2011-2012 Liberty Mountain Racing Team
The Liberty Mountain Race Team has developed top-notch racers since our founding more than 30 years ago in 1977. LMRT is recognized as a non-profit organization under section a 501(c)(3) of the Federal code. Our parents serve on the Board of Directors and work closely with our Coaching staff to run the team according to our by-laws. The athletes race under the governing rules of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association which is the sanctioning body of the US Ski Team itself. Nearly all of America ’s Olympic athletes and U.S. Ski Team members came up through programs just like this -- and some from mountains smaller than this. Our organization does not function without parents’ participation. Volunteering is rewarded with fun and camaraderie on snow or in the lodge and a first hand view of the development of the kids as confident athletes. Parents are expected to participate. We answer to ourselves with a Board of Directors. Various committees, chaired by board members, are responsible for everything from reserving hotel accommodations for an away race or fundraising off-season, to assisting with timing at practice. You will be asked to serve on a committee. You will be asked to lend any special skills or personal expertise you can bring to the LMRT.
The Liberty Mountain Resort generously supports our program with everything from reserved trail space for race & training courses, early, pre-opening lift access, extra snowmaking and grooming to providing space on their property for our storage equipment. We are forever grateful. We cannot function without the resort’s continued support. Many of our members work here and want the resort to thrive. We contribute to the health of the resort by buying hundreds of season passes and tickets per year, not to mention patronizing mountain businesses. Our relationship is a good one. However, it’s important to note: we are guests on the mountain just like any other paying customer. While we enjoy an enhanced relationship with Liberty Mountain, we are not in any way a profit-making enterprise of the resort, nor do we have any say in how they operate. Please remember that your actions at the Mountain reflect on all LMRT members.
Our race team members are aged 7 to 20. They are divided into age categories under USSA rules. The members who join the club have already learned how to make linked parallel turns, at speed. They can turn and stop at will and ski all trails on the mountain in a safe and controlled manner. In short, our racers already know how to ski. The LMRT exists to teach them how to RACE. This is an important distinction. Unlike many league and team sports, ski racing includes significant risks not found on playing fields. Training is conducted on terrain that is open to the general public. For safety’s sake, athletes must be able to keep up with their group, recover from crashes without assistance, and carry their own equipment unassisted. Many aspiring racers gain their basic skiing skills and graduate to racing from the resort’s excellent Junior Development program, which is run by the Liberty Mountain Ski School. The six-week series of lessons puts kids in groups as if they are on a team. Junior Development is not, in any way, a club enterprise. However, we highly recommend it and many members of our team have started off in this program.
We are led by Kurt Zwally, our Head Coach. All are USSA certified coaches, and most have additional credentials as race officials. They direct a corps of coaches dedicated to teaching the most modern, fast, consistent and controlled racing turn. They are paid for their time on club duty, but they don’t do it for the money.
You’ll meet people from all walks of life and literally from around the world. We’re brought together by our genuine love of snow sports -- and the desire to see our kids become the great skiers they want to be!! Parents, coaches, mountain management, we are all volunteers for the club.
The premier event for LMRT each season is the Liberty Mountain Giant Slalom race. Our club is responsible for the monumental logistics of staging this sanctioned USSA race. All parents are expected to participate in this weekend by volunteering or being assigned to various committees. Jobs range from running a registration table indoors, to hauling fencing and equipment on and off the mountain or serving as race officials and gate judges. All LMRT families are required to help organize our race. It’s a very important (and fun!) weekend for all of us.
RACING AT OTHER MOUNTAINS
More experienced racers typically enjoy competing in away races at other mountains in central Pennsylvania. Depending on their results, many will be invited to the State Championships (aka, Derbies) for their age class and some may advance to regional competitions in New England such as the Future Stars event, Eastern Finals, Invitationals or Junior Olympics. Traveling, and racing away is an individual enterprise. Important: Parents and racers are responsible for obtaining registration/fee information and submitting the forms for away races on time and on their own. (See the PARA website for more details.) There is some important paperwork in ski racing, and it is not a team activity. Also, parents are responsible for their own travel arrangements, and must be prepared to support their racer on-the-road independently of the team. Coaches will gather racers once they arrive at the mountain, and assist in course inspection and starting. However, racers are the ones who are responsible for appearing on-time and properly equipped for their start. In this aspect, ski racing is a highly individual and very rewarding sport.
Please refer to the Program page for each specific group to determine the required equipment.
WHO TO TALK TO
Many of your questions will be about scheduling and upcoming races. Your athlete’s coach will make recommendations on what races your racer should enter. The Coaches regularly update the training calendar based on any changes in the race schedule that are made during the season. However, be sure to check the PARA website as it often has the most current race schedule. Individual coaches are available on the mountain during practices and via e-mail links that you may find on the website. You may be serving on one of the committees designated by our Board of Directors. Your individual committee chair can be helpful for questions about who is doing what. See the website for a list of contacts.