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SVSEF XC Programs Make Changes at Key Positions
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Chris Mallory shares a moment with Jake Adicoff on the ski trails in in Toblach, Italy.
   
Tuesday, June 11, 2024
 

BY HEATHER FOSTER

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Cross Country Program has placed two longtime coaches at the helm of the SVSEF XC Comp Team and XC Gold Team.

Chris Mallory, eight-year SVSEF XC Gold Team Head Coach, has been hired as the new XC Comp Team Head Coach. Peter Holmes, a SVSEF XC Gold Team member from 2016 to 2020 and current SVSEF XC Post-Grad Head Coach, will take succeed Mallory as the XC Gold Team Head Coach.  

Chris Mallory brings years of knowledge and coaching experience to his new position with the Comp Team, which offers year-round training and racing opportunities for high school skiers. Mallory comes directly from coaching the Gold Team through one of its most successful seasons ever with every team member competing at the World Cup level. They had 34 World Cup starts among them, and one of them--Jake Adicoff--was crowned 2024 Para Nordic VI World Champion.

 
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Peter Holmes wraps himself in the flag, along with Sammy Smith, who carved out a name for herself on the world circuit this year.
 

Mallory started with SVSEF in 2016 as a Devo Coach working with the youngest of SVSEF’s athletes. From there he moved into an Assistant Comp Team role alongside Rick Kapala and Ashley Knox. He worked with the Post-Grad team for a few years before taking a hiatus and coaching collegiately for three years at ski powerhouse University of Vermont.

He was lured back to the Wood River Valley to take over the XC Gold Team in 2016 and has been in that role since.

After a national search for the new Comp Team Head Coach, Mallory was the clear front runner to lead the program.

“We are thrilled that Chris accepted the position and will be leading the Comp Team,” said Becky Flynn, SVSEF Cross Country Program Director. “We are so lucky to have someone with his ski training and racing knowledge, experience and expertise taking over this role. He inherits a strong group of skiers, many of whom have competed both nationally and internationally, as well as newcomers to the sport. It is a great mix of young athletes willing to put time and energy into a sport they love. It will be exciting to see where he can take this group.”

Mallory will assume the new role and leadership of the Comp Team immediately. Having him in town allows for a seamless transition with no interruptions for team training. The team is already out training on roller skis and hiking in the mountains, preparing for next year's race season. 

The athletes are thrilled to be working with Chris. Molly Maybach, an upcoming senior on the Comp Team shared, “Chris is awesome—this is going to be a fun season!”

When asked about making the shift to the Comp Team, Mallory said, “I am excited about forming great relationships with the athletes and helping guide them as they reach their goals in skiing and beyond. It was rewarding to chase international performances with the Gold Team and see that excitement trickle down to our juniors and the broader ski community. I’m looking forward to building on the strong foundation of success that surrounds the team at the local level.” 

Chris Mallory’s Career Highlights:

2001 - 2005: University of New Hampshire Nordic Ski Team; four-time NCAA Skiing Championship competitor

2005 - 2006: Started as SVSEF Devo Coach working with Dave Bingham

2006 - 2013: SVSEF Comp Team Assistant Coach with Rick Kapala (3 years)

2011 - 2013: SVSEF Post-Grad Coach 

2013 - 2016: University of Vermont Assistant Coach

2016 - 2024: SVSEF XC Gold Team Coach

2007, 2009, 2010, 2021: Wax Tech for Junior World Championships

2022: Coached at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games

2023: Coached at Ostersund Sweden Para Nordic World Championships

2024: Coached at numerous Cross Country World Cups

While Chris Mallory is taking the reins of the Comp Team as Head Coach, Peter Holmes, former SVSEF XC Gold Team member (2016-2020) and current SVSEF XC Post-Grad Head Coach, will take over as the XC Gold Team Head Coach.  

Holmes, who spent four years on the Gold Team will now have the opportunity to lead the program into the 2024-25 season and beyond.  

"I am super excited to be stepping into the role of Gold Team Head Coach,” said Holmes. “I have learned a lot from Chris, both from when I was an athlete on the Gold Team and while I was working with him as a coach the last few years. I have worked with Jake [Adicoff] and Peter [Wolter] in the past, and it will be good to spend more time with them in training and on the road. I am also looking forward to bringing on new athletes and trying to build up the team into a larger training group. I'm really excited for this new chapter of my coaching career and with the Gold Team. It's going to be super fun and I'm ready for it!"

Gold Team athlete and current World Champion Jake Adicoff said that Holmes has been a huge Gold Team asset, both as an athlete and as an ad hoc assistant to Chris.

“We know him, we’ve worked with him, and we’re really excited to have him as the new full time coach,” Adicoff said. “And, as a friend, I’m very proud of him for taking on this new role and I have a ton of confidence in his ability to lead this team.”

Holmes is a California native and has been with the SVSEF XC program since 2018 when he raced for the Gold Team. He was a high-level sprinter, and has numerous World Cup starts to his name. As a collegiate athlete for the University of New Hampshire, he competed in three NCAA Championships and was a leader on the team. Prior to that he was a two-time U18 Junior National Champion. 

“We are so fortunate to have the talent right here in our own coaching staff to make this coaching transition,” said Flynn. “Peter has been working closely with Chris over the past few years and understands the nuances of the position. In this role, you have to be good at a lot of things. Peter has been honing his waxing knowledge and is ready to take this next step, and we are here to support him in all that he brings to the Gold Team.”

Peter Holmes’ Career Highlights:

Two-time U18 Junior National Champion

2014-2017: Three-time NCAA Skiing Championship competitor for University of New Hampshire

2014-2017: Tahoe Cross Country summer Devo Coach

2018-2022: SVSEF XC Gold Team Member, 18 World Cup starts

2020: 3rd in U.S. National Championship Sprint

2021-2023: SVSEF XC Assistant Comp Team coach

2022: Wax Tech/Coach with US Development team at Opa Cup Races

2023-2024: SVSEF XC Post Grad Head Coach and Summer Training Group Coach/Assistant Comp Team Coach

2024: Wax Tech for Junior World/U23 Championships, Planicia, Slovenia

2024: Wax Tech for Junior National Championships, Lake Placid, NY

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