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SVSEF Athletes Race Through Freezing Temperatures to First-Place Finishes
Thursday, January 18, 2024


The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation XC Comp and Prep Teams braved the wind and cold temperatures to compete in the Johnny Curtis Memorial 2024 Intermountain Division Junior National Qualifier Jan. 13-14 at Trail Creek in Wilson, WY.

Due to the difficulties of travel and extremely cold weather, the race organizers delayed the start time of Saturday's race to allow for teams to arrive safely and for the races to be during the warmest temperatures of the day.

The weather apparently didn’t faze SVSEF athletes as they found success across the board in all age groups.

Saturday brought below-freezing temperatures and strong winds to the 5km classic races. Galen Grohusky, David Shycon, and Otus Beason swept the podium in the men’s U20 race, finishing first, second, and third respectively. Dave Walters finished in 15th.

In the women’s U20 race, Emma Singer finished a strong fifth followed by teammate Mia Schaffner in sixth place.  

“It was great to see how brave our athletes were when trying out some new race tactics,” said Interim Head Comp Team Coach Bob Thompson. “It paid off in almost every instance, highlighted by the U20 men’s podium sweep and Cora Faye Scott winning both U18 races. This inspired many of the young racers throughout the weekend.” 

Cora Faye Scott led a strong returning squad of U18 women, taking the win with a time of 18:56. Jodie Maguire followed closely in fourth, Berkeley Canfield in sixth and Mazzy Conners in 12th. Rounding out the girl’s race were Eden Keeney (22nd), Wren Hassman (25th), Elise Voorhees (35th), Lucy Carter (43rd) and Anna Gilman (49th).  

Teddy Hobbs skied a tough race to finish 13th in the U18 boy’s category. Teammates Stratton Cunningham and Whit Brown followed in 24th and 26th respectively.  

The U16 race saw Riley Siegel lead the team finishing in 20th followed by teammates Dylan Buck (35th), Cora Schrader Brozowski (36th) and Lauryn Stevens (38th).

For the U16 boys, Charlie St. George came out strong in eighth place followed by teammates Nick Gardiner (10th), Cyrus Pott (12th), Tait Boschen (16th), Duncan Fryberger (28th), Townes Van Der Meulen (36th), Felix Wilson (37th), and Quinn Parmenter (38th). 

The U14 team was full of energy and glitter all weekend long. In the 3km classic race, Stella St. George was SVSEF’s top finisher in 12th, with a huge pack of teammates right there with her including Sydney Nelson (13th), Tessa Dondero (14th), Josephine Renner (16th), and Satchel Swindley (20th).

The boys were led by Owen Wellner (ninth), Cameron Gilman (13th), Thijs Lloyd (15th), Jake Jacoby (17th), and Angus Ramsay (20th).

Payton Daley-Scheingraber found her way to a third-place podium finish in the girls U12 3km classic race. For the boys, Cody Lloyd was seventh, Auguste Allaire eighth, and Jack Flynn finished out the day in ninth.  

Day Two came with sunny skies and temps hovering in the single digits. Athletes wore protective masks to keep their breath warm and coaches were bundled up to fight off the cold.

In the 10km freestyle mass start race, David Shycon found himself on the podium for a second time, finishing second overall in the U20 men’s race. Teammates Otus Beason and Galen Grohusky were close behind in sixth and seventh respectively, along with Dave Walters in 17th.

Also skiing the 10km distance, Emma Singer was fifth and Mia Schaffner finished sixth in the U20 women’s race.

Next up was the U18 men and women, racing a 10km freestyle mass start and braving the cold temps. Cora Faye Scott won the day by an impressive 32 seconds in the girl’s race. Jodie Maguire was also consistent, finishing with another fourth place and Mazzy Conners skied to a strong ninth place. Teammates Wren Hassman and Lucy Carter finished 19th and 32nd respectively.

Teddy Hobbs again led the way for SVSEF U18 boys finishing 20th overall, followed by Whit Brown (27th) and Stratton Cunningham (31st). 

The U16’s raced a 5km freestyle mass start with times ranging from 16:03 to 19:50. Cyrus Pott led SVSEF in ninth place, followed closely by Tait Boschen (18th), Duncan Fryberger (21st), Townes Van Der Meulen (30th) and Felix Wilson (31st).

Dylan Buck led the SVSEF girls in 29th, followed by Cora Schrader Brozowski (33rd) and Vivian Cunningham (35th).

The races continued to get quicker, with the U14’s, and U12’s racing a 3km freestyle mass start.  

In the girls U14 race, Stella St. George finished 11th with a pack of teammates just seconds behind. Josephine Renner finished 13th, followed by Sydney Nelson (15th), Tessa Dondero (17th), Satchel Swindley (19th) and Piper Gerald (20th). Owen Wellner led the boys in 10th, followed by Jake Jacoby (14th), Cameron Gilman (15th), and Angus Ramsay(18th).

Payton Daley Scheingraber took the top spot for the U12 girls, winning the 2k race with a time of 6:49. The U12 boys raced to strong finishes with Cody Lloyd in fifth, Auguste Allaire in eighth, and Jack Flynn in ninth. 

“It was a great start to the season for the SVSEF XC Comp and Prep Teams, said Becky Flynn, SVSEF XC Program Director. The coaches were dialed in, the energy was high, and this set the stage for a great weekend of racing. The athletes showed their resilience by racing through some tough weather conditions and staying positive.”

The next Junior National Qualifier will be Jan. 25-26 at Soldier Hollow, Utah.

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