Top collegiate and FIS racers will race towards Steamboat Springs Wednesday, Dec. 20 through Friday, Dec. 22, to participate in the Murphy Roberts Holiday Classic. This marquee race was renamed last year in honor of Murphy Roberts, a former SSWSC alpine athlete who passed away unexpectedly in 2016 at the age of 22. This year the racers will arrive in Steamboat to one of the largest prize purses and awards packages outside of the National Championships.
The SSWSC is pleased to partner with T2 Foundation to help increase prize money for racers, with the intention of forming a longer term collaboration with T2 to increase the visibility and sustainability of this unique alpine competition. Thanks to the support of co-chairs Chris Puckett and David Baldinger, Jr., and as a result of T2’s participation, the race will offer the highest total purse of its kind – almost $10,000.
“We are thrilled to become a part of this iconic race and hope to forge a long-term collaboration with the SSWSC that helps continue to elevate and sustain the Murphy Roberts Holiday Classic races long into the future,” said T2 Foundation Director Marina Knight.
As noted by co-chair Chris Puckett, “the community support of the significant prize money purse, together with the sizable matching contribution by T2, really bring energy and focus to athletes who can use the money in pursuit of their collegiate and athletic goals.”
In addition to the enhanced purse, the SSWSC, in collaboration with the Roberts Family of Steamboat Springs, will be unveiling the inaugural “Murphy Roberts Holiday Classic Award” with a $1,000 cash prize, which will be presented to a junior ski racer from the State of Colorado who inspires teammates with the type of team spirit demonstrated by the late Murphy Roberts. This award will be presented to an athlete who demonstrates a passion for alpine ski racing while selflessly providing a level of enthusiasm, fun, and team participation that supports his/her teammates in a way that stands out among the field of eligible racers.
“My brother Murphy exuded positive energy and lifted up those around him,” said Murphy’s brother, Hig Roberts. “Murphy and my family always loved the Holiday Classic race, and we could not think of a better way to honor his memory than by highlighting a special individual from the race that demonstrates those unforgettable ‘Murph’ qualities that we all knew and loved.”
The added prize money and Murphy Roberts Award bring increased incentives and motivation for collegiate and FIS racers to participate and to perform. SSWSC Executive Director Jim Boyne stated, “the combination of our partnerships with T2 Foundation and the Roberts Family bring added anticipation and electricity to a race that has always been a Steamboat favorite, and a homecoming of sorts for many Steamboat athletes returning from college or competitions for the holidays. We are pleased to be able to add these terrific elements to an already exceptional alpine event. Our thanks to T2 Foundation and the Roberts Family.”
The Face of Howelsen Hill will once again be the proving ground for the Murphy Roberts Holiday Classic. Wednesday, December 20th, the races start with a men’s and women’s NJR national junior slalom race. The day will begin with women racing at 9:00 a.m. and men racing at 10:15 a.m., with a second run for women at 12:15 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. for men. Thursday, Dec. 21, will continue with a men’s and women’s FIS slalom race that is one of the most exciting Steamboat alpine races that culminates in an epic slalom finals under the lights. Thursday races begin with the women’s race at 1:00 p.m. and the men’s race at 2:45 p.m., with the finals for women beginning at 5:30 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. for men.
The night races are scheduled to be broadcasted live at steamboatradio.com. The series will conclude on Friday, Dec. 22, with men’s and women’s FIS slalom races with women beginning at 9:00 a.m. and men beginning at 10:15 a.m., with a second run for women at 12:15 p.m. and at 1:45 p.m. for men.
Prize money for the top 3 overall finishers and top U19 racer for the Dec 21-22 FIS races will be awarded, with $1,250 going out for 1st place, $500 for 2nd place, $250 for 3rd place, and $250 for the top U19 finisher. The $1,000 Murphy Roberts Award will be presented on December 21st after the night slalom.
Trophies are awarded to the top overall finisher and top U19 finisher for the Dec 21-22 races combined using World Cup points. There is a complimentary Champions Dinner for past Holiday Classic winners and the NJR race winners on Dec. 20. Contact Dave Baldinger to RSVP.
Additional information and a full schedule of events can be found here. Be part of the online conversation using #SteamboatMurphyRobertsHC.
Release courtesy of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club