Veda Hallen leads Lake Tahoe group at USASA nationals in Colorado |

Veda Hallen leads Lake Tahoe group at USASA nationals in Colorado

Veda Hallen, 13, competes in halfpipe at Copper Mountain in Colorado.

Veda Hallen performed her best when it mattered most.

The 13-year-old aspiring Olympian from South Lake Tahoe stood atop the podium after crushing the competition in snowboard rail jam and also collected second and third-place awards in other events at the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships.

Hallen is the best in the country at rail jam and nearly earned another gold medal in slopestyle but was slightly overtaken near the end of the competition.

She also finished third in halfpipe leading a host of Lake Tahoe competitors with top finishes, April 1-10, at Copper Mountain in Colorado.

“I didn’t really expect it,” said Hallen of taking first in rail jam. “After my run a lot of people were telling me I was on the podium. And when I heard I won, I was in shock.”

Hallen didn’t exactly expect to win, or be on three different podiums in a 24-hour stretch, but that’s what she wanted and was hoping for during the drive to Colorado.

Hallen started with halfpipe in the morning of April 1 and later that night claimed gold in rail jam.

She’s proud of perfectly executing a front lip 270, a technical, high-scoring move where Hallen approaches the rail on her toes and brings her tail over onto the rail and does a 270-degree spin coming off the rail.

“I wanted to win going in,” Hallen said. “I’ve been working hard the whole season and worked my hardest and took advantage of being there.”

Isa Loge, 7, from the South Lake Tahoe, is top in the country in girls’ skiercross.

Loge won the 7-and-under division and also placed third in slopestyle and seventh in 9-and-under rail jam.

Ty Loughlin, of SLT, finished in second place in boys’ 16-17 freeski halfpipe.

Piper Arnold, of SLT, earned third place in the girls’ 10-11 freeski slopestyle out of 18 competitors and also grabbed sixth in skiercross in a field of 25.

Graydon Ross, of SLT, a youth daredevil snowboarder who builds jumps in his backyard, finished third in 10-11 boys’ halfpipe out of 52 competitors and came in ninth out of 67 in skiercross.

Zaria Steeves, of SLT, earned fourth in girls’ 7-and-under snowboard slalom, was fifth in slopestyle and sixth in giant slalom.

Lillia Verduzco, of SLT, earned fourth place in girls’ 10-11 boardercross and her younger sister, Serina, earned three seventh-place finishes in snowboard slalom, giant slalom and slopestyle in the 8-9 division.

In other results, Josh Bull, of SLT, was fourth in 16-17 boys’ skiercross; Sebastian Kilgore, of SLT, was fourth out of 50 competitors in boys’ 10-13 freeski rail jam; Jaret Cross, of Incline Village, earned fifth out of 60 in mens’ 14-and-over freeski rail jam; Colton Bryan, of SLT, was fifth in boys’ 8-9 snowboard giant slalom and seventh in slalom; Lily Weitzel, of SLT, was sixth in girls’ 10-11 giant slalom and Elya Loge, of SLT, was seventh in girls’ 8-9 boardercross.

Full results can be viewed at

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