Steamboat snowboarders reap big rewards at nationals
April 6, 2014
Steamboat Springs — The season went out with a huge bang for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboarders, who tallied seven championship finishes, 26 total podiums and 24 more top-10 showings last week at the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain.
The medal haul features top performances from all corners of the Steamboat snowboarding world, from Olympians to athletes who hope to someday make it there.
"It was awesome," Winter Sports Club snowboard director Tori Koski said. "We ahd so many kids even qualify into nationals, and then with how many top-10 finishes we had and all the podiums, it was a great week."
At the top was Justin Reiter, fresh off his first Olympics. He was perfect at the championships, winning the men's open parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom events, leading the way for a major medal haul in those events for Steamboat boarders.
In all, Steamboat took 10 of the possible 12 podiums in the men's and women's Alpine snowboarding events.
"Winning never gets old. That's the one thing that never gets old," said Reiter, national champion in those events for the third consecutive year. "It took some effort. There are a lot of young guys who are pretty darn hungry. I still have to perform, but I like that hill and I felt confident."
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Maggie Rose Carrigan also scored a first in the giant slalom. Lynn Ott was second in both the women's races, and Katie Keough had a third and a fourth. Michael Trapp was second and third, AJ Muss third and fourth, Steven MacCutcheon fifth twice, Everett McEwan sixth and ninth, Billy Winters eighth and 11th, Robby Burns ninth and 13th and Converse Fields second and 10th, all in the elite open division.
Cody Winters also scored a first-place finish in giant slalom, one of three he had in his six events. That was enough to earn him the event's overall championship for the third consecutive year.
He also won in snowboard cross and banked slalom, finished second in slalom and 10th in half-pipe.
Steamboat's final championship finish came from Tom Boldt in the Jams Men 18-22 class.
That was only the tip of the iceberg as there were plenty of other Steamboaters on the podium.
Savanna Atkins made it twice, second in the banked slalom and third in the half-pipe in addition to a fourth-place performance in snowboard cross.
Grace Drobek was third in banked slalom, the best of her four top-10 performances.
Christian De Oliveira was second twice, in the giant slalom and banked slalom, and third in the slalom. Garrett Denney, meanwhile, was second in the GS and third in slalom.
Koski got into the action herself, too, placing second in her division of the banked slalom.
"We had kids competing from age 7 all the way up to Justin. It was really fun to have so many different levels competing with each other," Koski said.