NASTAR athletes across the United States are making the big decision whether to compete in the national championships in Winter Park. Those who have competed on a NASTAR course know by this point whether they have qualified to compete. Athletes must be ranked in the top three in their age and gender category in their division at any NASTAR resort. Divisions include Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
The championships welcome skiers, snowboarders, and telemark skiers to compete. Physically Challenged athletes are also in a division.
Winter Park is hosting the huge event for the country's top recreational skiers for the second year in a row, March 24-27. More than 1,200 people will compete. They'll make the trip with family and friends. The venue is ideal because two of the race courses finish right at the bottom of the mountain. Spectators can walk to the finish area and enjoy the sponsor village, concerts, and movies.
Bill Madsen is Director of Operations for NASTAR. He says people are really excited, as are NASTAR organizers. "The second year that a resort hosts the national championships is always great because we have one year of experience behind us. This year there will be more music, a bigger sponsor village, more prizes, and better raffle items. Don't miss it!"
Athletes in attendance are former U.S. Ski Team racers Heidi Voelker, Jimmy Cochran, Doug Lewis, and AJ Kitt. Free concerts at West Portal Station are March 24 and 25. John Brown's Body and Elephant Revival will be on stage.
The 2011 U.S. Alpine Championships will follow the NASTAR event, March 31-April 3. This means the top recreational racers will be competing on the same trails as the U.S. Ski Team athletes.