See full race results below story and photo gallery.
By Paul T. Choate
Jan. 14, 2013. The High Country Junior Race Series held their second race of the season Sunday, Jan. 13, at Sugar Mountain. Started in 1984, the series has become one of the most popular winter events for young people in the area.
This week, Daniel Kosmala, of the boys aged 13 and 14 division, recorded the fastest time on the mountain with a time of 22.2300 seconds. Last week, rising young star Olivia Jochl, of the girls aged 11 and 12 division, claimed that designation with a time of 25.6660 seconds.
Over the years, the series has grown in popularity and well over 100 young athletes aged 4 to 18 are participating this season.
The series alternates around to the three ski local ski resorts – App Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain – with each mountain hosting two races. The championship race rotates annually with a different mountain hosting it each year. All three resorts sponsor their own junior race team.
At each of the races, medals are awarded to the top three finishers among boys and girls in each of seven age groups (6 and under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18). Cumulative points are awarded to each athlete and carry over from each race to the championship, where trophies are also awarded to athletes with the most points earned. Also, there is a team trophy – or “mountain trophy” – awarded to the team from the ski resort with the most points for the season.
Though certainly competitive, the major focus of the series is to allow the kids and their families to have fun.
Cumulative points are logged for individual racers and for the mountain team they race for throughout the season, so it is not to sign children up to participate in the last four races of the season.
A registration fee of $7 for each race will be charged and each racer must have a valid slope ticket or appropriate season pass to participate. An optional NASTAR race fee of $3 is charged at Sugar Mountain. A liability waiver must be signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to a child participating. Additionally, a ski bib will be issued to racers for the season. If the bib is not brought on race day, a $30 deposit on the bib will be requested and a temporary bib can be issued for that day.
The upcoming races take place on Jan. 27 (Beech), Feb. 3 (Beech) and Feb. 10 (Sugar), with the championship taking place on Feb. 24 at App Ski Mountain.
“What a unique opportunity we have in the South to have a racing series with three different mountains,” said Thea Young, App Ski Mountain coach. “I think the family aspect of it is unique and it’s a team sport but also an individual sport at the same time. So you’re able to appeal to both of those different types of athletes.”
For more information on the series, visit hcjrs.com.
Photos by Ken Ketchie
The following are pictures of the winners from each age group on the podium and their peers standing around them in some. Adults on the podium are coaches or representatives from the mountains of the respective winners who could not stay for the awards ceremony following the race.
Results from Jan. 13 Races