Perfect conditions welcomed competitors for the Race of Champions on Saturday morning. The sky was blue and the snow was hard and every racer had a great opportunity to go for the win. The handicapped race provides each National Champion from all age an ability groups with the opportunity to become the Overall Nature Valley NASTAR National Champion.
The highest handicapped racers compete first and their time is divided by their handicap to calculate their discounted time. This system allows young and old racers with a fair chance to win the race. The first competitor to race climbs on top of the podium in the finish area and the following racers try to record a faster discounted time to earn a spot on the podium.
Seven year old Sienna Solomons from Squaw Valley, CA showed no fear as she charged down the Blue Grouse venue to move on to the top of the podium. Other racers were bumped off the podium as faster racers with lower handicaps competed, but they could not dispatch Sienna from the top of the podium. When the last racer crossed the finish line, Sienna had held on for the win ahead of Peyton Schneckloth in second and Lacie Greenwald in third.
The men's race proved to be just as exciting as the ladies' race with Steven Coulter winning the competition for the second time. Steven also won the Race of Champions in 2010. The upper pitch on the Blue Grouse trail separated the field but teenagers Ethan Miller and Sam Jaeger were able to hold a high line to post very fast times. Still, they were unable to remove Steven from the hot seat as Ethan and Sam took second and third place respectively.
Stay tuned for a complete report on the Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships
The ladies and men's podiums for the fastest raw times featured the fastest racers at the Nationals: