Hight, Anderson retain rides with U.S. team | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hight, Anderson retain rides with U.S. team

PARK CITY, Utah – Elena Hight of Zephyr Cove and Joanie Anderson of Tahoe Paradise are part of the 31-member U.S. Snowboarding Team, the largest in the squad’s history.

Based on her progressive style, the 15-year-old Hight is one of the U.S.’s most promising riders. She produced four big-time podium performances last season, including third at the World Superpipe Championships, runner-up at the Vans Tahoe Cup, third at the Breckenridge Grand Prix for the second time in three years and third at the Mount Bachelor Grand Prix.

Hight, the first woman to land a 900 in competition, is part of the U.S.’s six-member women’s halfpipe team.

Anderson, 19, was chosen to the 17-rider boardercross team, which has plenty of ambition this season as the sport debuts in the Winter Games in Torino. She will start the season on the “C” team.

Anderson’s 2004-05 season included a fourth place a the X Games and third at the Jeep King of the Mountain.

Headlining the U.S. Team are world championships medalists Lindsey Jacobellis of Stratton Mountain, Vt.; Hannah Teter of Belmont, Vt.; and Seth Wescott of Farmington, Maine.

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“This is the largest and most talented group of riders U.S. Snowboarding has ever worked with,” said Jeremy Forster, U.S. Snowboarding program director. “There is serious depth in halfpipe with Lindsey, Hannah, Elena, Steve (Fisher), Tommy (Czeschin) and Keir (Dillon) leading the way. We also have an awesome group of new riders coming into the program including Danny Davis and Michael Goldschmidt.”

This year’s halfpipe riders are divided into two groups – the pro team and the rookie team. Forster said this new categorization of the halfpipe program is similar to typical industry team’s structure and better reflects the riders’ stature in the competitive halfpipe culture.

Forster noted that the boardercross team alone has three world championships medals to show from 2005, including two gold from Jacobellis and Wescott and a bronze from Jayson Hale.

“It’s going to be exciting to see our (boardercross) riders participate in the Olympics this year,” Forster said. “After such a great showing last season, especially at the world championships, we expect to contend for medals in this new Olympic event.”

In addition, the Alpine riders will be led by seasoned veterans including 2002 Olympic medalist Chris Klug.

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