By Emily Pross, Marketing and Communications Student

Down in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina sits a town called West Jefferson, which is home to the Mt. Jefferson Downhill race. The race is hosted by North Carolina Downhill in collaboration with the town of West Jefferson and the Park Rangers of Mt. Jefferson, and every single year they do an incredible job of running the event and attracting a crowd of spectators. This was the 3rd year of the event, and I’m happy to say I’ve attended all three years.

Last year’s event was dry all weekend, however with the addition of Friday, we were able to get 1 full day of dry and then the rain came for the rest of the weekend. Which means that two out of the three years the event has happened it has rained. Another addition this year was street luge. Street lugers battled the elements in their own heats alongside the skaters. I took a few street luge runs with the luge crew, however those are yet to surface of me “laying” it down on the track.

Dry Skating on FridayDry Skating on Friday

Street LugeStreet Lugers entering the right
Photo Credit: TangyTJ

However, wet or dry, the track still proved to be a challenge for some. Crashes were abundant. Skate House Media captured all the Crashes and the Sketchy moments, and if you want to see the messy side of Downhill Skateboarding check out the hyperlink.

Getting taken out from behind is always a real bummer photo Max Dubler I’m Bummed
Photo Credit: Max Dubler

The guys at MOLuv Skate made a pretty sick video of the whole event, which sums up the stoke pretty well.

On Sunday, the race heats proved to be tight, as well as challenging, due to the consistent heavy rain all day. I haven’t skated this road in the wet since 2015 and I remember I was pretty scared to hit it in the rain. But after a few warmup runs, to my surprise I was feeling pretty solid.

For me, my heats were tight from the get go, and as I advanced in every round the heats kept getting exceptionally tighter.

Turing right in the quartersTurning right in the Quarter Final Heat
Photo Credit: Ross Earhart

Tight quarter final run photo tangy TJ Getting really Close with NC local Bailey in the last left 
Photo Credit: TangyTJ

The Quarter final heat was really tight – Bailey Wincoff, Ed Kiefer, and I were three wide at the finish, but Ed and I ended up advancing.

In the semis I found myself up against Ed Kiefer, Dexter Manning, and Chris Anders, which proved to be another intense heat.

Semis Heat last left photo tangy TJ Coming through the left in the semi final heat, with myself out in front
Photo Credit: TangyTJ

Fortunately, I was able to the hold the lead I had coming in and out of the last left and was able to advance to my first open final heat in a major downhill race.

Semi Final right before crossing the finish Coming up on the finish line with myself in the lead to advance in the finals
Photo Credit: Max Dubler

Fortunately, Noah Fish had his GoPro on during the heat to capture all the intensity and closeness, right before he had a tangle up with Ed Kiefer. Click here to check out the final heat.

After Ed and Noah tangled up, I was able to make a pass on Chase right before the final left.

Tight final with Chase Hiller photo Isaac Cogdill Getting close
Photo Credit: Isaac Cogdill

Finish line shot of the finals photo Max Dubler Finally did it!
Photo Credit: Max Dubler

I ended up coming out on top, and won the whole race, becoming the first ever female to win first place in a major downhill skateboarding event. Those that know me well know that I have been trying to attain this for a long time and have worked long and hard in order to make this a reality.

This win proves to everyone that you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it and are willing to work hard.

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Emily Pross, Uncategorized