PALMER — Dozens of young people honed their riding skills during the last AMMC Racing Youth Snocross event of the season on Sunday. Their new venue, at the Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer next to the historic Rebarchek Colony Farm, has a spectacular view of the Chugach mountains, including Matanuska Peak, Pioneer Peak and Twin Peaks.
The sunny and windless day didn’t prevent Danielle Leader, 14, from getting a face full of snow. “I got roosted,” she said, describing following another competitor over the biggest jump on the track. “It kind of hurts since it’s a little bit icy. You’ve got to shake your helmet, sometimes you have to wipe your goggles.” Her older brother Nikoli Leader, 15, won the Junior 14-15 Pro Class heat riding a 2018 Arctic Cat ZR 600. It’s a pretty fast big sled with a throttle block to “keep it safer for the age limit,” said Leader. “I really want to go race down in the states at a professional snocross level.”
Youth snocross events typically had between 40 and 60 participants this season, ranging from 4 years old to 17, said Sadie Leader, youth race coordinator and club secretary. They competed at seven events over the season, she said. Sunday’s event drew around 40. The organization plans to hold similar events next season.