Park City Ski Team to host David Wright Memorial | ParkRecord.com

Park City Ski Team to host David Wright Memorial

U14 skiers will compete for postseason opportunities

U16 competitor Bennett Snyder 11 skis around the final gate during the Eric Hays Memorial slalom race on PayDay run at Park City Mountain Monday earlier this season. The Park City Ski Team prepares for another slate of races this weekend during the David Wright Memorial.

Over the weekend, the Park City Ski Team (PCST) will be hosting the David Wright Memorial Races as part of Junior IMD Cup U14 Qualifying Series. Members of the U14 division — 12- and 13-year-olds — will take to the slopes at Park City Resort, just off of the Eagle lift, in hopes of qualifying for divisional or regional competitions down the road.

"These qualifying races are very important for those kids in terms of that championship, just where they're going to go and at what level they're going to get to at the end of the year," PCST Director Jesse Hunt said.

This will be the first of many qualifying races this season: first being here in Park City, another at Snowbasin and a third in Jackson Hole. After all of the races are complete, the points from the events are tallied up to stack up the competition. This final list will determine which competition each skier will be delegated to.

"The first-year kids, this will be their first race of the year," Hunt said. "So they are obviously anxious, wondering where they are going to fit in terms of the first race here. A lot of anticipation for that group."

Something unique to this event is that there's a perpetual trophy that contains the names of every past winner. The winners of this year's event — the top male and female after the three days of racing — will get their names engraved on this award.

"It's a long, long list of some pretty impressive names that have won that over time," Hunt said. "That's pretty cool. We're proud of that as well."

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The field will include roughly 200 racers, said Hunt. There will be two disciplines throughout the three-day event; one day of slalom and two days of giant slalom. Each day, every one of the racers will participate in each event, which could become a hectic time for race directors such as Hunt.

In addition to all of the hoops Hunt has to jump through just to get this event off of the ground, the forecast calls for snow for much of the week. The area is coming off of the heels of a big overnight storm on Monday into Tuesday, with over a foot of fresh snow gracing the local resorts.

Some may assume the snow would be good for skiing, but in order to get the slope into race condition, this calls for more work.

"It'll all be good because, obviously, we need snow everywhere," Hunt said. "We're welcoming the snow, but it can make it difficult to run races, for sure. But with the grooming and everything, we'll try to get that surface in as good of shape as possible so we can run a good race. … A lot of work going on behind the scenes."

Like the previous slate of races held by the PCST — the Eric Hays Memorial — this weekend's races are also in memory of the late David Wright, who was a local photographer and videographer who focused specifically on skiing. He was associated with the PCST and helped out at some of their events by taking photos.

Ever since his unexpected passing in a helicopter accident back in 1993, the PCST has tried to do its part by honoring his memory with these events.

"It's been [about] 20-plus years that we've been honoring his passing and his life with this event," Hunt said. "There's definitely history with this [event] as well."

The first race of the weekend is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. on Friday off of the Eagle lift at Park City Resort.

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