NASTAR is America’s recreational league winter sports venue where alpine, telemark and snowboarders compete head to head, along with disabled and blind skiers joining in the competition.
Former Olympic champions set the pace of the day on each race course and recreational skiers race down the very same courses to see how their times compare to the pros. Handicaps or weights are given to each participant in each age classification and, in an intricate formula using race course times, an overall score ranks the skiers.
For Telluride’s small yet powerful all mountain skiers, having the chance to test their skills in such a high level venue at their young age was a positive experience.
Although the Steamboat resort received over 21 of inches of new snow last week, the race courses were unexpectedly icy and difficult. Much of the field was taken out by crashes, but Telluride put on an impressive showing.
Sammy Schuiling placed fourth in the Platinum division of the boys’ 7- to 8-year-old field, whereas Bryce Lambert placed 12th in the Silver category. In the Platinum division of the girls’ 5-6 race, Kendahl Roufa placed second, and in the Gold division of the boys’ 5-6 race, Andalo Santangelo placed fourth, Andy Schuiling placed fifth and Peter Spencer placed eighth.
Gravity coach and mom Sheilagh Roufa placed second in the women’s 45-49 Platinum division.
Gravity is a Telluride born snow sports athletic program within the larger Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club that fosters the development of the Telluride region’s youngest skiers, snowboarders, freestylers, and freeriders in the first through third grades. There are over 250 athletes in the overall TSSC program, making it the largest athletic program of any sport in this region of Colorado. The mission of Gravity specifically, among other ideals, is to foster an appreciation and to provide exposure to the whole ski mountain in a safe and friendly non-competitive environment.