The Southern Alpine Racing Association, (â€œSARAâ€), is pleased to announce that Mallory Crandall, a first-year J1 racer from Nelson County, Virginia is the first winner of the Kober Award, awarded annually to that 15 to 19 year old member of SARA best demonstrating leadership, sportsmanship, teamwork, respect, ambassadorship, and expertise over the course of their career as an alpine ski racer with SARA. The award honors the late Sepp Kober, â€œThe Father of Southern Skiingâ€, who was inducted into the United States Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2010. Mr. Kober joined 366 other honored members inducted over the prior 56 years ranging from the early ski jumping pioneers and industry greats like Howard Head to Jimmy Huega and Billy Kidd, the first US men to earn Olympic medals. More contemporary ski racers like Picabo Street, Tommy Moe, and Phil and Steve Mahre are members, as are freestyle skier Jonny Moseley and Doug Coombs, possibly the greatest free skier ever.
Sean McKee, SARA's president and J1-2 chair said â€œMallory has been a dominant force in the south for the last ten years, and always represents SARA well when racing on the larger stage of Eastern Championships and Junior Olympics. In 2010, Mallory was on the Eastern Championships podium twice for Super G, but beyond her racing success, she leads by example, displaying the hard work needed to perform at this level and also mentoring younger racers. She demonstrates grace in victory and poise in defeat, and she's not afraid to hike on those rare instances when she misses a gate.â€
To win this year's award, Ms. Crandall was nominated by one of SARA's member teams, and elected by a committee of SARA coaches. She received a certificate of achievement, and hers will be the first name added to a permanent plaque displayed at Freestyle in Charlottesville, Virginia. She also receives a $1,000 scholarship towards post-secondary education. SARA is building an endowment fund to provide future scholarships, and tax deductible contributions to this fund can be directed to:
Southern Alpine Race Association
P.O. Box 6043
Kingsport, TN 37663
Attention John Patrick, Treasurer
About SARA: SARA, a 501 c (3) charitable organization, is affiliated with the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) through its Eastern Division. SARA's mission is to promote first-rate alpine ski competition, education, and training programs throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Member ski teams include Bryce, Massanutten, and Wintergreen Resorts in Virginia, Snowshoe, Timberline, and Winterplace Resorts in West Virginia, and Beech and Sugar Mountain Resorts in North Carolina.
About Sepp Kober: Sepp Kober introduced alpine skiing to the region at Weiss Knob and Wisp (West Virginia and Maryland, respectively) in 1958 and at The Homestead in Virginia in 1959. He was the region's first certified ski instructor, first area director, and the first to organize and host USSA sanctioned ski races when he brought two USSA races to the Homestead in 1976. He also co-founded the Southeastern Ski Areas Association, serving multiple terms as its president.