Comp Team Coaching Staff and Bios
Rick Kapala Head Coach, Nordic Program Director: Rick is the fearless leader and driving force behind the SVSEF Nordic Program, which he has been part of for 26 of his 33 years coaching. Rick is originally from Sterling Hts, Michigan and graduated from Michigan Technological University where he studied Biological Sciences. While Rick offers endless support to the Nordic Program he is personally supported by his wonderful wife Bridget. Rick has been part of the nordic world for a good part of his life; skiing on the MTU Varsity Ski Team for 4 years and placing 17th in the 1979 Escanaba Nordic Challenge. Rick has been named USSA Cross Country Coach of the Year 3 times in his career and coached internationally for the USA at World Juniors, World Championships, and Polar Cup. When he isn't chasing SVSEF Nordic skiers around the trails Rick can be found fly fishing and mountain biking or just generally enjoying the outdoors. A few things that you might not know about Rick but probably should is that; he played in a hair band, won a golf tournament and once killed his girlfriend's dog.
Chris Mallory Head PG Coach
: Chris, Fuzzy, C-Mal, or Lambie as he is known around the hut, hails from Colchester Vermont and is a graduate of The Unitversity of New Hampshire but has been coaching with SVSEF for 7 ears. During his free time Chris can be found Tele Skiing, Mtn Biking or playing wiffle ball both indoors and out but truthfully his heart lies with Nordic. Chris grew up XC skiing and racing in the Bill Koch Ski League in New England where he was a "pretty big deal", he even won a couple of Vermont State Championships. Chris skied with the Mora Skigymnasium in Sweden for a year after high school and highlighted the year with getting to race in the Vasaloppet. After leaving Sweden Chris then skied for UNH for 4 years in college and eventually found his way into the Wood River Valley. Three years ago Chris was a coach with the US World Junior Team in France, and he frequently helps out the Sun Valley Gold Team with their waxing and coaching needs. While most XC skiers in the valley might know Chris as a Wax Guru one thing you might not know about him is that he is a pretty good wiffleball player, he boasts to have won 7 of the last 10 games against Rick Kapala in the PWL (Professional Wiffleball League). Chris is also an accomplished drummer on Rock Band.
Ashley McQueen: Ashley is a Hailey local and SVSEF alumni, she graduated from the University of Utah and has been coaching with SVSEF for the last 6 years. During the very small off season from Nordic, Ashley works as a gardener with Just Flowers, as an outdoor instructor at The Community School and she moonlights as a sales person at Backwoods Mountain Sports. Ashley is a long time skier and lover of the outdoors she spends as much of her free time outside as possible enjoying, Tele Skiing, Backcountry Skiing, Mountain Biking (she is a Mud Honey) and taking her dog, Carter, out on a run or to play. Ashley's parents had her skiing on Dollar when she was just 2 and when she was old enough for the Kinder-cup they had her racing. Ashley proudly recognizes the Kinder-Cup as the highlight of her alpine racing career but when her Dad got tired of pulling her out of nets on race course she began looking for a new winter sport... In the 7th grade Ashely joined the SVSEF Nordic Prep Team and in the 8th grade she won her first race. Ashley raced in 5 US Junior National Championships with multiple top 10 finishes and a silver the 2002 J1 girls relay. Ashley was named to the 2001 and 2002 USA J1 Scandinavian Series Teams and raced for 4 years on the Univeristy of Utah NCAA varsity ski team where she was a 3 time qualifier for NCAA Championships. One important thing you might not know about Ashley is that she is not a fan of the High Five! She "thinks it is over used and awkward in almost any situation other then athletics."
Nicole DeYong: Nicole DeYong, might be an Alaskan native but has been part of the SVSEF family for 6 years! This is Nicole's first 'official year' coaching with the SV Nordic team; prior to this year she spent the last 5 years competing as part of the SVSEF Gold Team! Before moving to Sun Valley Nicole grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and graduated from University of Alaska Anchorage with a BS in Natural Science. Competing at UAA Nicole was a 4 time All American, and while skiing for the Gold Team was a multiple top 10 finisher at US Nationals. The thing Nicole enjoys most about coaching is "working with the kids and helping them to be the best athlete(s) they can be." Nicole also enjoys "working in a positive and fun atmosphere where the kids are hard-working yet enjoy what they are doing". When she isn't on the Nordic trails, Nicole can be found camping, hiking, back-country skiing, reading and baking. One thing you might not know about Nicole is... she "grew up in an igloo!"
Nancy Fiddler: This is Nancy's first year coaching at SVSEF but she is in no way new to coaching; Nancy has been coaching XC skiing for 20 years! Nancy, originally from Crowley Lake California moved to Sun Valley with her daughter Laurel and her husband Claude after spending last year coaching at the Auburn Ski Club and assistant coaching at the Truckee High School Nordic Team. Nancy has been coaching juniors and master in Mammoth for over 20 years and is responsible for forming, coaching, and overseeing the mammoth High School Nordic Team, the Mammoth Middle School Nordic Team, the Tamarack XC Masters Program and the Mammoth Elementary School P.E. XC Ski Program! She was also the director of Tamarack XC Ski School for 11 years; needless to say Nancy has a very rich history in coaching! Before she started coaching, Nancy was an All American skier at Bates College and a 14 x National Champion! Nancy is a 2 time Olympian, in 1988 and 1992 respectively, a 4 time member of the US World Championship Team, and she skied the World Cup circuit for 7 years! The thing that Nancy enjoys most about coaching is "the kids!" She feels "it is important to her to be able to share her love and knowledge of nordic skiing with kids. They are the future of this amazing sport." Nancy feels that "it is important in this day and age to get kids outdoor and moving, appreciating the natural world and to learn what their bodies and minds can do!" When Nancy isn't tearing up the SV Nordic world as a Vamps coach, a BCRD coach and a personal Masters Coach she is hiking, backpacking reading and cooking. SVSEF is very excited to have Nancy as part of the team!
Morgan Arritola: This is Morgan's first year coaching but she has been part of SVSEF for 10 years! Morgan came up though the SVSEF program and as a junior was a 3 x Junior National gold medalist. After graduating from The Community School Morgan skied for the SVSEF Gold Team and was a member of the US ski team for 5 years. Morgan's career was highlight with 2 trips to World Championships and she was a member of the 2010 USA Olympic Team! Morgan is also a competetive runner and in 2012 represented the USA at Mountainn Running World Championships where she placed third! When she isn't coaching our SVSEF athletes or running around the valley; Morgan works at Galena Lodge, she dog sits, and makes mustard! Her hobbies include a "little of everything, aisde from athletics she enjoys art, traveling, and animals." The thing Morgan loves most about coaching is, "wathing kids grow as athletes and people." One thing you might not know about Morgan is that she's "not actually angry; thats just my [Morgan's] neutral face."