Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Steamboat Springs When he's not busy doing interviews for feature stories such as the one that just appeared in Rise Magazine, Steamboat Springs snowboarder Matt Ladley is backing up his newfound visibility with wins.
The 15-year-old U.S. Snowboard Rookie Team rider grabbed his second halfpipe victory of the year at the second Chevrolet Revolution Tour event of the season last weekend in Mount Bachelor, Ore.
The three-event (snowboardcross, halfpipe and slopestyle) Revolution Tour competitions serve as qualifiers for the 2008 U.S. Grand Prix Tour, U.S. Open, USASA Championships, Lake Placid World Cup, and the biggest stage of all, the 2007 FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships. Ladley will have to wait until U.S. Snowboarding officially names its team for the junior worlds in March, after the two remaining selection events. But with two wins in the bag, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club pro/am freestyle coach Spencer Tamblyn said Ladley could afford to miss this week's Revolution Tour event in Spirit Mountain, Minn., in favor of a photo shoot at Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, for Nike.
In transit Tuesday from Oregon to Minnesota, Tamblyn talked about the impressive performances by his team of local riders.
"We did really well - we landed on the podium all three days of the competition," Tamblyn said. "I'm pretty proud to see four of the 12 medals given go to our guys."
Friday's snowboardcross event ended with three Winter Sports Club riders in the top six. Despite falling seven times in the advancing rounds, Conor Meyer took third overall. Cleve Johnson, fresh off a 14th-place finish at the Winter X Games, took fifth and Mick Dierdorff took sixth after posting the second-fastest overall time.
"They just ripped it up and raised a new flag for snowboardcross in the Winter Sports Club," Tamblyn said.
Ladley's winning halfpipe run Saturday, which featured three 900s, stole the show. Reno, Nev.-based Winter Sports Club rider Ross Baker took second while Colin Tucker and Charlie Peddie advanced to the final round of 12 from a competitive field of 80 riders.
Ladley opened Sunday's slopestyle event with his first attempt at a backside-9 in competition and landed in third place, his first slopestyle podium finish. Baker took fifth in the event.
Tamblyn also mentioned the solid riding from Blake Eddington, who missed advancing to the Olympic-caliber halfpipe finals of the Chevrolet U.S. Grand Prix, held at Mount Bachelor the week prior, by two spots. Chad Oliver and Nathan Rothe had to return to Steamboat with ankle injuries.
Visit www.fis-ski.com for full results.