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Saturday, March 3, 2001 - Sunday, March 4, 2001 -- Canaan Valley, WV
Governor's Cup Challenge (iPO Event Id#: 2428)
Story and photos by Mike Monroe

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Sat's GS] [Sun's Slalom] [Overall]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]
[1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage]

Ray Ihlenburg
Slicing down the slalom course
Timberline was the site of the oldest race in the south this past weekend, the Governor's Cup Ski Race. It was first held in Canaan Valley in the mid 1950's, and has been held at 4 different locations in Tucker County. The Alpine Festival, along with other sponsors help to put on the race. The festival is promoted by a group of people who's motivation is to promote Tucker County.

With the sun being out in full force, it felt like a warm, spring day on March 3rd, with temperatures ranging in the 50's(f). The next day was a completely different story. No sunscreen was needed when the rain took over, and temperatures hung around the mid to upper 20's(f).

Governor's Cup
Taking a hard spill
Almost Heaven is the name of the slope where the race is held. On the 1st day of racing, a large portion of the trail was marked off for the Giant Slalom. The shorter Slalom course was the scence for competution on the 2nd day. Saturday the course was a fast one that was composed of some packed powder with ice peaking through in spots after the racers had a few runs.

Gate 14 was the site of many wrecks on Saturday. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, and nothing but some minor scrapes and bruises were suffered. The race was tight, and nerves were stretched to the limit as everyone watched the racers zip down the course and waited to hear their time read aloud over the speaker.

Governor's Cup
Edging through the gates
E.J. Scofield, racer for the Terrapin Ski Team of Maryland, was the overall men's winner with a combined time of 127.60, but last year's winner Seth Williams was right on his heals with a combined time of 127.75. Seth could taste victory as he traveled to Timberline from Culpeper County, Virginia. Williams was determined to be the winner again, but he didn't plan on E.J. being there.

Scofield is currently preparing to go to Nationals with his fellow Terrapins. He had 4 great runs that were the equivalent to Seth's, with the only difference being that E.J. did it 15/100 of a second faster. The time that it takes you to blink is slower than the amount of time that split the top two overall winners apart.

"The competition was heated and the finish was to close to be real sure of it" said E.J. Seth also said "This was my 15th year of skiing and I was last years winner, so I was pretty sure of it." "As you can see it always makes for a great race and a good time" said John Lutz, race director.

Governor's Cup
Flying to the finish
The top female winner wasn't a first timer to this race, but a decorated veteran. Andrea Dearborne has won this race 5 years in a row. This year was Dearborne's 6th time to walk away as the overall women's champion of the Govenor's Cup. She also went home with a new set of skis. Andrea was followed closely by Laura Gabanski and Monique Williams. The top 3 women were biting their finger nails as they read through the top 5 females, hoping that one of the names read would be theirs, preferably number one.

As chairman of the Governor's Cup Race Committee for the Alpine Festival, John Lutz was responsible for setting up the race and making all of the contacts. After all the strenuous work, and numerous amount of hours, the outcome was a success! The race was nicely run and executed, but that wasn't all. The Bob and Anita Barton Award has been given out many years now, and it usually goes to someone who happens to be a director or manager.

Governor's Cup
Playing outside in Davis!
One individual who promotes skiing not only in Tucker County, but also in all of West Virginia receives the award, and the winner for 2001 was Bob Sagace. Bob has not only operated lifts at Timberline and Canaan for numerous years, he's also worked rentals at Timberline, and with the Bartons in their ski shop.

As the awards ceremony came to an end, everyone strolled to his or her own car giving their last goodbyes to the friends that they had made over the short weekend. One could sense a feeling of brotherhood that is often felt between most racers after a tough competition. When everyone had left to begin the long or short journey home, we can be sure that they all went away knowing that they did a great thing all weekend; they Played Outside!