First Race Of The Season - Varsity Girls Win Race & Boys Take 2nd Place!
The Fourth Time is the Charm!
After three postponed conference races, we were finally able to overcome the weather challenges and kick off the NJISRA race season on the fourth attempt at Blue Mountain in PA. Dealing with sporadic warm temperatures and an abundance of rain has made it challenging for our local ski mountains to hold training and races, but the team's perseverance and dedication clearly paid off.
Having taken advantage of pre-season training in early December with a team weekend training at Stratton and by repeatedly utilizing the indoor ski slope at Big Snow with special guest coaches from renowned race programs like Stratton, Mt Peter, and Don't Just Ski RACE worked to our advantage. This strategic approach to training indoors and later transitioning to outdoor training at Blue Mountain, with superior conditions and challenging course sets, contributed to the ski team's preparedness and confidence going into the first race.
Race day had finally come and with temperatures nearing 50 degrees coming off two days of rain, it was evident it would be challenging for the courses to hold up after everyone's first run. To master the conditions, our racers needed to stay focused to see through the fog, dance through the course with rhythmic movements, and ski a clean high line; any late emergency turns after the gate or any excessive sharp movements would not serve us well. After getting two good looks during course inspection we all knew the game plan and were feeling optimistic. It was now time to clear our minds, take a breath, ski in our comfort zone, and send it out of the start.
GIRLS VARSITY SKI TEAM: The Sparta Girls won the slalom race with a team time of 5:49.26. Ridge took 2nd place with a time of 5:56.39 and Blair took podium third with a team time 6:29.53. With one DNF (Did Not Finish) in the first run and a second DNF early on in the second run, the pressure was on our remaining racers to cross the finish line to pull out a podium victory. Near the end of the race, the officials informed me there was an issue with the finish time on the second run for racer Julia Smith, and that she was eligible for a rerun if we wanted to take it. With our placement hinging on her time, I awaited her arrival back at the start to check on how she was feeling and her state of mind. Her self-confidence and excitement made it clear, she should take the re-run. Julia shaved off 12 seconds from her previous time and helped us achieve the win. Contributing to our girl's team time were Aubrey Zimmerman (2), Cpt. Madison Campisi (3), Julia Smith (6), and Sunny Young (11). The girl's score for the race was 5 wins and 0 losses.
BOYS VARSITY SKI TEAM: With one DNF and two athletes quick to hike, our boys varsity ski team made out well racing to podium second with a team time of 5:42.59. Ridge boys won the race with a team time of 5:24.53 and Morristown Beard took podium third with a team time of 6:12.57. Contributing to our boys' team time were Ryan Grycuk (4), Drew Young (5), Cpt. George Flint (11), and Matthew Stites (14). The boys' score for the race was 4 wins and 1 loss.
In individual runs, four of our varsity boys, George Flint (3), Ryan Grycuk (4), Pat Fitzsimmons (4), and Drew Young (5) delivered exceptional single times finishing in the top 5. With consistency in both runs, our boys will power the podium.
"The ski team's spirit and energy at our first race prove we're in for an amazing season. Every racer charged down the slalom course with fire in their hearts. I am so proud of our athletes' podium performance and how much they have prospered. Their hard work, dedication, and preparation paid off and could be measured by their smiles of joy at the end of the race. I can't wait to see us push the limits at our next race!"
Thank you to Blue Mountain Resort in Palmerton PA for hosting our first race of the season.
Congratulations Girls On Podium Victory!
Mark your calendars, our next race is Wednesday, Jan. 30th at 5 pm at Mountain Creek.