Zachary Kay enjoyed good results last season, but Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach Thedo Remmelink thought the rider could achieve more.
Kay proved his coach was right during a pair of NorAm parallel giant slalom races at the Copper Mountain Resort last week.
Kay, who was dropped from the U.S. Snowboarding Team last season because of inconsistent results, proved to be one of the most consistent riders during the parallel giant slalom races, which were held Nov. 21 and 22.
Kay was the top Winter Sports Club rider in both races, and he pushed Chris Klug to his limits in the first parallel giant slalom race Nov. 21 by placing second to the two-time Olympian.
In a second race, on Nov. 22, Kay placed sixth, but he was the fourth-place U.S. rider. Klug also won that race, followed by Sweden's Daniel Biveson in second and Eric Warren of the United States in third.
"Zach won a Race to the Cup in Squaw Valley last season, but didn't have enough top results to stay on the U.S. Team," Remmelink said. "I think he is out to prove that he belongs."
Kay stepped up his off-season conditioning this year, and Remmelink said he has seen a difference in the rider's performances on the slopes.
Kay's second- and sixth-place results highlighted the Winter Sports Club's showing in Copper.
Top Steamboat riders in the first race included Josh Wylie in fourth, Tyler Jewell in sixth, Justin Reiter in ninth, Vic Wild in 11th and David Manthei in 14th.
In the second race Wylie placed 10th, Jewell was 11th, Wild was 15th, Quinn Orb was 17th, and Manthei placed 22nd.
Remmelink said he was happy with the results, but he said there was room for improvement.
Reiter, who was one of the club's top riders for most of last season, is dealing with the effects of a crash before the opening World Cup of the season in Soelden, Austria. Reiter broke his board while training and suffered a lingering shin injury that has limited his training in the early part of the season.
He raced in the first NorAm event last week, but elected to skip the second to stay fresh for an upcoming World Cup event in Le Relais, Quebec, on Dec. 16 to 18.
Several members of the team left for Europe on Monday to compete in a series of Europa Cups, but they will return for the World Cup events in Canada and a Race to the Cup event at the Okemo Mountain Resort on Dec. 20 and 21.