The Racer Corner
By David Lippucci—Race Director
Race Report & Statistics 2011-12
March 10 Crescent Cup, Silver Creek, WV
Congratulations go out to the GSOC race team: We dominated the field once again at Silver Creek March 10, 2012 to bring home the Crescent Cup! Not only were we the Eastern Division winner of the regular season, the Crescent Cup now resides in Greensboro, NC for 364 days. The Cup will make its way to everyone so they can show off our victory to co-workers, peers, family and school mates.
For the second year in a row, the CSC decided to run all races in one day. Two runs of GS in the morning, then two runs of Slalom in the early afternoon. It takes great athletes to become fit enough physically and mentally to gain podium wins. That’s just what we did!
For GS, overnight temps of 20 degrees left a slight layer of frozen ball bearings that gave way to grippy ice. With the right tune and perfect wax, our folks killed both runs.
Starting at noon for Slalom, conditions didn’t change much even though the sun shined bright all day. The courses remained icy without deep ruts. By the last racers, you could see a nice sheen as legs began to fatigue in the 60 gate set on division 1. We remained optimistic until awards Saturday night where at 10:00 p.m. we were crowned champions for only the second time in 45 years.
Prizes were given out for podium winners in GS and Slalom. Trophies were given out for combined times for GS and Slalom in both divisions.
SPECIAL NOTES: Ray Berggreen won a pair of Dynastar race skis due to his fast MAN on the hill weekend. Liz Beadle was second fastest woman on the mountain. And most special of all, Caity Burnham won a trip to Steamboat by amassing the most individual points for a woman and a nice trophy for the most points accumulated by ALL racers male and female in the CSC for the 2011-2012 season.
Congratulations to the following GSOC racers who finished first, second or third and combined time trophy at the Crescent Cup race March 10:
Ray Berggreen—First, flight 1 GS, second slalom. First place combined time trophy
Don Russell—Second, flight 1 GS
David Lippucci—First, flight 2 GS, first slalom. First place combined time trophy
Dan Shurkus—Third, flight 2 GS
Madeline Burnham—Third place, flight 4 GS, third place slalom. Third place combined time trophy
Wendy Krause—First place slalom. Second place combined time trophy
Skylar Beadle—Third, flight 11 GS, First Slalom
Caity Burnham—Third, flight 6 slalom. Second place combined time trophy
Hailey Thomas—First, flight 14 GS. First place combined time trophy
Kristy Clary—Second, flight 14 GS. Second place combined time trophy
Sharon Horton—First, flight 15 Slalom. First place combined time trophy
Keegan Clary—Second, flight 15 GS, third slalom. Third place combined time trophy
Landon Clary—Third, flight 16 GS, third slalom. Third place combined time trophy
Slalom Race Results (in pdf format)
Giant Slalom Race Results (in pdf format)
Combined Race Results (in pdf format)
Team Results (in pdf format)
February 25-26, Beech Mountain
All hail the GSOC race team! We crushed Charlotte by 8 points and Raleigh by 10 points in the Eastern Division for our third straight first place team finish during an abbreviated season at Beech Mountain. We even dominated closest first place team in the Western Division Asheville by 10 points. Congratulation to all GSOC Race team members and family members who contributed to the win!
Saturday’s 10:00 start for slalom was brutally cold and windy atop Beech Mountain. Every single snow machine in the High Country was jammed on Robins Run during each and every run coating goggles and people like a frozen turkey found at the grocery store. Many days of hard rain made the each course better suited for ice skates rather than race skis. Both divisions ran with similar brutal conditions on the same double fall line slope.
Sundays GS runs were a polar opposite…A superb blue bird day with temps starting in the upper 20’s then topping out around 38 degrees by 11:00. Perfect grippy ice confirmed some fast GS times. Ray Berggreen prevailed as fast man on the hill after knee surgery this past summer. Excellent season to all participants!
Congratulations to the following GSOC racers who finished first, second or third at the Beech race February 25-26:
Ray Berggreen—Second, flight 1 Slalom, First GS
Elizabeth Beadle—Third, flight 2 GS
Blake Justice—First, flight 4 Slalom, First GS!!
Skylar Beadle—Second, flight 7 slalom
Caity Burnham—First, flight 7 GS
Greg Thomas—Third, flight 13 slalom
Kristy Clary—First, flight 14 GS
Jeanne Laroe—Second, flight 15 Slalom
Sharon Horton—First, flight 16 Slalom
Phillip Clary—First, flight 17 Slalom, third GS
Landon Clary—Second, flight 17 Slalom
Race Results, Saturday, February 25 (in pdf format)
Race Results, Sunday, February 26 (in pdf format)
Team Results, Sunday February 26 (in pdf format)
February 11-12, 2012 - Sugar Mountain
The GSOC race team is firmly in FIRST place after our third race of the season at Sugar Mountain February 11-12, 2012. We are eight points ahead of our new rival Charlotte and 10 points ahead of our arch rival Raleigh in The Eastern Division.
Saturday’s 9:00 start for slalom was cold, cold, cold and breezy…a rare occurrence this warm season. Vision was tough: Every snow making machine was on and blowing sharp sticky crystals that glued to your body. Since all the natural and man made snow was new without a solid base, deep step ruts developed early on both courses. By deep, I mean a four inch rut that bottomed out into grass in like 5 turns. Try and set an edge on grass and dirt! Division two fared a little better but had to deal with the snow guns directly.
Sunday's GS runs were a peach…1 degree temperature translated into 30 below wind chill factor for both runs. Thank god we finished by 10:30. The cyclonic wind was so bad on the division 2 course, they voted to make it a one run race. Again, brutal, brutal cold and wind with shallow snow conditions made the courses a survival study. The wind blew the gates up the hill to potentially skewer a racer if they weren’t paying attention. We were the only ones on the mountain.
Congratulations to the following GSOC racers who finished first, second or third at the Sugar 2 race February 11-12, 2012:
Ray Berggreen—Third, flight 1 GS
David Lippucci—First, flight 2 slalom, third GS
Marty Reiter—Second, flight 2 GS
Garry Whitaker—First, flight 4 slalom, third GS
Wendy Krause—Third, flight 4 slalom
Doug Laroe—First, flight 5 slalom, third GS
Skylar Beadle—Second, flight 6 slalom
Will Spradling—First, flight 11 slalom
Greg Thomas—Third, flight 13 slalom, third GS
Kristy Clary—Third, flight 14 GS
Keegan Clary—Second, flight 16 GS
Race Results Saturday February 11 (in pdf format)
Race Results Sunday February 12 (in pdf format)
Team Race Results Sunday February 12 (in pdf format)
January 28-29, 2012 - Appalachian, NC
The GSOC race team is currently in FIRST place after our second (albeit shortened) race of the season at Appalachian Mountain January 28-29, 2012. We are now eight big, fat points ahead of our bitter rival Raleigh in The Eastern Division thanks mostly to the shredders in Division 2.
Saturday’s 9:45 start for slalom was clear as a bell and around 34 degrees. The man-made snow piled into loose granular known as sugar. It was like piles of glass ball bearings that gave way to nice grippy ice.
Sundays GS offered blue bird conditions with temps around 28. They kept the snow machines on until after the first run of Division 1…not very nice Conditions mimicked Saturday…piles of sugar that guarded grippy ice underneath. Division 2 racers really stepped up at Appalachian to help push us past Raleighwood.
Congratulations to the following GSOC racers who finished first, second or third at the Appalachian 2 race January 28-29, 2012:
Ray Berggreen—Second, flight 1 slalom, Second GS (Fresh off of ACL replacement surgery!)
Marty Reiter—Second, flight 2 slalom, Third GS
Elizabeth Beadle—Second, flight 3 slalom, Second GS
Madeline Burnham—Second, flight 4 slalom, Third GS
Blake Justice—First, flight 4 GS
Caity Burnham—Second, flight 13 slalom, second GS
Hailey Thomas—First, flight 14 slalom, First GS
Jeanne LaRoe—Third flight 16 slalom, First GS
Sharon Horton—First, flight 17 slalom, First GS
Chad Hooks—Second, flight 17 GS (First podium for our partially sighted ski racer!!)
