By Luke Kirchmayr EBS Contributor
It was a busy but exciting couple of weeks for the Big Sky Ski Team between Jan. 18 and 29. There were eight races held between Terry Peak, South Dakota; Red Lodge, Montana; and Whitefish, Montana.
The U14 team had the first regional qualifier at Terry Peak, Jan. 18-21. The team did very well as the girls won every race and the boys podiumed at most races. The event was open to all competitors under 14 years of age. Our younger racers did an exceptional job, winning almost all their races.
The U14 team returned to Big Sky for a few days, then returned to the road for another regional qualifier in Whitefish, Jan. 26-29. The U14 girls dominated the weekend by winning all three races; the boys were less lucky with some unfortunate crashes while leading the pack.
The U16 team had a regional qualifier in Red Lodge, Jan. 25-27. The race is known as one of the toughest in the state, with an infamous steep and icy pitch. On Friday, the boys’ slalom was canceled because of technical difficulties, but the girls’ race went well for the Big Sky team, despite a few tough crashes while racing toward winning runs. The team came back strong on Saturday with many podiums and a win on the challenging course. Sunday races were cancelled due to high winds.
Next up is the Lone Peak Speed Series at Big Sky Resort, which will host two super-Gs. These two races will take place on Hangman’s, featuring two jumps in the course. The race is open to U14 and U16 racers.
The Big Sky Nordic team also had a few races in Big Sky and West Yellowstone. The Big Sky 5@5 Race was the first of three town races featuring both a 3- and 5-kilometer track. The West Yellowstone competition was a sprint biathlon.
The sprint race at West Yellowstone involved skiing three 1.5-kilometer laps, shooting five targets after the first and second lap then skiing to the finish after the third lap. For each missed target, a 100-meter penalty lap is skied. Big Sky athletes had a strong showing and in the men’s novice division, Rob McRae skied to first place, Jonah Adams took third after shooting a clean round. In the novice U13 category, Tobin Ide skied to first place and shot two clean rounds.
The 5@5 Race is a citizens’ race in Big Sky organized by Big Sky Ski and Education Foundation Nordic with proceeds going toward program scholarships. This was the first in a series of three races this winter. The races are open to all with 1-, 3- and 5-kilometer events. The next 5@5 will be Feb. 26 with registration at 4 p.m., and race start at 5 p.m.
If you would like to learn more about the Big Sky Ski Team visit bssef.com.