If Steamboat Springs snowboarder Matt Ladley hadn't done enough to introduce himself to the snowboarding world, he took a big step Saturday at one of the most prestigious snowboarding events on the planet.
Ladley finished second at the Arctic Challenge Quarterpipe event in Norway, hosted by snowboarding legend Terje Haakonsen.
Ladley, who received an invitation from Haakonsen, finished just four points behind winner Arthur Longo. On Ladley's last run, he hit a backside rodeo, backside 540, backside 720 and stomped a backside 900.
"It was pretty incredible," Ladley said. "I didn't expect to come home with that. But I rode hard. I was hoping someday to win, but I wasn't expecting it this year."
Haakonsen, one of the most accomplished snowboarders of the 1990s, started the Arctic Challenge in 1999.
"This is bigger than big," said Jon Casson, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's snowboard director. "It's like a kid showing up at the X Games and winning it."
Ladley leaves Saturday for the Junior World Championships in Nagano, Japan.
Snowboarders ready for Tuesday Junior Worlds
Many Winter Sports Club members have a shot at the podium at the Junior World Championships, which begin Tuesday.
Of the 23 riders representing the U.S., nine are snowboarders from the Winter Sports Club. Those participating include: Cassie Wagar, Mimi Wiencke and Mack Joyce in Alpine; Ladley and Kaitlyn Farrington in halfpipe; and Mick Dierdorff, Roger Carver, Chloe Banning and Jenna Feldman in boardercross.
Snowboard director Jon Casson pointed to Wiencke in giant slalom and slalom, Ladley and Farrington in the halfpipe and Carver and Dierdorff in boardercross as athletes who have a great shot at making a podium.
Steamboat club strong at
Revolution Tour in Oregon
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club came away with several top finishes at the U.S. Snowboarding Revolution Tour in Mount Hood, Ore.
Chloe Banning won the snowboardcross event, while Taylor Gold took the win in the halfpipe event.
Head pro-am freestyle coach Spencer Tamblyn Tamblyn said Banning dominated the boardercross competition all day while Gold won his event on his last run, completing a pair of 900s at the bottom of the pipe.
Other top finishers included Paul Brichta's third-place finish in men's slopestyle and Blake Eddington's fifth-place finish in the halfpipe event.
Tamblyn also pointed to strong performances by Grant Murray, Eddie Marovich, Jann Eberharter, Natalie Gear, Victoria Gorham and Austin Catevenis.
The U.S. Snowboarding Revolution Tour next makes its way to Sugarloaf, Maine, for the final stop of the series, March 9 to 11.
Sports Club members get solid finishes in Canada
Four Winter Sports Club members and one former member all put together strong finishes in Stoneham, Canada, at a World Cup.
Maddy Schaffrick led the way for Steamboat in her first World Cup, finishing 18th in the halfpipe.
Ben Fairchild finished 32nd in the giant slalom, Mike Trapp finished 34th and former Winter Sports Club member Josh Wiley finished 19th. Erica Mueller finished 31st in giant slalom on the women's side.