:45.36.8

      FEMALE 60-64

  1. Elizabeth Youngman 1:34:52.2
  2. Muffy Ritz 1:43.38.3
  3. Katie Meyer 1:43:59.8

    FEMALE 65-69

  1. Janet Conway 2:11:31.4
  2. Marcy Allen 1:14:37.9
  3. Maggie Frole Spurling 2:21:06.7

    FEMALE 70-74

  1. Linda McClatchy 2:07:42.8
  2. Dagmar Eriksson 2:07:43.1
  3. Julia Page 2:17;14.7

    MALE 13 & Under

  1. Andrew Crouch 1:42:53.0
  2. Teddy Hobbs 1:48:28.3
  3. Jonas Benson 2:17:40.9

    MALE 14-17

  1. Jackson Monz 1:30:09.2
  2. Skylar Maguire 1:40:37.1
  3. Evan Eby 1:43:45.2

    MALE 18-24

  1. Johnny Hagenbuch 1:17:07.2
  2. Ola Jordheim 1:17.08.0
  3. Maximilian Bie 1:17:08.1

    MALE 25-29

  1. Kevin Bolger 1:17:08.9
  2. Tyler Kornfield 1:17:09.9
  3. Erik Bjornsen 1:17:23.7

    MALE 30-34

  1. Matt Gelso 1:17:35.2
  2. Patrick Johnson 1:18:38.5
  3. Wyatt Fereday 1:20:47.5

    MALE 35-39

                    1) Joshua Korn 1:23:49.9

    2) Jesse Coenen 1:26:11.2

    3) Justin Nistler 1:26:15.7

    MALE 40-44

  1. Sam Krieg 1:23:51.1
  2. James Rucker 1:26:13.9
  3. Noel Johnson 1:26:50.0

    MALE 45-49

  1. Joseph Jensen 1:23:48.6
  2. Dave Burch 1:28.32.2
  3. Nathan Schultz 1:30:10.0

    MALE 50-54

  1. John Bauer 1:21:18.3
  2. Richard Feldman 1:23:58.2
  3. Dave Sjogren 1:23:25.2

    MALE 55-59

  1. Barry Makarewicz 1:23:49.2
  2. Jim Santa 1:30:10.9
  3. Michael Curtin 1:30:26.5

    MALE 60-64

    1) Kris Thoreson 1:34:20.5

    1. Paul Smith 1:34:23.3
    2. Scott Seaton 1:34:23.0

MALE 65-69

  1. Steve Moore 1:43:00.7
  2. Patrick Simpson 1:44.12.1
  3. Michael Allan 1:44:38.3

MALE 70-74

  1. Peter Darienzo 1:41:18.4
  2. Fran Wikstrom 1:46:29.9
  3. Ralph Johnson 1:54:20.9

MALE 75-79

  1. Del Pletcher 1:56:14.3
  2. Patrick Armstrong 2:12:52.6
  3. Ralph Comstock 2:19.22.3

MALE 80-84

  1. Steve Swanson 2:48.43.9



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