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Photos, Race Results and Team Standings from the First Week of SMARL’s 2022 Season

The race course on Big Birch for Sugar Mountain Adult Race League’s first race of the season.

By Nathan Ham

The 2022 Sugar Mountain Adult Racing League’s 16th season got off to a good start on Monday night for the first race of the 2022 season with plenty of familiar faces but also some new faces to the race league. The season opener took place on the Big Birch slope. 

“Everybody was excited to get out there and see everyone. We had a good turnout, the snow was great and the course was pretty fast,” said Matt Leonard at Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk. “That was my first time skiing this season and I think that was the cast for a few people. It was fun to get out there and ski with everybody. We had some new people out there so it was nice to have some new people involved.”

This season marked the return of the postrace meal and drinks at the resort lounge, something that racers did not get to participate in last year due to COVID-19 protocols. Keith Lane and the Sugar Mountain foodservice crew prepared the postrace meal Monday night. 

Leonard also wanted to extend a special thanks to the race crew that helped make the experience as smooth as possible. 

“It’s a lot of work that they put in doing the timing and keeping up with all the points,” he said. 

Each team competes with six to eight racers and the times of the top four finishers on each team count towards the team score for that night. 

Team Standings


1. Team Sugar 19

2. Ski Country A 19

3. Banner Elk Cafe 16

4. Polar Bears      8

5. Good Ole Boys   11

6. Sugar Bears      6


1. The Tavern      17

2. Team Southeast  13

3. Extreme          9

Team Members

Team Sugar members: Gunther Jochl, Kim Jochl, Andrew Jochl, Erich Schmidinger, Sean McKee, Wesley Aldridge and John Pennypacker.
Ski Country A members: Chris Leonard, Matt Leonard, David Johnson, Clint Hendricks, Caila Leonard, David Orr, Carrie Smithey and Megan Laws.
Extreme members: Evan Schwartz, Mike Jones, Steven Kaiser, Jordan Wolchesky, Danny Walsh and Billy Leonard.
Banner Elk Cafe members: Les Broussard, Cindy Broussard, Erik Sandstedt, Beth Goode, Maria Doeing, Bobby Roland, Elizabeth Beatle and David Harrison.
The Tavern members: Alex Broussard, J.P. Cogdill, Chris Austin, Sean Pepin, Matthew Herdklotz, Erich Schmidinger, AJ Dulan and Adam Thompson.
Team Southeast members: Eve Parsons, Allen Dawson, Alex Littlejon, Andy McDaniels, Alex Ettinger, Scott Thomas, Donnie Hefner, Chad Berry and Chad Taylor.
Good Ole Boys members: Steve Auffinger, Ralph Polattie and Ronald Scott.
Sugar Bears and Polar Bears members: Chandler Rice, Josh Arditti, Cassandra Lupkas, Austin Burr, Elliot Schnabl, Mary Johnson, Lara Llibre, Alexander Syvestri, Daniel Lanier, Nino Barnes, Luke Ander and Jonsh Husak.

Pictures from race night – January 10. 2022