On Thursday the skies finally cleared, bringing a hard overnight freeze that
softened as the temperatures climbed into the 50s during the day, which included
slalom for the C/D groups and GS for the A/Bs. According to most racers, ski racing doesn’t get any better than this particular GS. As for the slalom, well, as one
racer put it, “The steepness of the hill puts a premium on technique.” That’s a nice
way of saying that getting to the finish was a matter of survival.
The C/Ds were first to test out the slalom hill. Most racers are aware that if the
“gnarly-factor” is high, watch out for Carolyn Beckedorff. Where most struggle
for survival, Beckedorff manages to find speed, which she did despite a particularly tight set. Hogan took the first run, but a small mishap on the second run left
the door open for Beckedorff, which she gladly marched through for the win.
Victor Roy took his second win of the Nationals in the Class D slalom over Bob
Andree and perennial contender Pepi Neubauer.
For the local “A” racers, they had been salivating over the prospect of the GS.
After all, this was their hill. They freeskied on it; they raced town leagues races on
it; and they set courses on it on a daily basis. And true to form, they dominated.
In a close race, the locals took four of the top five places with Rixon, Schwing,
Sarchett, and Rudigoz in first, second, third, and fifth, respectively. Only former
national champion Matt Savage broke up the sweep with a fourth-place finish.
Matt Murphy was also not to be denied in the B Group with two deft runs to get
by Tim Hill.
was still in the hunt,” said Sarchett of
Rixon with a laugh. “But I’m glad I
Sarchett, a Sun Valley native and
past bane of the USST for repeatedly
winning the Western FIS Series even
into his mid-30s, is not likely to give
up the sport any time soon. “I’m a big
proponent of encouraging coaches to
keep racing,” said Sarchett, who is a
personal trainer, coach, model, and
actor when he’s not on the mountain
skiing and training. “Coaches and
instructors are more and more getting
attuned to race technique. Besides,
ski racing is just so much fun. I hope
more coaches come to masters races
and discover just how much fun it is.”
Hogan described the GS for the C/
Ds as, “like a World Cup,” and her enthusiasm was reflected in the results.
“My second run was the best GS I’ve
ever skied, I think,” said Hogan, who
won the women’s race by 3. 5 seconds
over Eastern powerhouses McAleer
The D group was starting to feel the
affects of four days of racing. Neubauer was nursing a bruised arm and hand; and
Andree was in need of a nurse due to an ill-timed bout of stomach flu. But de-
spite their ailments they finished first and second, leaving third to Roy, who also
claimed the overall title. Andree said that he had the time of his life at Sun Valley,
but that under the circumstances, he was glad it was all over. “That was one of the
most difficult 60 seconds I’ve ever experienced,” said Andree of his second run.
After the race, Andree crawled back to his condo to sleep off his ailment, but
most grabbed a quick change of clothes and descended upon the final awards
banquet. The PNSA contingent came with fun on their agenda — wigs and bright
clothes, which seemed to be an apt representation for the way all the racers felt
about the Sun Valley event. “This was certainly one of the best national champi-
onships that I can remember,” said Densmore, proudly toting one of the medals
she earned with the overall win in her Class 5. “These were great races with
amazing support from the mountain. The level of competition for the men and
women had to be the best ever.”
(Complete results can be found at ussamasters.org)
Friday, April 2
With another cold night under clear skies, conditions were perfect for the final
day of racing with the A/Bs tackling the slalom and the C/Ds running GS. The
slalom hill wasn’t any easier than the previous day, causing carnage among many
in the A Group. Rixon went down and Schwing hiked, leaving Sarchett as the last
man standing. Not realizing that Rixon was out of the running, Sarchett looked
like an out of control Toyota driver stuck on full-gas in the second run, winning
his group by a full 10 seconds. “I didn’t realize that Carl had DQed; I thought he
The Skier’s Edge 2010 National Masters Team.