Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Sammy Smith took home a first-place finish in the U18 women’s 5-kilometer Classic race, and a second-place finish in the 10-kilometer Free at the Western Junior Nordic Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah, over the weekend (March 11-13).

Smith took top honors with a time of 14 minutes, 4.8 seconds in the 5k Classic, and then clocked in at 28 minutes, 21.7 seconds in the 10k Free.

“These were really hard conditions,” SVSEF Nordic comp head coach Ashley Knox said. “These were gutsy races across the board. All of our athletes had great races.”

The Western Junior Nordic Championships were held in lieu of the regular Junior Nordic Championships. Because of COVID-19, organizers split to make the event regional.

“The West is still very competitive so these results from SVSEF are respectable,” Knox added.

Also having a strong performance over the weekend was Anika Vandenburgh, who took first in the U16 women’s 1.5k Free with a time of 4:13.2.

Vandenburgh also took ninth in the 5k Free with 17:23.4, and then 18th in the 5k Classic with 16:56.1.

On the men’s side, Galen Grohusky took third in the men’s 5k Classic with 13:41.2. Grohusky also took 13th in the men’s 5k Free with 15:13. He then took 14th in the 1.5k Free with 3:48.1.

Elijah Weenig took home a pair of fourth-place finishes in the U20 category for the 1.5k Free with 3:26, then again with the 10k Free with 26:14.6. Weenig also took fifth in the 10k Classic with 24:48.2.

Cora Scott took eighth place in the women’s U16 5k Classic with 16:16. She also took 11th in the 5k Free (17:27.1) and 13th in the 1.5k Free (4:30.6).

Anja Grover took ninth in the women’s U18 1.5k Free (4:15.5), 21st in the 10k Free (32:21.1) and 19th in the 5k Classic (16:02.4).

Dexter Morrison took 19th in the men’s 1.5k Free (3:50), 20th in the 5k Free (15:23.4) and 27th in the 5k Classic (14:38).

Up next for SVSEF is the Tour de Sun Valley this upcoming weekend from March 19-21 at the Lake Creek Nordic Trails North of Ketchum.

Email the writer: sports@mtexpress.com

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