NORTH CREEK, New York ??вЂќ The New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) hosted the Kandahar at Gore Mountain on February 26-27. The two-day race, a tradition that began in 1974, drew 245 alpine athletes and their families to the Gore Mountain Region last weekend. This is the fifth consecutive winter that Gore Mountain has been a host to the event.
The Kandahar allows families from ski teams all around New York State to become acquainted. The event has always embodied some of the best aspects of ski racing, with an emphasis on athlete development and outdoor fun.
Top JIII female finishers from the Gore Mountain team included Kirsten Swits, fourth, Ballston Spa; on Saturday, and Melissa Dombroski, second, Clifton Park; and Kirsten Swits, fourth; on Sunday. Top JIII male finishers from the Gore Mountain team included Elias Malahias, third, Far Rockaway; William O’Connor, fourth, Mahopac; and Matthew Casolo, fifth, Voorheesville; on Saturday, and Justin Anderson, first, Clifton Park; Matthew Casolo, second; and Christopher Pehl, fifth, Saratoga Springs; on Sunday.
Top JIV female finishers from the Gore Mountain team included Kelly Blackhurst, fourth, North River; and Lily Gaechter, fifth, Hawthorne, NJ; on Saturday, and Kelly Blackhurst, third; and Lily Gaechter, fifth; on Sunday. Top JIV male finishers included Alexander Slemp, second, Clifton Park; Benjamin Richards, third, North Creek, Jason Yates, fourth, Ringwood, NJ; and Eric McGuire, fifth, Delanson; on Saturday, and Benjamin Richards, fifth, on Sunday.
The Kandahar was held on the lower half of “Twister,” Gore Mountain’s race trail. Before the start of the 2004/2005 ski season, trails crews widened “Twister” from 60-80′ wide to 120′, allowing for more high-profile racing events like the Kandahar to be hosted. The trail was widened in consideration of the original design, preserving the unique character of this favorite Gore Mountain run. The work has been commended by both the race team and Gore Mountain’s guests.
Locally, the race name comes from its original sponsor shop, Chip’s Kandahar in Cortland, NY. Historically, the name Kandahar came from the first formal Alpine Downhill in Switzerland in 1911, organized by Sir Henry Lunn. At stake was the Kandahar Trophy, donated by Lord Roberts of Kandahar, India. Lunn’s son Arnold is credited with inventing the modern slalom in 1922, and with advocating the push to include alpine skiing in the Winter Olympics.
NYSEF is a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities for children and young adults through athletic training in winter snow sports. NYSEF’s primary goal is to produce athletes with a life-long enthusiasm for winter sports. Participants are encouraged as individuals to participate at a level suitable for their skills and personal competitive interests. Many NYSEF athletes go on to successfully compete in college or as members of national teams. Gore Mountain has NYSEF programs for both skiers and riders. For more information about NYSEF, and race results, call (518) 251-2825, or log on to www.nysef.org.