Steamboat Springs snowboarder Taylor Gold competes Tuesday in the men’s open halfpipe at the United States of America Snowboard Association National Championships at Copper Mountain. Gold took home the title, while his sister Arielle finished second in the women’s open division.

Courtesy photo

Steamboat Springs snowboarder Taylor Gold competes Tuesday in the men’s open halfpipe at the United States of America Snowboard Association National Championships at Copper Mountain. Gold took home the title, while his sister Arielle finished second in the women’s open division.

Steamboat snowboarder Taylor Gold wins at USASA Nationals

Steamboat snowboarder Taylor Gold competes Tuesday in the men’s open halfpipe at the United States of America Snowboard Association National Championships at Copper Mountain. Gold took home th

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Steamboat Springs finishers at USASA Snowboarding Nationals in Copper Mountain:

■ Youth men (14-15) halfpipe

8. Shea McCarthy

■ Open class women snowboard halfpipe

2. Arielle Gold

10. Natalie Geer

■ Open class men snowboard halfpipe

1. Taylor Gold

■ Menehune boys (10-11) snowboard cross

5. Cody Winters

■ Breaker boys (12-13) snowboard cross

21. Billy Winters

■ Open class women snowboard slalom

1. Madeline Wiencke

3. Cassandra Wagar

■ Open class men snowboard slalom

2. Converse Fields

3. Vic Wild

24. Luke Witcher

■ Open class women snowboard giant slalom

1. Madeline Wiencke

3. Cassandra Wagar

■ Open class men snowboard giant slalom

2. Vic Wild

5. Converse Fields

16. Luke Witcher

■ Menehune boys (10-11) snowboard slalom

3. Cody Winters

■ Breaker boys (12-13) snowboard slalom

5. Billy Winters

■ Menehune boys (10-11) snowboard giant slalom

2. Cody Winters

■ Breaker boys (12-13) snowboard giant slalom

4. Billy Winters

■ Youth men (14-15) snowboard giant slalom

14. Garrett Denney

■ Grommet boys (8-9) slopestyle

10. Winston Napoleon

■ Breaker girls (12-13) slopestyle

9. Caleigh Greene

■ Women jam’s (18-22) slopestyle

5. Katharine Cannon

■ Men jam’s (18-22) slopestyle

17. Travis Honn

— Taylor Gold wasn’t sure how he would perform.

The Steamboat Springs snowboarder had just completed a 20-hour flight from the Junior Worlds in Italy and was preparing for the United States of America Snowboard Association National Championship men’s open halfpipe event at Copper Mountain on Tuesday.

“It was interesting,” Taylor said. “It was definitely a challenge. Fortunately, the timing made it easy to wake up in the morning. Once I was riding, I was able to keep my energy level up.”

That energy level led to Taylor, 17, capping an impressive season with a win Tuesday. The win, coupled with a second-place finish at Junior Worlds, has solidified Taylor as an up-and-coming star in the snowboarding world.

Taylor’s winning run Tuesday started with a Michaelchuck, then a frontside 900, a backside 540, a frontside 1080 and finally a Cab 1080.

“Last year, I didn’t feel like I had the year I wanted,” Taylor said. “This year, I decided I wanted to make the best effort I could. I wanted to make the most of my training and learn the most tricks I could.”

Taylor has one more competition in Park City, Utah, before he takes a break from snowboarding.

“I couldn’t ask for more the past couple of competitions,” he said. “Junior Worlds were a more important competition. But it feels good to be able to ride well.”

Taylor’s sister, Arielle, also had a solid showing at Copper Mountain. Arielle, 14, finished second in the women’s open halfpipe contest.

Arielle, who like Taylor was returning from Junior Worlds in Italy, said she had no expectations coming into the contest.

After falling on her first run, she went with a safer second run to try for the podium. Arielle landed a couple of straight airs before hitting a frontside 720, a cab 360 and a frontside 540.

“It was a breakthrough season for me compared to some of my other seasons,” said Arielle, who said her top moment from the season came when she qualified for the finals at a Grand Prix event at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. “I leaned a lot of new tricks and my riding has improved.”

Skiing nationals begins with opening ceremonies Saturday. Competition in halfpipe, slopestyle and ski cross events runs from April 10 to 12.

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