|At Prairie Creek along Saturday's 32-kilometer Boulder Mountain Ski Tour course, eventual winner Sylvan Ellefson of Vail, Colo. (left) limbers up on the skate avenue with Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation racer Kevin Bolger (right) poling right along.
Express photo by Willy Cook
As race announcer Jody Zarkos said, it couldn’t have been a better day for weather and course conditions during the SWIX Boulder Mountain Ski Tour on Saturday north of Ketchum in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Having a very good Groundhog Day were the winners of the 38th running of the 32-kilometer (19.8-mile) freestyle race. They were lanky, two-time king Sylvan Ellefson, 26, of Vail, Colo. and first-time women’s winner Lauren Fritz, 24, of Anchorage, Alaska.
Vail Mountain School and Bates College graduate Ellefson broke from a competitive lead pack of 12 skiers and won his second Boulder Tour in three years with a time of 1.09:08, a little more than two minutes off his winning pace of 2011.
“Biggest, deepest lead pack I’ve seen at the Boulder,” said Ellefson, who measures 6 feet-2 inches. “I’m a big Nordic skier, though, and I tend to carry my speed and recover well on the downhill aspect of the course. I knew the guys behind me were good sprinters so I needed to get ahead and stay ahead.”
Ellefson, reigning USSA SuperTour men’s champ, nipped Alaskan Mark Iverson, 30, at the finish and also had a better time than fourth-place Mike Sinnott, 28, of Ketchum, the 2008 Boulder Tour champ. Sinnott and Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation teammates Matt Gelso, Kevin Bolger and Patrick Johnson placed 4-6-8-9.
“The pace was slower than two years ago, but it definitely picked up toward the end,” said Ellefson. “Matt Gelso had a little break to take the lead with four kilometers to go. I skied as hard as I could, caught up and passed. Taking the lead was the only way I figured I could finish in the top three.”
Ellefson, now a winner in both his Boulder starts and 10th in the 2010 American Birkebeiner, is aiming for the 41st American Birkebeiner in Wisconsin Feb. 23. That’s the final stop on the 2012-13 USSA SuperTour schedule before the circuit finals and U.S. Long Course Nationals April 3-11 at Tahoe and Truckee, Ca.
The two-time Bates All-American and last year’s national 15k freestyle bronze medalist plans to defend his 2011 championship at the Feb. 10 Owl Creek Chase 21k freestyle event that is part of this weekend’s Aspen Nordic Festival in Aspen/Snowmass, Co.
Middlebury College graduate Fritz, from Chugiak/Eagle River, Alaska and skiing her first Boulder Tour, survived two falls during Saturday’s race. She won a flat-out drag race with three other speedy women in the final 200 meters to capture the $1,600 women’s first-place prize in 1.18:57, good for 49th overall of 669 racers.
Fritz reported on her blog that the snow was fast and firm, and the women’s lead pack bunched up. So when she fell at the 15k and 26k points along the course, Fritz said she had to hustle and catch up to make it a race. She said she borrowed the skis that three-time Boulder Tour queen Evelyn Dong had used before in winning the Sun Valley event.
Placing third in that fast pack was Brooke Hovey, 40, of Ketchum just ahead of fourth-place Alexa Turzian, 24, of Hailey. Hovey is a two-time Boulder Tour women’s champion who still holds the course record of 1.12:36 set 10 years ago.
Fritz and Alaska Pacific University teammate Mark Iverson also won $150 each for taking the NordicTown USA Sprint coed sprint relay competition Thursday, Jan. 31 in downtown Ketchum. They defeated second-place Brooke Hovey and Mike Sinnott. Third place went to Alexa Turzian and Patrick Johnson.
Since the Boulder Tour was the freestyle portion of last week’s American Cross Country Skiers (AXCS) National Masters Championships at Sun Valley, several local age class winners were national champs:
Matt Gelso, Jon Engen, Del Pletcher, Andy Andrews, James Olson, Norman Clark, 86-year-old Charley French (14 minutes and 16 seconds faster than last year), Brooke Lawrence, Brooke Hovey, Elizabeth Youngman, Linda McClatchy, Gabriele Andersen, Grace Dyck and Shauna Thoreson.
Generally, Saturday’s finishing times were anywhere between four minutes and 12 minutes faster than last year. See the next two Local Life editions of the Express for more photos from the 2013 Ski Tour.
2013 BoulderMountain Ski Tour Results
February 2, 2013, the 38th annual 32-kilometer (19.8-mile) cross-country ski tour. The course started at Senate Creek near Galena Lodge Touring Center 23 miles north of Ketchum and ended at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters 8 miles north of Ketchum. Of 669 racers who finished the 32k course—45 fewer than last year and 101 fewer than two years ago—424 were male and 245 female. Senior racers were Charley French, 86, of Ketchum and Shauna Thoreson, 79, of Ketchum. Youngest were Sydney Palmer-Leger, 10, of Park City, Utah and Aidan Rasmussen, 10, also of Park City. Of the 669 finishers, 126 or 19% of the total field listed Wood River Valley addresses, meaning 81% came from out of the valley, up 3% from last year. Finishing times of the locals who completed the course are listed by class in hours, minutes and seconds. Complete results at bouldermountaintour.com.
