CommunityNewsRegional / LocalElite Team Preview: Sun Valley XC Gold Team

Gavin Kentch Gavin KentchNovember 20, 2021
SVSEF XC Gold Team. (photo: courtesy SVSEF)

Team name and location: Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation XC Gold Team (Sun Valley or SVSEF); Ketchum, Idaho

Coach: Chris Mallory

Current roster: Kevin Bolger, Katie Feldman, Sarah Goble, Sam Wood, Karl Schulz, Johnny Hagenbuch, Peter Holmes, Peter Wolter, Jake Adicoff

Who’s new: Peter Wolter and Jake Adicoff

Who’s missing: n/a

Who’s still on this team, or otherwise involved in American skiing, from when we did this in 2012: No one; Simi Hamilton recently retired, and Patrick Johnson was long involved in coaching, but no one currently

SVSEF athletes at the 2021 American Birkebeiner. (photo: courtesy SVSEF)

Top results last season: Bolger made five individual sprint heats last season, highlighted by 6th in the final in Dresden and 13th in Davos in the quarters, both in December. He finished the season ranked 16th in the Sprint Cup, and based on that metric, is the top returning American sprinter now that Simi Hamilton (14th) has retired. Hagenbuch made his World Cup debut with a pair of March distance races in Engadin, SUI (69th and 72nd) and had three starts at World Juniors in Vuokatti, FIN in February, with a best finish of 17th in the 10-kilometer skate. Domestically, he had two second-place finishes against deep regional fields in Soldier Hollow in January. Holmes raced in the World Cup sprint weekend in Ulricehamn, SWE last February, and was first and fourth in Soho January sprints.

Domestically, the team had a very strong showing in the American Birkebeiner, with a combined nine top-10 finishes between the men’s and women’s skate and classic fields. In the skate race, Hagenbuch won the men’s race, with Wood 2nd, Schulz 9th, and Holmes 10th. Feldman was 4th for the women. In the women’s classic race, Feldman was 3rd. For the men, Hagenbuch was 2nd, Sam Wood 6th, and Holmes 8th.

Going back to March 2020, Feldman was scheduled to make her World Cup debut in the ill-fated Québec City races. Bolger and Holmes had starts for the men.

Rollerski treadmill training, summer 2021. (photo: courtesy SVSEF)

Coach’s comments: Here’s Chris Mallory on the new additions to the team: “Peter [Wolter] came up through the SVSEF program and is finishing up at Middlebury this spring. Jake [Adicoff, a visually impaired skier and biathlete] didn’t compete much the last few seasons, but found the fire again this past year and will also ski with the US Paralympic Team this season. One of our other current Gold Teamers, Sam Wood, will work as Jake’s guide, so that’s exciting going into Bejiing.”

And here’s Mallory on recent training and the current team mood: “The training season has been going well. With the full team returning we were able to push the training pretty hard. We spent a large portion of the summer training in Sun Valley, so we had a lot of consistency there, but we were also able to add some camps again which was nice. We did a May Bend Camp, teamed up with BSF and Stratton some to put together an intensity block in Lake Placid, and recently spent a week in Park City with the National team. Kevin just traveled to Sweden to start prepping in Scandinavia for the World Cups, while the rest of the squad just arrived in Canmore yesterday to get some early snow time in at Frozen Thunder.

SVSEF athletes, fall 2021. (photo: courtesy SVSEF)

“We’re looking forward to a busy domestic race circuit. After spending last season racing regionally and putting together time trials to keep the motivation up, the team is looking forward to seeing friends again and the added competition the national circuit brings. SVSEF is hosting the post-Nationals SuperTour in January as a big Intermountain junior event/RMISA collegiate race, so we’re really looking forward to that as well.”

Related coverage: September 2021 piece on Bolger’s summer training; 2019 Nordic Nation interview with Bolger; recent Expressen (Swedish tabloid) piece featuring Swedish sprinter Maja Dahlqvist’s plea to be able to see her boyfriend, Bolger, more this season: “you cannot stop love”

Previously in this series: BSF | SMS | Team Birkie

SVSEF athletes, summer 2021. (photo: courtesy SVSEF)
Gavin Kentch

Gavin Kentch

Gavin Kentch is a lifelong Alaskan. He skis with the Alaska Pacific University Masters team in Anchorage, plays with his two adorable daughters, and occasionally works as a solo attorney. He has a cat named Marit. He was probably on snow this year before you were.

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