Race of Champions 2019
04.17.2019 |Bill Madsen
The Race of Champions is the final event at the Liberty Mutual Insurance NASTAR National Championships, and the race awards the Overall NASTAR Champions. More than 50,000 racers compete at 100+ resorts and clubs across the country throughout the season to qualify for an opportunity to compete for a NASTAR National Championship title in their age and ability group. National Championship participants that win a National title are invited to compete in a final race, the Race of Champions. Each winner carries their handicap into the final race which is used to calculate a discounted time. Current U.S. Ski Team members and alumnus set the pace and each competitor tries to beat the pacesetters and the other NASTAR Champions to earn a spot on the podium. The highest handicapped racers start first and when they reach the finish with the fastest discounted time, they earn a spot on the podium, until a racer with a faster discounted time takes their place on the podium.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle is NASTAR's National Pacesetter and he represents the zero handicap. Each time a participant races NASTAR they compete against Ryan's Par Time and they earn a handicap. The handicap is simply the percentage a racer is behind Ryan's time.
Tommy Ford was also on hand to set the pace. Tommy is ranked 9th in the world in GS and has a zero NASTAR handicap.
Squaw Valley legend Tamara McKinney won four World Cup season titles, most notably the 1983 overall. She had a blast pacesetting and meeting NASTAR racers.
Claire Brown helped set the pace and represented the ladies well. Claire is a former NCAA Champion from the University of Denver and she is the publisher of Ski Racing Magazine.
Five year-old Sara Roberts was the first racer on course, and with her handicap of 127 she posted a discounted time of 27.26 which was only 2.34 seconds behind the fastest pacesetter, Tommy Ford. Sara jumped out of her skis and stood on top of the podium to await the next racer.
Ten year old Emerson Decurtins of Charlotte, NC had a fast run, and with her handicap of 44 she posted a discounted time of 26.72 to earn a spot on the podium as she waited for the next racers to attack the course.
Roksolana Shyyka won the Race of Champions at Squaw Valley in 2018 and she charged the course in an attempt to repeat her success. Unfortunately she ran into a strong group of young rippers that would keep her from earning a spot on the podium.
Alexandra Nodder had a great race that put the eleven-year old racer in contention.
When the final racer crossed the finish line the podium was set. Brielle Superczynski was named the Liberty Mutual Insurance NASTAR National Champion. Brielle won the age 6-7 Gold Division to earn a spot in the Race of Champions with a handicap of 56.30, and her time of 38.01 gave her a discounted time of 24.31 to earn the win. The Sykesville, MD racer was five-hundredths of a second faster than Julie Hu in second and Squaw Valley local Olive Wilson took third place.
NASTAR also rewards the racers that post the fastest raw times. Dayna Larsen of Boulder, Colo recorded the fastest time ahead of Ava Kitt (AJ Kitt's daughter) and Alexandra Nodder took home the bronze medal.
The guys lined up to race as soon as the pacesetters presented the girls with their awards.
Kyle Kracht recorded the fastest time last spring to win the Race of Champions based on raw time, but he ran into some stiff competition this year.
(Pacesetters left to right: Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Claire Brown, Tommy Ford, AJ Kitt, Tamara McKinney and Marco Sullivan)
The seven-year old Silver Division Champion, Rory Slocum took the win to earn the 2019 Liberty Mutual Insurance NASTAR National Championship title. Justin Hu matched his sister's second place result in the female race to earn the silver medal and Jacob Schield, racing out of Welch Village, MN won the bronze medal.
The combined race includes snowboarders, telemarkers and adaptive racers. Nine-year old snowboarder, Ava Lilly won the discounted time and the raw time titles.
The Race of Champions Combined race for the guys was won by Don Williams with Clark Della Silva taking second place and Tom Morris earned the bronze. Seven time X-Games gold medalist Nate Holland (front) set the pace.