Steamboat Springs The only thing that surprised Steamboat Springs snowboarder Ariel Tredway more than her halfpipe podium finish Tuesday was seeing a teammate ahead of her.
In her Chevrolet Revolution Tour debut, 13-year-old freestyle phenom Madeline Schaffrick of Steamboat qualified first in the premier U.S. Snowboarding-hosted halfpipe event. She went on to take second in the finals, edging out Tredway in third.
"It's inspiring for everyone there," Tredway, 17, said of Schaffrick, who missed the outright win by a tiny point margin. "With mostly 15- to 18-year-olds there, for her to show up everyone there just raised the bar that much more."
The two Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club team members wowed fellow competitors and coaches alike with back-to-back 540s and led the way for the local contingent at the Revolution Tour events, which ran from Sunday through Tuesday at Copper Mountain.
The Winter Sports Club crew started the second of five Revolution Tour stops with a podium win in Sunday's snowboardcross event, as Cleve Johnson took second place.
"He was pumped and riding on point all day," SSWSC snowboard program director Jon Casson said of Johnson, who qualified 29th out of 32 riders only to work his way back through elimination rounds to second place.
Casson also highlighted a trio of Steamboat riders who qualified in the top 15: Will Peddie, Conor Meyer and Mike Trapp (who qualified in first place) as well as Chloe Banning, who finished 10th in her first Revolution Tour to date.
The bad news from the events was Valerie Reynolds' crash in a botched backside 360 in Monday's slopestyle competition. Reynolds suffered a broken collarbone.
Steamboat riders did manage some respectable slopestyle finishes, as Blake Eddington wowed judges with an inverted backside 720 to qualify for the 12-rider finals along with Tyler Anderson. Austin Catevenis just missed qualification, finishing in 15th, Eddington finished 10th and Anderson linked back-to-back 720s to finish fifth.
In the halfpipe, Matt Ladley advanced to the finals and finished seventh after suffering what Casson called one of the most spectacular crashes he'd ever seen in a qualifying run.
"It was a tumble in an industrial dryer," Casson said of Ladley's alley oop/McTwist that had him clip the pipe's top deck and tumble into the transition - only to bounce back and stick a finals run. Ladley is currently heading to Bardonecchia, Italy, with other U.S. Rookie Team members for a World Cup halfpipe event Sunday.
Now, Tredway is suddenly thinking of international travel, specifically a trip to the FIS Junior World Championships in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, in late March.
"I'm fighting for a spot," Tredway said. "If I stick another run, I could go to Russia."
But first, she and the other club riders have to focus on to this week's third Revolution Tour stop, Saturday and Sunday at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah.