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Sunday, February 25, 2001 -- Champion, PA
K2 / K&M Tours / MGD Mogul Challenge
Story and photos by Mike Monroe

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]

Race Pic
Going head-to-head and air-to-air at the Mogul Challenge
The 12th Annual K2 - K&M Tours - MGD Mogul Challenge was held Sunday at Seven Springs Resort. The Mogul Challenge isn't just a plain race against time. Instead, whoever makes it look the best, while speeding their way down, wins. There are five judges that score different things. Two judges score the number of turns and technique, one judge makes sure they both get at least two airs, one "speed" judge who times the racers coming down the course, and one tie breaker or overall judge.

The weather was warm, right around 60 degrees(f), and the sky was clear. Even though it looked like a beautiful day for a race, it didn't sound that way the night before. "We didn't even know if we were going to have it, because there was a wind advisory and a storm watch on for Sunday, but the sky was clear at 8-o'clock[am] so it was on," said Rick Boxler, race director. Rick also said, "I am glad we decided to have the race today because the weather was beautiful and everyone looked like they were having a good time."

Everyone had their skis all waxed and ready to race, the course went down through some deep moguls with a couple little jumps thrown in to get some nice air off. In the dual racing format, everyone knew what their big trick was going to be. But, they had to remember they still needed a solid landing and to cross the line first to get the big points.

Race Pic
Right back at ya!
Everything was being thrown when it came to big air, but the crowd favorite was probably the 720. Zooming down through the moguls and coming to the last jump, Kevin Mathews must have decided it was time to show all the fans what he could do. Boom, he landed the 720.

This wasn't enough as Stephen Ghrist was racing against Matthews on this run. He simply came out and nailed his own two big tricks to steal the higher score. Ghrist is in his twelfth season and still showing everyone what he can do by winning the 15-20 age group.

Alex Clayton and Chad Bowman, WPRC Racers, were well primed by the time it was their turn to race for the 9 and under class title. They both won their first heats and were matched up together for the final heat to decide who would win. They both came flying through the moguls and caught some big air off a few jumps. You couldn't ask for a closer race, but when they crossed the finish line the judges were holding the cards up in favor of Bowman. Chad and Alex both ski a lot every week, and Chad mention that he skis around 30 hours a week. Needless to say, in his fifth season, he is still keeping it real and is working hard to make something happen.

Seven Springs
Seven Springs rests up for more big mogul action
The course was well laid out, jumps were nice, and "I had a blast" were words heard from just about all the racers. Having fun also has a great deal to with how the course is laid out, so a lot of pressure lies on the course builders shoulders. In this case Frankie Ross was the course designer, and it seemed like he had the most fun out of everyone. Ross skis a lot and knows what to look for when building a course, and everyone was in agreement that the course was awesome.

The next Mogul Challenge is being held March 17th during Spring Carnival at Seven Springs. So wax the skis, throw them on the rack, and head to Seven Springs. If not to race, to have a great time watching the event enjoying a great resort.