A new event called the Western Club Championships and staged by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation attracted 67 young cross-country ski racers from five states to Galena Lodge Saturday and Sunday, March 22-23.
Events were an individual classic race (7.5k/5k/2.5k distances) and Terrain Park challenge on Saturday, and 4x2.5-kilometer mixed technique relays Sunday morning. Age classes were U-18/U-20, U-16 and U-14 (ages 12-13).
Bluebird Sun Valley conditions and great snow greeted the participants including 10 SVSEF kids. Spring Break affected the local turnout.
Park City (Utah) won the nine-club competition totals over Bridger Ski Foundation (Montana) and Sugar Bowl Academy (Ca.) Sun Valley finished fourth as a team.
For Sun Valley, Eli Jensen won the U-16 boys’ 5-kilometer classic race by one second in 21:07 and Ellie Gorham captured the Terrain Park U-14 girls’ event. Top local class placings and times included:
Classic race: 1—Eli Jensen (U16, 21:07). 4—Ellie Gorham (U14 at 2.5k, 14:37). 8—Cooper Roquet (U16, 23:55). 11—Grace Gorham (U18/U20 at 7.5k, 43:16) and Carter Ros (U18/U20, 33:05). 12—Cheyanne Stopol (U18/U20, 51:51). 15—Kirsys Campbell (U16, 29:58).
Terrain Park: 1—Ellie Gorham (U14). 2—Eli Jensen (u16). 4—Cooper Roquet (U16). 5—Grace Gorham (U18/U20). 10—Cheyanne Stopol (U18/U20). 11—Loni Unser (U18/U20). 15—Kirsys Campbell (U16).
Mixed relay (18 teams): 12—Carter Ros, Loni Unser, Eli Jensen, Grace Gorham. 15—Taylor Koth, Cheyanne Stopol, Derek Thompson, Cooper Roquet.