Several South Shore athletes make podium at USASA national event in Colorado | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Several South Shore athletes make podium at USASA national event in Colorado

South Shore snowboarder Serina Verduzco won two armfuls of medals this season before heading to the 29th annual United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships at Copper Mountain in Colorado.

She stood on top of the podium eight times and in the second position four times. And at the national event for the first time, April 1-11, she added a pair of first-place medals to her collection.

Serina grabbed first place in slopestyle and giant slalom in the 7-and-under division. She also finished just off the podium in boardercross (fourth) and finished 11th in rail jam.

"I was surprised to win," said Serina, who had her board signed by American gold medalist Chloe Kim at the event. "My favorite was being on stage and getting medals."

South Lake Tahoe's Pete Loughlin and Devin Azevedo also brought home first-place medals.

Loughlin claimed first in freeski slopestyle (men 50-59) and also grabbed second in slopestyle and halfpipe. Azevedo (men 40-49) claimed the title in halfpipe.

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The South Shore had several snowboarders and skiers make the podium.

Kaitlyn Bland finished second in snowboard slopestyle in the 23-29 women's division.

Veda Hallen (girls 12-13) grabbed third place in rail jam and was seventh in halfpipe and eighth in slopestyle.

Isa Loge (girls 7 and under) almost snagged three podium finishes but had to settle for one medal, a third place in skiercross. She also claimed fourth in slopestyle and fifth in rail jam.

Colby Loughlin (girls 7 and under) earned third in freeski halfpipe. She also was fifth in slopestyle and ninth in skiercross.

Serina Verduzco's older sister, Lillia Verduzco, earned third place in boardercross.

Waylon Evans (boys 7 and under) and Deia Steinmetz (girls 10-11) each earned third place in skiercross in their respective age divisions.

Overall, over 1,900 competitors ranging in age from 5 to 75 competed in snowboarding and freeskiing for just under two weeks at Copper Mountain. Athletes from 32 regions and 40 states competed for USASA National Championship titles in 14 different age groups.

The snowboard events were held April 1-5 while the freeski events took place April 7-11.

USASA is the first step in the Olympic pipeline and every U.S. Olympic snowboard team member since 2006 got their start at USASA. This year, Olympic medalists Chloe Kim, Kyle Mack, Arielle Gold and Alex Deibold shared their experiences at USASA and the Olympics with the next generation of snowboarders and freeskiers. Chris Corning, Aaron Blunck, Bobby Brown Mick Dierdorff, Mike Trapp and Jake Pates also came and awarded National Championship medals to the 2018 champions.