1—Lauren Fritz, 24, Anchorage, Ak. 1.18:57.12. 2—Corrine Malcolm, Hayward, Wisc. 1.18:57.23. 3—Brooke Hovey, Ketchum 1.18:57.61. 4—Alexa Turzian, Ketchum, 1.18:58.20. 5—Bethann Chamberlin, Boulder, Co. 1.19:42.
Podium: 1—Shauna Thoreson, Ketchum 2.36:03. 2—Joanne Davis, Sun Valley 2.43:33.
Podium: 1—Grace Dyck, Hailey 1.45:51. 2—Jenny Busdon, Ketchum 2.06:05. 3—Nancy Lockspeiser, Denver, Co. 2.55:09.
Also: 4—JoAnn Levy, Sun Valley 2.59:06.
Podium: 1—Gabriele Andersen, Sun Valley 1.40:47. 2—Dagmar Eriksson, 66, Bend, Ore. 1.47:39. 3—Nancy Bauer, Champlin, Minn. 2.07:08.
Podium: 1—Linda McClatchy, Hailey 1.42:09. 2—Janet Conway, Alta, Wyo. 1.47:38. 3—Carol Mutzel, Sun Valley 1.52:07.
Also: 5—Charlotte Alexander 1.53:26. 7—Marilyn Celano 1.59:24. 10—Anne Jeffery 2.20:51.
Podium: 1—Katie Meyer, Crested Butte, Co. 1.29:56. 2—Kathleen Nalen, Ketchum 1.33:04. 3—EJ Harpham, Bellevue 1.34:48.
Also: 8—Katharine Sheldon 1.43:44. 10—Gloria Kimball 1.44:15. 11—Brenda Spackman 1.45:38. 12—Patricia Klahr 1.47:44. 17—Alexandra Sundali 2.01:16. 23—Deb Cornwell 2.11:17. 25—Francette Labatut 2.13:50. 28—Gloria Kowalski 2.29:48. 29—Ellie Ellis 2.37:08. 30—Gloria Gunter 2.44:36.
Podium: 1—Elizabeth Youngman, Sun Valley 1.24:44. 2—Roxanne Toly, Park City, Utah 1.24:45.7. 3—Kelly Milligan, Park City 1.24:45.9.
Also: 4—Kelly Allison 1.27:59. 9—Sue Engelmann 1.33:26. 12—Susan Thoreson 1.34:48. 13—Darlene Young 1.37:27. 15—Leigh Morse 1.41:43. 19—Joney Otteson 1.45:29. 23—Kelly Martin 1.48:23. 24—Lucy Bourret 1.49:04. 36—Laurie Breedveld 2.16:40. 41—Karen Ogilvie 2.23:36.
Podium: 1—Tanya Swenson, Park City 1.27:54. 2—Lynn Ware-Peek, Park City, 1.29:59. 3—Darla McRoberts, Boise 1.30:01.
Also: 10—Kirsten Ritzau 1.38:15. 17—Gretchen Flint 1.43:01. 19—Lia Johnson 1.49:40. 21—Kristina Kind 1.51:25. 23—Debbie Greenberg 1.55:09. 27—Ellen Gillespie 2.03:32. 33—Yuhko Grossman 2.21:14. 35—Kari Bohlke 2.36:24.
Podium: 1—Brooke Hovey, Ketchum 1.18:57. 2—Mary Wellington, Bend 1.21:49. 3—Karen Oppenheimer, Bend 1.29:53.
Also: 12—Janelle Conners 1.37:53. 13—Tizz Miller 1.38:21. 16—Martha Pendl 1.42:15. 20—Anne Brunelle 1.47:25. 25—Molly Page 1.51:38. 26—Courtney Gilbert 1.52:45. 34—Cygnia Rapp 1.59:41. 40—Jenny Emery-Davidson 2.27:22.
Podium: 1—Sarah Max, Bend 1.21:45. 2—Brandy Stewart, Bozeman, Mt. 1.21:46. 3—Jessica Jensen, Boise 1.27:51.
Also: 8—Cortney Vandenburgh 1.34:59. 10—Kirsten Dehart 1.39:43.
Podium: 1—Bethann Chamberlain, Boulder, Co. 1.19:42. 2—Stacey McCooey, Kamas, Utah 1.24:42. 3—Megan Spurkland, Homer, Ak. 1.24:44.
