This past Wednesday, eight of Blair's ski racers had the honor of qualifying for Race of Champions (ROC), which invites the top forty racers out of the entire state of New Jersey to ski in three races over the course of a single day. Captains Patrick Payne '23 and Ben Kotch '23 and junior Joon Park '24 qualified for the boys' races, while all five sophomore girls-- Morgan Celley '25, Paige Celley '25, Courtney Payne '25, Nina Diem '25, and C.C. Boellhoff '25-- qualified for the girls' race.
In the first race, which was the sole giant slalom (GS) race of the day, highlights included Morgan Celley winning first place, and Joon, Patrick, and Ben taking 15th, 16th, and 17th, respectively. In addition, Nina and Paige also placed back-to-back in 22nd and 23rd.
In the second race, the first slalom race, Morgan again took first place, while Joon took 5th! Patrick followed only six seconds behind in 22nd place, and Paige, C.C, and Nina took 23rd, 24th, and 25th, which meant that they were able to race back-to-back in the third and final run of the day.
In the final run, the racers persevered through the elements of hail, snow, fog, and rain after having been on the mountain for five hours, ready to dominate. Morgan once again placed first, earning her the impressive title of state champion-- and two trophies, too! Joon placed 6th, Patrick placed 17th, and Paige, C.C., and Nina placed 18th, 19th, and 21st.
Therefore, all of Blair's top racers sported impressive standings in the league after the Race of Champions. Morgan made the first all-state team and is headed to the Eastern Region High School Championships in New Hampshire next week. Joon made the second all-state team and is also headed to Easterns. Patrick made the third all-state team and is therefore a reserve member for the New Jersey team next week. In addition, Ben and Paige are both the 24th ranked skiers in the entire state of New Jersey, while Nina is the 25th girl racer in the state!
Both teams will finish up their season with States races on Friday and Monday, where they hope to bring home similar successes!