12th Season of SMARL Comes to a Close, Team Sugar (Ski) and Sugar Ski School (Snowbaord) Place First

Published Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Following the races on Monday night, SMARL competitors and staff held an wards ceremony. Photos by Ken Ketchie


By Jesse Wood

Feb. 15, 2015. The 12th season of SMARL – the Sugar Mountain Adult Race League – concluded on Monday, the last of the six weekly competitions held in January and February.

Following the races on the slopes of Sugar Mountain Resort on Monday night, the competitors and staff wound down with some food, beer and an awards ceremony.

Ski Country Sports owner Bill Leonard, who was on the Ski Country D team that placed seventh this past season, was master of ceremonies during the awards presentation.

Leonard commended Sugar Mountain Resort for maintaining the SMARL operation that is as efficient as ever and also for keeping the slopes in outstanding condition even during some mild and rainy weather.

“Overall, the conditions were really good. Sugar does a good job of making snow and the slopes are done well and everybody has a good night,” Leonard said, adding that the races always start on time and every one is able to get off the slopes at a reasonable time.

As for the ski team standings, Team Sugar came in first place yet again with 120 total points from the six weeks of races. Banner Elk Café came in second place, just two points behind Team Sugar. Ski Country A came in third place with 107 points.

Meanwhile, the three snowboard teams finished with the following results: Sugar Ski School (54 points); Edge of the World (47 points); and Modern Rustic (45 points).

Asked how Team Sugar seems to come out on top every year, Sugar Mountain Resort owner and Team Sugar competitor Gunther Jochl, said, “Because we are good.”

Each year, SMARL sells out its 100 spots well in advance of January. This past year, SMARL sold out before Thanksgiving without any promotion or advertisement of SMARL, which is considered an underground “beer league” of sorts that allows locals to meet up each Monday for some competition and camaraderie.

The social aspect is what Jochl said he loves about SMARL.

“I just think its nice that everybody gets together to have a good time and spend time together at this time of year. Most are local guys [and gals] who work [in the High Country] and it works out real well,” Jochl said.

Below are the final standings for teams and women categories and individual results for the final competition held on Monday.

SMARL standings (4)



Ski Country Sports owner and SMARL competitor Bill Leonard was  master of ceremonies after the final race of the season during the awards presentation.


Team Modern Rustic placed third in the snowboard category.


Team Edge of the World placed second in the snowboard category.


Team Sugar Ski School placed first in the snowboard category.


All three teams – Sugar Ski School, Edge of the World and Modern Rustic – pose for a picture with their medals.


Women’s snowboard: Elizabeth Warrington (not pictured) placed first; Jeff Johnson (left) accepts medal for Kristen Gray (not pictured) who placed in second; and Lauren Burr (right) places third.


First, second and third place men’s snowboard.


The Top 3 individual women skiers: Kim Jochl (gold), Caila Hall (silver), Jessica Hendrix (bronze). These three won the prizes last year, too.


The Top 3 individual men skiers. Eric Schmidinger (gold), G.J. Mennen (silver), Matt Leonard (bronze). These three won last year as well.


Third place ski team: Ski Country A


Second place ski team: Banner Elk Cafe


First Place Ski Team Sugar


The top three ski teams pose for a picture together.


Sugar Mountain owner and a member of Team Sugar Gunther Jochl holds the trophy.



Sugar Mountain owner and Team Sugar member  Gunther Jochl lets Banner Elk Cafe owner Les Broussard touch the trophy.

men chart

women chart

SMARL 6th week 2015


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