Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Steamboat Springs A pair of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboarders posted top finishes in prestigious competitions.
Mick Dierdorff helped the U.S. contingent win the Trofeo Topolino with his first-place halfpipe run in Val di Sole, Italy. Dierdorff also placed fifth in snowboardcross at the same competition.
"Mick is a fantastic rider," Winter Sports Club snowboard program director Jon Casson said. "But boardercross is more his specialty than the pipe. He's been working on his pipe riding really hard this winter, and his first place finish is a pleasant surprise."
Matt Ladley, who was selected to compete in the Trofeo Topolino but decided to stay on American soil, won the men's halfpipe in a Revolution Tour event during the weekend in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Ladley placed second at an earlier Revolution Tour stop in Minnesota. Those finishes make Ladley a potential candidate for the 2006-07 U.S. Snowboard Team, Casson said.
Ladley's winning halfpipe run consisted of back-to-back 720s followed by a 900 into back-to-back 540s.
Dierdorff's winning halfpipe run consisted of back-to-back 540s followed by a 720 into back-to-back switch 540s. Dierdorff also had the top qualifying time in snowboardcross, giving him an enviable start position. However, he was edged off the podium.
The Trofeo Topolino featured top young riders from 28 nations, including powerhouses Switzerland and Finland. It is the first international competition for most young American snowboarders.
Casson was selected to coach the U.S. slopestyle teams in the Trofeo Topolino from March 6 to 11.
In addition to Ladley, Winter Sports Club riders Ariel Tredway, Chad Oliver, Blake Eddington, Sam Hou-ston, Charlie Peddie and Paul Innes competed in the Revolution Tour.
Tredway, who is relatively new to competitive snowboarding, made her first finals in the Revolution Tour, placing fourth in the women's event. Winter Sports Club development coach Theresa Ward finished fifth in the women's slopestyle competition.
Ladley is in Stratton, Vt., competing in the U.S. Open men's halfpipe competition. The U.S. Open and U.S. Open Junior Jam began Monday and continue through Sunday.
Winter Sports Club riders Drew Dummit, Grant Murray, Taylor Gold, Austin Reed and Chloe Banning also are in Vermont.
"Matt won last year, and all of our competitors are riding great this season," Casson said.
From Vermont, Winter Sports Club riders will head to Tahoe, Calif., for the 2006 USASA National Championships. Fourteen local riders will be competing in five disciplines: giant slalom, slalom, slopestyle, halfpipe and snowboardcross.
Carter Smalley is riding in all five events in an attempt to defend his overall title from last year in the Grommet Boys division for 8- and 9-year-olds. Maddy Shaffrick also hopes to ride in all five events.
Gold and Murray will compete in the Breaker Boys (12-13) division in halfpipe and slopestyle.
Dierdorff is competing in halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboardcross and is the defending champion in snowboardcross.
"This year we are only sending 14, as some of our older riders have chosen to focus on other events this season," Casson said. "The group we are sending represents some of the top young snowboarders in the U.S., and we are super-excited to take part in such a huge event."
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com