Sun Valley, ID — Zack Simons successfully defended his Boulder Mountain Tour title, while Evelyn Dong improved on her third place finish in 2009 to take the title in 2010.
Simons captured the title in a tight race that saw the top four places separated by less than three seconds. Edged to second place was Didrik Smith, finishing just three-tenths of a second behind Simons. Marshall Greene, 1.4 seconds off Smith’s pace, finished third.
The Steinbock Racing Team had reason to celebrate, placing three athletes in the top eight with Simons in first, Andrew Johnson in fifth, and Carl Swenson taking eighth.
In the women’s race, Dong skied away from the field, putting a 27 second gap on second place finisher Zoe Roy at the finish. Chelsea Holmes finished third, eight seconds off Roy’s pace.
In both the men’s and women’s races, three junior racers skied to solid results in the top ten. 19-year-old Erik Fagerstrom, originally from Eden Prairie, MN, found himself just short of the podium with a fourth place finish, while Marshall Opel, 18, from Bozeman was nipped at the line by Swenson and took ninth. Liza Goodwin, 19, from Keene, NY skied to an impressive sixth place result in a competitive women’s field.
The 30km Boulder Mountain Tour is one of the classic American ski races. Starting up at Galena Lodge, the point-to-point course winds for 32km down the valley to finish at the Sawtooth National Recreation Headquarters, 1100 feet lower. Because the significant elevation drop makes for fast skiing, the field usually stays tightly bunched, with a large pack of elite skiers at the front.
Nearly 700 racers completed the 35th Boulder Mountain Tour, with an additional 130 racers taking part in the “Half Boulder” 15k event.