Steamboat’s Penn Lukens skis Wednesday in the ski cross event at the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain. Lukens qualified in second place and won each heat he raced in, claiming the championship.

Shannon Lukens/Courtesy Photo

Steamboat’s Penn Lukens skis Wednesday in the ski cross event at the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain. Lukens qualified in second place and won each heat he raced in, claiming the championship.

Steamboat athletes fare well at Copper

Locals claim 4 titles at snowboarding nationals

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Conor Garrecht-Connelly stands on the podium after finishing third in the open men’s division skiing halfpipe competition at the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain.

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboarders and skiers continued to haul in top finishes and medals this week as the United States of America Snowboard As­­socia­tion’s Na­tional Championships played on at Cop­­per Moun­tain.

Throughout four days of the massive seven-day, season-ending event, local skiers and riders had accounted for 13 podium finishes and four individual championships.

“It’s been really exciting,” Steamboat skier Penn Lukens said.

Lukens joined Steamboat’s national championship parade to the podium Wednesday with a championship in the men’s 13- to 15-year-old ski cross.

He qualified in second place, then won each of his next four races to claim the championship.

“I watched him ski all day and he was skiing so well. He has been progressing and coming along all season,” Steamboat coach Brett Buckles said. “I kept thinking, ‘Penn sure does deserve to win this,’ and he managed to pull it out.”

The win wasn’t without its excitement.

Lukens said he had to make a decisive move to cut off one challenger who quickly thereafter crashed, then edged out two more at the finish line.

It was sweet redemption after last year’s championship race in which Lukens crashed twice before finishing third.

“I was just feeling good,” Lukens said. “I got my best start of the day in the finals, so that was perfect. I was third last year, so I really wanted to do better. I got first this year, so I’m pretty excited.”

Justin Reiter and Cassandra Wagar led the way for Steamboat in the open divisions. Reiter won national championships in the slalom and giant slalom, while Wagar was sixth in slalom and second in giant slalom.

Arielle Gold, also snowboarding in the open division, was seventh in slalom and third in halfpipe.

Michael Trapp, meanwhile, was right on Reiter’s heels for a second-place finish in the slalom. He was seventh in the giant slalom.

Taylor Gold was second in the men’s open snowboard halfpipe, and Conor Garrecht-Connelly was third in the open skier halfpipe.

Nikolas Baden, competing in the Menehune boys 10-11 division, also dominated in his races throughout the week. The snowboarder was second in both the GS and halfpipe and claimed a championship in slopestyle.

Other podium finishes came from Lesley Wilson in the skier women 13-15 division ski cross event and Maggie Rose Carrigan in the Breaker girls 12-13 slalom race.

The event wraps up today.


United States of America Snowboard Association National Championships

Steamboat Springs finishers

Copper Mountain

Open Class women

Slalom

6. Cassandra Wagar

7. Arielle Gold

Giant Slalom

2. Wagar

Halfpipe

3. Arielle Gold

Open Class men

Slalom

1. Justin Reiter

2. Michael Trapp

Giant Slalom

1. Justin Reiter

7. Michael Trapp

10. Luke Witcher

Halfpipe

2. Taylor Gold

Skier halfpipe

3. Conor Garrecht-Connelly

Grommet boys 8 to 9

Snowboard cross

7. Winston Vaughan

8. Cody Winters

Slalom

6. Cody Winters

Giant Slalom

13. Cody Winters

19. Winston Vaughan

Menehune girls 10 to 11

Slopestyle

11. Caleigh Greene

Slalom

17. Caleigh Greene

Breaker girls 12 to 13

Slalom

2. Maggie Rose Carrigan

Youth men 14 to 15

Snowboard cross

4. Jarryd Hughes

Skier boys 10 to 12

Halfpipe

13. John Satterfield

Skier men 13 to 15

Halfpipe

5. Lennon Vaughan

8. Jesse James Pugh

9. Penn Lukens

32. Alex Alfone

Slopestyle

7. Jesse James Pugh

Ski cross

1. Penn Lukens

13. Matthew Sklar

16. Logan Banning

Skier men 16 to 18

Slopestyle

17. Alex Bashan

Skier women 13 to 15

Ski cross

3. Lesley Wilson

7. Maggie McElhiney

Menehune boys 10 to 11

Giant Slalom

2. Nikolas Baden

Halfpipe

2. Nikolas Baden

8. Spencer Vaughan

Slopestyle

1. Nikolas Baden

Breaker boys 12 to 13

Giant Slalom

9. Garrett Denney

11. Billy Winters

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