Race Results Saturday January 28 (in pdf format)
Race Results Sunday January 29 (in pdf format)
Team Race Results Sunday January 29 (in pdf format)
January 7-8, 2012 - Sugar, NC Race 1
The GSOC race team is currently in second place after our first race of the season at Sugar Mountain January 7-8, 2012. We are one point behind our arch rival Raleigh in The Eastern Division. Unfortunately, our first race at Appalachian December 17-18 was cancelled due to lack of man made snow.
Saturday’s 9:00 start for slalom was warm, windless and wet. It was one of those days that you didn't need a jacket or a lift ticket. We were the only ones on the mountain. Deep step ruts developed early. Thin areas coupled with slushy snow and choppy terrains due to poor grooming made the division 1 course a dangerous roller coaster. Division two fared much better with a smooth course and only one gate with dirt in a turn.
Sundays GS didn't offer anything better…just more drizzle and rain to make things just super happy! Division 2 GSOC racers had a much better course once again on Big Birchless (the Big Birch tree in the middle of the slope died this summer and was cut up burned) and offered some nice podiums.
One somber note, Jake Laroe, arguably the fastest racer in the GSOC and in the CSC sustained a complete ACL tear during training. We hope to see him back next season—Get well Jake!
Congratulations to the following GSOC racers who finished first, second or third at the Sugar 1 race January 7 + 8, 2012:
Trevor Thomas—Second, flight 1 slalom
Dan Shurkus—Third, flight 1 slalom
Don Russell—Third, flight 1 GS
Marty Reiter—Third, flight 2 GS
Doug Laroe—Second, flight 3 slalom
Garry Whitaker—Third, flight 3 slalom
Byron Loflin—First, flight 3 GS
Madeline Burnham—Second, flight 4 slalom, Third GS
Blake Justice—Third, flight 4 slalom
Wendy Krause—Second, flight 5 slalom
Skylar Beadle—Second, flight 7 slalom
Greg Thomas—Third, flight 12 slalom
Kristy Clary—Third, flight 14 GS
Will Spradling—First, flight 13 slalom
Caity Burnham—First, flight 14 slalom, First GS (First ever double wins!!!)
Hailey Thomas—Second, flight 15 GS
Jeanne Laroe—Third, flight 15 slalom
Sharon Horton—Second, flight 16 slalom
Keegan Clary—Third, flight 17 slalom, First GS
Race Results Saturday January 7 (in pdf format)
Race Results Sunday January 8 (in pdf format)
Team Race Results Sunday January 8 (in pdf format)
December 17-18, 2011 - Appalachian Mountain Race
The GSOC race team is still currently in FIRST place after our incredible victory last season blasting all 22 other CSC teams.
The 2011-2012 has started with a whimper. Evidently, the Wooly Worm forecast of early season warmth has come true. The first race at Appalachian December 17-18 was cancelled due to NO snow. In addition, all USSA Masters races scheduled for the week of December 26 were cancelled at Bryce and Sugar. Our next race is scheduled for Sugar January 7-8. Things even look doubtful for this race. Unfortunately, Sugar is still more mud than frozen. So, we need some positive thoughts and vibes from everyone to get some cold weather in the Southeast. Please pray for snow and cold conditions so our team of athletes can perform this year!
Racers in the News - Jake LaRoe and David Lippucci, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine
Two of our top racers were recently featured in the December, 2011 article "Snow Junkies", interviewed by author Dustin Zarnikow. Here's Dustin's account of what drives these two athletes and what makes them two of the best ski racers in the Southeast. Well Done!!!
Jake LaRoe is an animal. Not only is it in his blood to compete, it’s in his essence of being. Joining NASTAR at the age of nine, the Crescent Ski Council at 10, and the United States Ski Association at 13 (eventually earning the title second fastest 18-and-under skier in the Southeastern U.S.), LaRoe now focuses most of his energy at the collegiate level competing for North Carolina State University.
Occupation: Student at North Carolina State University.
