By Jake Bright
Time is flying as fast as the NASTAR racers, as National Championships slides on to the Race of Champions and Family and Friends Team Races. After two days of alpine competition and nearly a week of activities, divisional winners were awarded gold medals on Friday, March 25, in an evening ceremony emceed by pacesetter and former U.S. Ski Team member A.J. Kitt. Today, Saturday, March 26, top racers of each age, ability, and alpine class will get one run for the chance to become an overall NASTAR Nationals Champion across four disciplines: Female Alpine, Male Alpine, Female Combined (snowboard, telemark & physically challenged) and Male Combined (snowboard, telemark & physically challenged).
A number of NASTAR athletes we’ve recently covered won their divisions and will continue racing today, March 26. Ten-year-old Joshua Rosenberg from New Jersey will race after clinching his platinum division. NASTAR mom Jennifer Blount, who came to Steamboat from Boston with her husband, James, will compete in the Race of Champions after winning her 40 to 44 Gold division. Her daughters, Chloe and Cami, will ski later in the Friends Team Race. Connecticut Ski Council’s Rob Dexter is set to compete in his third Race of Champions after winning the male 65 to 69 Platinum division. In telemark, Steamboat local Tom Degraff will participate in his fifth Race of Champions. “The best thing about it is,” he said, “you get to compete against all your peers who have won their class to see who’s the best telemarker overall.”
Father and son Joseph and Jacob Landa from Virginia will compete in the Race of Champions snowboard division after winning their individual classes.
One of NASTAR’s better known personalities, Franz Fuchsberger — aka “Fuxi” — will run the Race of Champions after winning his Platinum division. He’ll also host the “Fuxi Flash Team” in the Friends Race. Originally from Austria, Fuxi’s been a longtime fixture in the U.S. alpine racing community and NASTAR. Steamboat is his 10th Nationals competition. “With a little luck and determination, I’ve always been able to make it to the Race of Champions,” he said. “But doing well in that race has been tougher for me. I’ll see if I can pull it off this year.” There’s always the Friends Race to fall back on, he added. “That’s the great thing about the team racing — you’re not alone,” said Fuxi. “You win or lose as a team and hopefully celebrate as a team.”
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