Meet Our 2019-20 Pacesetter Team
11.19.2019 | Bill Madsen
NASTAR stands for the NATional STAndard Race and Pacesetting is the bond that holds NASTAR together. Each NASTAR resort or club must have certified Pacesetters set the Par Time, or the National Standard for each race. Once the Par Time is set, every racer earns a handicap based on their performance. The system allows NASTAR racers to compete on different mountains and compare their skills.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (RCS) is NASTAR’s National Pacesetter and the zero handicap. Because RCS is busy racing on the World Cup circuit, we have a number of U.S. Ski Team alums that represent Ryan at the Regional Pacesetting Trials. NASTAR’s Regional Pacesetters earn their handicaps racing against Ryan and each Resort and Club Pacesetter earns certified pacesetting handicaps at the regional pacesetting trials. Resort and Club pacesetters use their handicaps to set the Par Time for NASTAR races at their resorts.
The NASTAR handicap simply represents the difference between Ryan's time and any NASTAR racer’s time expressed as a percentage (e.g. 15 handicap = 15% behind RCS's time).
Here is a look at the stable of NASTAR pacesetters that will be setting the pace at races where your local pacesetters will earn their pacesetting handicaps.
As a Lake Tahoe native, Marco learned to ski on some of the most legendary terrain in the world. With 16 years on the U.S. Ski Team under his belt and more downhill starts than any other U.S. Ski Team racer, Marco has competed in five World Championships and is a four-time Olympian. He also attended four Olympic Games (‘02, ‘06, ‘10, ‘14) and four World Championships. Marco remains a part of the skiing development scene through his American Downhiller Camps. The annual speed training camp provides kids U14 and older an opportunity to be coached by a squad of current and former American downhillers.
Rahlves earned three World Championships medals, a gold in 2001 in the Super-G and a silver and bronze (downhill and giant slalom) in 2005. His best year in the overall World Cup standings was 2006, when he finished fourth. Rahlves' best years in the downhill standings were 2003 and 2004, when he placed second. He was also the runner-up in the Super G standings in 2004.
A Minnesota native, Claire Brown grew up racing under the lights at Buck Hill before joining the University of Denver Pioneers eventually going on to take home 24 career FIS wins. At the University of Denver, she earned NCAA All-American honors and helped her team win two National Championships. After graduating with a degree in finance and marketing, she relocated to Park City and now enters her seventh season as Publisher at Ski Racing Media.
Weibrecht made his World Cup debut at Beaver Creek in 2006 and became a full-time World Cup racer during the 2008 season. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Weibrecht finished 21st in the downhill at Whistler and four days later, Weibrecht won the bronze medal in the super-G. Weibrecht won the silver medal in the super-G in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, besting teammate Bode Miller, who tied for the bronze.
Casey is a four-time Olympic Alpine racer and a six-time national champion. Puckett retired from Alpine racing in 2002 and began new career in Ski Cross. He is a two-time gold medalist at the X Games (2004, 2007), and a three-time winner of the Jeep King of the Mountain title.
U.S. Ski Team NASTAR Ambassadors and Pacesetters
NASTAR'S National Pacesetter and zero handicap is another member of the famous Skiing Cochrans. Ryan Cochran-Siegle's mother is 1972 Olympic slalom gold medalist Barbara Ann Cochran, which also means he's cousins with a handful of other former U.S. Ski Teamers including Jimmy Cochran. But this Junior World Champion didn't make the Team by family attrition; he did it by fast skiing at every level. Good news: his elevator is just getting off the ground floor. In 2016, Cochran-Siegle made his World Cup giant slalom debut and four races later, scored his first giant slalom points with a 30th place at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. To finish the season, Cochran-Siegle grabbed three top five finishes at the U.S. Alpine Championships in Sun Valley, ID with a fourth place in the alpine combined and two second place finishes in super G and giant slalom. Big things to come from this guy in the coming years!
A talented artist as well as a ski racer, Laurenne Ross is one of the most dynamic athletes on and off the snow with incredible talent on violin, piano, guitar, vocals and as a visual artist. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Ross cut her teeth at a small local hill but headed to the Canadian Rockies on weekends, where she raced her Dad (a former alpine racer) to the lodge. A creative to the core who is a seasoned vet when it comes to creating both visual beauties in the classroom and beauty in the form of arcs on the snow, the only question now is just how much more beauty Ross can create as she finds her consistent home back on the podium.
There are more than 100 resorts and clubs that host NASTAR races across the country, and each has a group of pacesetters that earn certified pacesetting handicaps at the Regional Pacesetting Trials. Pacesetters race the course each day to set the Par Time, or the time RCS would have raced the course had he been there that day. By simply dividing a pacesetter's time into their handicap we get the Par Time.
When you race NASTAR you are racing against RCS and his Par Time. The handicap you earn is the percentage your time is behind RCS's time (e.g. 25 handicap = 25 percent behind RCS's time).
The NASTAR Handicap System gives ski and snowboard racers a simplified system to gauge their ability and to monitor their progress throughout the season. NASTAR racers can compare their race results to other competitors, and they earn a ranking at the host resort after one race. When three races are completed on three different days participants can compare themselves to other racers in their state of residence and nationally regardless of when and where they race.