Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ski Racing in St. Louis

Hidden Valley Ski Team's dryland training starts next Saturday. I'm helping coach this year, and I'm very excited to be getting back into ski racing.

In Missouri, we're in the CUSSA region, Central USSA. HVST skis in both CUSSA races and WIJARA, the Wisconsin-Iowa-Illinios Junior Alpine Racing Association. Back in WV we raced in PARA (the southern region was later split out into its own region, SARA) when I was growing up, which is strictly USSA. WIJARA is not strictly USSA. On May 10, 2007, WIJARA officials announce that racers would no longer be required to have a USSA membership to compete in WIJARA races. That means kids who do not want to pay the USSA fees, or who can't justify travel expenses for distant CUSSA races, or simply have not decided if they want to compete at the USSA level, can compete in WIJARA races to sort of test the frozen water crystals.

HVST has a team of around 40 kids. Like most teams, the level of talent is varied from outstanding to total beginner. I was really amazed by just how good some of the kids on the Hidden Valley Ski Team really are. I mean, how did they become such good racers living here in St. Louis? I'm going to find out.

If you're reading this, and your parents moved you from a nice mountainous region to Flatlands, USA (a.k.a. St. Louis), listen up! There is quality racing here, and you should check it out.

One of our racers, Matthew Klein, a J4, went to JOs last season (2007). He finished 16th in the first slalom, 4th in the 2nd slalom, and 24th in SG. Yes, I said 4th! We also had two girls, Kelsey Spidle and Cayla Weber, compete in the FIS Championships, which, just raching that level is amazing. They competed against some of the best female racers in the world there, from ages 15 to 32.

Some of the parents here are really into it. They plan training trips for team members to Colorado and even New Zealand in the off-season, where the US Ski Team trains.

I'm really excited to get the season started, and to get back on the hill with some real competition.

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