By Jesse Wood
Feb. 18, 2014. The 2013-14 season of the winter beer league known has SMARL – Sugar Mountain Adult Race League – came to a close on Monday with Team Sugar, for skiing, and Edge of the World, for snowboarding, crowned as champions once again.
As for the individual competitions:
- Kim Jochl won gold for individual women skiers;
- Eric Schmidinger won gold in the individual men’s skiing competition;
- Austin Burr took home the gold in men’s individual snowboard;
- Kristen Gray won gold in women’s individual snowboard
Bill Leonard, owner of Ski Country Sports, one of the primary sponsors of SMARL, said this season featured the most consistent conditions that the league has experienced in its nearly decade-long history.
“We got off to a late start because of the bitter cold [in early January], but following that were really good conditions. The snow has been good. The weather has been good,” Leonard said, praising Sugar Mountain Resort for maintaining a well-groomed course.
Just like the conditions were consistent this winter, Leonard said the competition results were predictable. He mentioned that it was no surprise that Team Sugar and Edge of the World won their respective divisions.
“And for like the sixth year in a row the “Good Ole Boys” come in last. They are out there every year, plugging away, getting better and still pulling up the rear,” Leonard said, adding that he gives them a ton of credit for showing up and having fun year after year.
Mike Trew, one of the “Good Ole Boys,” said, “Although the Good Ole Boys held fast to last place I feel it’s important to note that they were strong on diversity; mixing snowboard, ski, and telemark riders on their team.”
After the races were over on Monday and the competitors were enjoying good food and drink and the award ceremonies, Leonard gave a big thanks to some individuals who really made the event successful once again.
He particularly mentioned Stumpy McKee, who enters in all the racers and times of the races; coordinates with the race crew; and publishes the results after each outing on Monday. He mentioned the race crew on Sugar Mountain: Rick Bowen and Winston Ammann; volunteers Claire and Nathan Paris; and “our famous announcer Jen Weaver.”
In addition to individuals, he thanked the different sponsors that put teams together and served food on the different nights such as Bella’s, Banner Elk Café, Ski Country Sports, Sugar Mountain Resort and others.
“The racers appreciate, certainly enjoy having something to eat after the race,” Leonard said.
SMARL is a popular event that is limited to the first 100 racers that signup. They always are filled to capacity by the time December rolls around, which Leonard said is still amazing. Each year, he said the event is more popular than the year before.
Leonard also mentioned that people enjoy SMARL because it gives the racers who signed up no excuses to “get out and ski every Monday night.” It’s a team effort, he said, and nobody wants to let down their team.
Check out the entire team standings below and individual results from Week 6. Also check out pictures from the awards ceremonies.