Hidden Valley Ski team picks up 138 top 10 finishes in four regional races
By: Warren Mayes
The independent Hidden Valley Ski Team brought home 50 first, second and third place medals in the 2013 alpine racing season with the Wisconsin Junior Alpine Racing Association (WIJARA). Overall, the team, which averages 25 racers in its travelling race team, earned 138 Top 10 finishes in the four regional WIJARA races.
WIJARA races are held annually in Galena, Ill. (Chestnut Mountain Resort); Dubuque, Iowa (Sundown Ski Resort); Portage, Wis. (Cascade Ski Resort); and Mt. Horeb, Wis. (Tyrol Basin Ski Resort). More than 520 ski racers representing nine teams competed on the race circuit this season.
“We have, on average, 20 to 25 skiers who travel to the WIJARA races in the Midwest and Upper Midwest each year,” said Matt Sadl, HVST’s WIJARA race director as well as the WIJARA league’s president. “The other teams bring 60 or more athletes to each race. To see our athletes bring home so many medals and Top 10 finishes is a true testament to their hard work and dedication on the hill to train for these races.”
In addition, said Dave Coulter, the captain of the Hidden Valley Ski Team, other teams have longer seasons to practice for competition.
“These other teams start training almost a month earlier than we do here in Missouri,” Coulter said. “We have tough competition in the WIJARA races and we’re proud that our athletes do so well all season long.”
The Hidden Valley Ski Team, which trains locally at Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Wildwood, has 80 members currently on the team ranging in age from 5 to 18. Introductory team members train weekly at Hidden Valley. As team members advance in skill, they train more often and move into the Development and Alpine Racing Travel Team, where they can race in one or all WIJARA races as well as USSA-races, considered to be the conduit to the U.S. Ski Team, and the NASTAR alpine racing championships.
Ken Murer, president of the Hidden Valley Ski Team, said the success of the HVST racing team also points to the expertise of the 12-member coaching staff.
“All of our coaches are USSA-certified to teach alpine racing skills, which some teams don’t require,” Murer said. “We have made the commitment to our athletes that we will continually offer them high quality coaching. The result is that even with the small number of athletes who compete at regional races, our team has a high percentage of success each year.”