Base Camp: Sugar Mountain, Banner Elk, NC
What he does: As soon as the snow hits the slopes, I’m driving up to Boone. I set my alarm for 6 a.m. and I am on the chairlift at 8 a.m. I sleep more during school nights than ski nights.
What you ride: I ride Rossignol race stock skis. 165 cm for slalom, 182 cm for Giant Slalom.
Aspirations: I want to be a lawyer.
Passion on the mountain: Ski as fast as I can before ski patrol yells at me. Catch as much air as possible. Improve my confidence in all conditions so I can perform on race day. Skiing in the rain; it may not seem like a good idea but that’s exactly why it is: no crowds, no lines.
Passion off the mountain: I love playing sports. I was a varsity football and baseball player in high school. I am an avid weightlifter and am obsessed with staying physically fit. I enjoy keeping up with politics and love a good old Constitutional discussion.
The meaning of winter: Skating on the pond outside our cabin, sledding down my driveway, shoveling the steps to our porch and cutting my fingers while sharpening my skis. Winter means sitting in class on a Monday, tapping my pencil because I’m so ready for Saturday’s race.
Southeast favorites: My favorite run in the South East is “Tom Terrific” linked into “Sugar Slalom” at Sugar Mountain. There’s a rock on the left side of Tom Terrific that when covered with snow, provides some very serious airtime. At this point in the run I travel close to 45-50 mph. I make a hard right over to Sugar Slalom and really focus on “laying it over,” helping to improve my technique. This run usually has very few people on it so I’m able to ski really fast.
A backward glance: Winning the Dick Trundy Memorial Race at Sugar Mountain. I really only had one guy to beat that day: Erich Schmidinger. He is an employee of Sugar Mountain and he is a former US Ski Team member: he’s damn good. I’ve been trying to beat him forever and I finally did. The trophy is mine—if only for a year.
Heroes: My Dad is my hero. Just in skiing alone, the amount of time and money he’s sacrificed to get me to the level I’m at is awesome. We are really close and I trust his opinion about skiing, life, and anything in between before anyone else’s.
Why you race: I guess I keep racing, even after all of the terribly cold and rainy days because the feeling I get when I win is the best. I wasn’t one of the better kids when I started racing and that killed me. That fire still burns in me now, even though I’ve claimed one of the top spots in the region.
David Lippucci is a salesman, father, golfer, and one of the Southeast’s best ski racers. During the 2011 Crescent Cup, David Lippucci proved that he was the fastest man on the mountain in combined race times.
Occupation: sales manager
What he does: Alpine ski racing as opposed to Nordic. I train and compete in slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom
Base camp: Sugar Mountain. They usually have the best snow. The mountain knows ski racing.
Aspirations: Win my age group at the Masters Nationals; podium finish at the NASTAR finals.
Passion on the mountain: Skiing really big, fast and fun, in control top to bottom.
Passion off the mountain: Teaching golf.
Southeast favorites: Cupp Run at Snowshoe, W.Va. There is a sick GS race every February, top to bottom. Almost a two-minute big boy run.
The meaning of winter: Seeing friends from other parts of the country on the slopes and après-ski. It’s also a chance to show what I have accomplished off-season on the snow. The goal is to improve year after year.
Inspiration to race: There was a pretty woman who signed up with me to take race lessons.
A backward glance: Out of 120 racers, I compiled the least amount of time accumulative over two days of competition for two slalom, and two runs of giant slalom at Snowshoe this past March. I won a big trophy and a pair of new Dynastar race skis.
Looking forward: I will show Warren Miller’s Like There’s No Tomorrow at the Carousel Cinemas in Greensboro December 13. Plus, I’m looking forward to race camp at Copper in November.
Life experience to remember: In my second year of racing (I’ve been at it about 18 years now), I put my hand through a panel gate on a dual course, ripped both gates out of the snow and finished the course with the entire assembly wrapped around my body. The race organizer gave me a ski bag.
Heroes: Anyone in the U.S. Military. Selfless volunteers.
Music: Rock and roll from the 70s and 80s. I hate to say it, but any disco beat that keeps my butt movin’ and groovin’.