Also: 4—Kate Whitcomb 1.29:30. 5—Jessica Wasilewski 1.34:59.
Podium: 1—Carina Hamel, Portland, Ore. 1.21:46.5. 2—Stephanie Howe, Bend 1.21:46.8. 3—Kat Carr, Salt Lake City, Utah 1.27:44.
Also: 6—Emily Olsen 1.30:43. 9—Laura Speck 1.50:35. 12—Amber Marsh 2.49:49.
Podium: 1—Lauren Fritz, Anchorage, Ak. 1.18:57.1. 2—Corrine Malcolm, Hayward, Wisc. 1.18:57.2. 3—Alexa Turzian, Hailey 1.18:58.
Also: 5—Carrie Heagney, 20, Bozeman, Mt. 1.32:31.
Podium: 1—Brooke Lawrence, Ketchum 1.35:59. 2—Sam Scholz, Terrebonne, Ore. 1.39:47. 3—Natalie Ulum, Redmond, Ore. 1.42:20.
Podium: 1—Sydney Palmer-Leger, Park City 1.37:09. 2—Jenae Rasmussen, Park City 1.43:24. 3—Sienna Leger Redel, Park City 1.44:39.
Also: 4—Lilian Brunelle 1.47:24.
1—Sylvan Ellefson, 26, Vail, Co. 1.09:08.7. 2—Mark Iverson, Anchorage, Ak. 1.09:09.2. 3—Peter Kling, Anchorage, Ak. 1.09:09.51. 4—Mike Sinnott, Ketchum 1.09:09.57. 5—Jeremy Teela, Park City 1.09:09.73. 6—Matt Gelso, Ketchum 1.09:09.74. 9—Patrick Johnson, Ketchum 1.09:10.8.
Podium: 1—Charley French, Ketchum 2.12:53.
Podium: 1—Norman Clark, Ketchum 2.40:21.
Podium: 1—James Olson, Sun Valley 1.48:34. 2—Jack Wilson, Truckee, Ca. 2.00:55. 3—Dick Hunt, Bend, Ore. 2.04:54.
Also: 6—William Pryor 3.27:33.
Podium: 1—Andy Andrews, Hailey 1.33:32. 2—Tullio Celano, Hailey 1.43:46. 3—Raliegh Jensen, Boise 1.44:30.
Also: 4—Sam East 2.01:12.
Podium: 1—Del Pletcher, Sun Valley 1.21:47. 2—Murray Banks, Underhill, Vt. 1.21:50. 3—Thomas Stokes, Truckee, Ca. 1.34:42.
Also: 15—Edward Miller 1.52:15. 16—Edward Flood 1.53:09. 18—Roger Miller 1.59:38. 19—Marshall Peterson 2.05:37. 20—Carl Bontrager 2.15:30.
Podium: 1—Donald Bauder, Big Fork, Mt. 1.19:06. 2—Tom Noaker, Oakley, Utah 1.21:59. 3—Peter Harris, Derby Line, Vt. 1.23:00.
Also: 5—Jim McClatchy 1.24:35. 10—Pat Simpson 1.27:35. 15—Sigi Vogl 1.37:01. 31—James Keller 1.48:50. 34—Matt Gervase 1.50:49. 35—Jay Hagenbuch 1.51:08. 42—Olav Ruud 2.15:15.
Podium: 1—Jon Engen, Ketchum 1.15:29. 2—Kris Thoreson, Sun Valley 1.19:10. 3—Paul Smith, Park City, Utah 1.20:44.
Also: 5—Brian Elkins 1.23:01. 9—Dave Bingham 1.25:05. 12—Jon Holmquist 1.30:17. 27—Peter Palmedo 1.39:35. 38—Andrew Hawley 1.43:45. 41—Roger Mankus 1.46:52. 42—Keith Perry 1.47:23. 44—Will Raff 1.48:47. 45—Thad Farnham 1.50:41. 56—Steve Edsall 2.00:00. 64—Peter Rysavy 2.29:48.
Podium: 1—Barry Makarewicz, Salt Lake City 1.12:15. 2—Eric Wilbrecht, Jackson, Wyo. 1.15:35. 3—Don Pollari, Boise 1.19:03.
Also: 6—Jim Santa 1.23:03. 13—Bruce Rogers 1.26:39. 28—Mike Long 1.37:05.
Podium: 1—Eric Jensen, Boise 1.11:24. 2—Daryl Hegerle, Boise 1.17:36. 3—Eric Swanson, Salt Lake City 1.19:03.
Also: 10—Jeff Ford 1.23:40. 17—Chris Williams 1.26:43. 20—Joel Brazil 1.27:05. 21—Brett Hanson 1.28:00. 23—Lee Melly 1.30:04. 33—Juerg Stauffacher 1.37:50. 35—John Baker 1.43:38. 37—Kurt Eggers 1.44:28. 40—James Gillespie 1.48:32. 44—Jeff Lamoureux 1.53:29.
