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Sunday, January 6, 2002 -- Champion, PA
Race of the Decades (iPO Event Id#: 4730)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [2001 Race of the Decades]

Paul Schade
Crashing the gates on the dual slalom
The Western PA Ski Council WPSC couldn't have asked for better conditions for the 2002 Crown Royal Race of the Decades. The snow started floating in early in the morning and kept at it all day. This made for some great skiing, boarding, and telemarking on the slopes of Seven Springs Resort.

The competition was open to all comers, and with the gates set, it was now just a matter of getting a clean run to the bottom... as fast as possible. With times generally in the 20-second-plus neighborhood, the fastest guns where looking to break into the teens with a sub-20.

Whatever the times, the Alpine skiers, snowboarders and telemark racers, ranging in age from 6 to well over 60, where having a blast giving it their best try.

After all the runs had been completed, three strong skiers careened down the mountain in less than 20 seconds. The fastest being 18-year-old Matthew Schade with a winning time of 19.48. Less than a tenth of a second off his mark was 36-year-old Josef Kneisl (19.57), with 42-year-old Paul Schade (19.67) just another tenth of a second back. As you can see, it truly was a race of the decades.

Race Pic
Taking on the slalom Telemark style
The fastest among the women was 42-year-old Laura Rizzo who was clocked at 21.76, with kudos also going to the fastest (and only) telemark female, 28-year-old Julie Thomas.

The fastest snowboarder was 49-year-old Dan Oshop (25.81) while the fastest to tele-turn their way down the course was Tip Airey (23.52).

After a day on the slopes it was time for the awards party at the Matterhorn in Seven Springs' main lodge. With plenty of prizes for all the winners, age groups included, along with some nice random giveaways and some nice refreshments, it was just another great event brought to you by the folks at WPSC, Seven Springs, and last, but certainly not least, Crown Royal!

See you on the slopes for the WPSC's NASTAR Mixer on Sunday, January 13th.