Steamboat snowboarders shine at nationals
April 13, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboarders finished off their season earlier this month with a huge haul of top results from the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski National Championships event in Copper Mountain.
The club sent 34 athletes then brought home 29 top-10 finishes and 10 podium finishes.
"Nationals was incredible," said Tori Koski, Winter Sports Club snowboard program director.
Arielle Gold, the Steamboat Springs snowboarder and 2018 Winter Olympics women's halfpipe bronze medalist, was on hand to give out awards after the event.
"It's really cool looking at a rider like her when just a few years ago she was at USASA Nationals as a competitor," Koski said. "This is where all those snowboarders start their career."
Leading the way were three athletes who won their competitions.
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Rocke Weinberg had an absurdly successful week, winning both the grommet girls slopestyle and rail jam competitions, in addition to placing third in halfpipe and slalom and fourth in giant slalom. She then placed ninth in the snowboard cross.
"She's a talented little rider," Koski said.
The toughest challenge came in slopestyle, where Weinberg fell on her first run in windy conditions.
"She put it all out there, had huge airs and great grabs and rail tricks and ended up on top, so that was really cool to see," Koski said.
Meredith Connor, a student at Steamboat Mountain School, then won the junior women's halfpipe event.
"She rode incredible," Koski said.
Finally, Cooper Scheel won the youth men's giant slalom race, an area where Steamboat riders did very well.
Johnny Duty also pulled out a medal in that race, placing third for bronze.
"Cooper and Johnny, they're talented riders who grew up within the program and went through all of our development programming to become successful all-around snowboarders," Koski said.
Now the pair is working with Steamboat's racing team, coached by Thedo Remmelink, a branch of the club that accounted for three Olympians this cycle alone.
"They really found their niche racing and now they're on the podium," Koski said.
Duty was also 15th in halfpipe and 29th in slopestyle.
The club had other strong slalom and GS finishes, as well. Maggie Carrigan doubled up on her medals there, placing second in the women's open NorAm giant slalom race and third in the slalom.
Anika Juneau, competing in Menehune girls, struck bronze, placing third in the slalom. She was also fifth in GS, 10th in snowboard cross, 20th in halfpipe and 32nd in slopestyle.
Walker Overstake, in Menehune boys, medaled, as well, placing third in slalom. He was then 17th in snowboard cross and 25th in halfpipe.
In the men's open GS, Olympian Mike Trapp was fifth, Christian DeOliveira eighth, Everett McEwan 10th, Robby Burns 11th, Cody Winters 16th and Winston Vaughan 23rd. On the women's side Millie Bongiorno was fourth, Rebecca Letourneau 10th and Karina Bladon 17th.
In the slalom, Burns was fifth, DeOliveira seventh, Winters eighth, McEwan 11th, Trapp 22nd and Vaughan 25th. Bongiorno was fifth in the women's race, Letourneau 10th and Bladon 12th.
Marty Boyd had a strong performance in the men's rail jam competition, making finals and placing sixth. He was also 40th in pipe and 67th in slope.
The team got a very strong all-around performance from Kendall Harrington, who didn't finish outside the top 10 in any of her events. She was fourth in GS, fifth in halfpipe, seventh in slalom and ninth in snowboard cross.
Tatum Lightner was 16th in slalom, 29th in pipe and 30th in snowboard cross. Gigi Boyd was 16th in snowboard cross, 21st in GS and 22nd in slalom. Cecily George was 7th in pipe and 11th in snowboard cross. Braden Duty was 16th in GS, 21st in slalom and 30th in pipe. Elias Christian was 33rd in pipe and 82nd in slopestyle. Jackie Clemente was 34th in slopestyle. Forrest Christian was 27th in pipe and Kento Kawamura 18th in snowboard cross.