Podium: 1—Jason Travis, Park City 1.11:24. 2—Nathan Schultz, Boulder, Co. 1.12:48. 3—Dressen, Ogden, Utah 1.15:29.
Also: 13—Lee Roquet 1.23:06. 15—Bill McCann 1.25:39. 17—Steve Smith 1.26:23. 19—Tom Dehart 1.27:06. 23—John Kurtz 1.30:44. 29—Eric Huus 1.34:36. 31—Chris Pic 1.37:08. 39—Mark Davidson 1.57:53.
Podium: 1—Jeremy Teela, Park City 1.09:09.7. 2—Samuel Cordell, Mt. Hood, Ore. 1.09:59. 3—Eli Brown, Williamsburg, Mi. 1.10:48.
Also: 7—Sam Young 1.18:40. 12—Travis Vandenburgh 1.24:32. 20—Lucas Thomas 1.52:50.
Podium: 1—Mark Iverson, Anchorage, Ak. 1.09:09.2. 2—Kurt Wolf, McCall 1.10:54. 3—Jan Spurkland, Homer, Ak. 1.11:23.
Also: 19—Omar Bermejo 1.34:08. 23—David Wright 1.39:49. 31—Keith Anspach 2.07:56.
Podium: 1—Sylvan Ellefson, Vail, Co. 1.09:08.7. 2—Peter Kling, Anchorage 1.09:09.5. 3—Mike Sinnott, Ketchum 1.09:09.7.
Also: 10—David Vanderpool 1.13:20.
Podium: 1—Matt Gelso, Ketchum 1.09:09. 2—Kevin Bolger, Ketchum 1.09:10. 6. 3—Patrick Johnson, Ketchum 1.09:10.8.
Podium: 1—Landon Beckner, Helena, Mt. 1.13:23. 2—Joseph Donogue, Bend 1.37:38. 3—Isaac Chrisman, Boise 1.50:08.
Podium: 1—Drew Palmer-Leger, Park City 1.23:26. 2—James Roloff, Boise 1.35:28. 3—Henry Raff, Hailey 1.46:55. 5—Cash Dart 2.36:22.
Nordic skiers rake up honors at nationals
Local cross-country skiers tucked away national titles and podium positions during two events of the American Cross Country Skiers (AXCS) National Masters Championships at Sun Valley Nordic last week.
Ten gold medals plus four other podiums went to Wood River skiers in Thursday’s 10-kilometer classic race for 93 racers. Winners were Chris Mallory of Ketchum (25:31) and Kelly Milligan of Park City, Utah (29:17, 17th place).
Besides Men’s 30-34 winner Mallory, local age class gold medalists at nationals were:
Jon Engen (Men 55-59) 27:03 for 8th place overall; Abbie Harris (Women 30-34) 30:02 for 2nd place among 32 women and 20th overall; Del Pletcher (Men 65-69) 30:21 for 21st overall; and Muffy Ritz (55-59) 31:42 29th overall, 5th woman;
Also with gold, Gabriele Andersen (Women 65-69) 33:09; Andy Andrews (70-74) 33:15; Grace Dyck (70-74) 40:24; Charley French (85-plus) 46:20; and Norman Clark (80-84) 50:53.
Silver medalists were: Elizabeth Youngman (50-54) 31:31 for 4th place among women, 27th overall; Tullio Celano (Men 70-74) 37:21; and Marilyn Celano (60-64) 40:36. Taking the bronze was EJ Harpham (55-59) 35:42.
Other locals and their class placings: 5—Pat Simpson (Men 60-64) 33:59, Karen Simpson (60-64) 46:17 and Dick Andersen (65-69) 35:52. 6—Joney Otteson (50-54) 36:53. 11—Michael Dunham (60-64) 43:12.
The 15-year-old AXCS organization of citizen racers 25-and-up also staged a 3.3k skate prologue race for 42 skiers including seven locals.
Overall winner was U.S. Paralympian Andrew Soule, 33, of San Antonio, Texas. A sit skier, Soule became the only American in either the Olympics or Paralympics to win a medal in biathlon when he captured the 2.4-kilometer pursuit bronze in 2010 at Whistler, B.C., Canada. Soule’s time Thursday was 7:04.6 for a 15-second win over Wilhelm Northrop of Boise. The women’s winner was Muffy Ritz, 8:37.6.
Besides Ritz, who placed 12th overall of 42 racers, local prologue gold medalists were Chad Riggs (35-39) in 13:46, Jet Turner (50-54) in 23:52, Jon Engen (55-59) in 8:30 and Mel Dyck (70-74) in 12:05. Others by class placing: 4—Omar Bermejo 9:00. 5—Eric Huus 9:11.