South Shore riders finish in top 10 at junior worlds |

South Shore riders finish in top 10 at junior worlds

By Jeremy Evans

Tribune staff writer

Earlier this month, once South Shore’s Abe Greenspan and Bobby Minghini were late additions to the U.S. Snowboard Team for an event in Switzerland, two questions entered each of their minds: How will I do and how will I get a passport in a week?

“It was kind of rushed,” said Greenspan, a senior at Whittell High. “We didn’t know we were going until like a week before. We had to get our passports really fast, those business passports. It worked out.”

It sure did.

Minghini placed sixth in boardercross and was the high U.S. finisher at the FIS Junior World Championships in Zermatt and Greenspan capped off an impressive month by finishing seventh. Greenspan also took first in boardercross at the USASA National Championships in Copper Mountain, Colo.

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“It was a good way to end,” Greenspan said. “I would’ve liked to have a top-5 or even medal, but it was a good way to end the year. It was really foggy and the weather wasn’t really that nice. The time trials and heats were held on the same day.”

Both Minghini and Greenspan ride out of Kirkwood and are coached by Trevor Brown. Minghini, 18, is a West Virginia native and currently a student at Lake Tahoe Community College. Brown believes Minghini could be the next big name out of the United States.

“In 20 years of being around the sport, I think Bobby has the chance to be the next top dawg out of this country,” Brown said. “This might give him a chance to earn a spot on the U.S. Team. Abe, too. Both came into this as the underdogs, but they fought for everything. This wasn’t a fluke. They were definitely worthy.”

In qualifying, Minghini had the second-fastest time in the entire field. Then in the second heat, Greenspan was the runner-up in the second heat behind France’s Tony Ramoin, who ended up winning the entire event.

In the semifinal round, both Minghini and Greenspan were in solid position to advance to the finals. But they crashed into one another when Minghini landed on Greenspan’s board following a jump on the course.

Minghini and Greenspan then battled it out with two other riders in the consolation finals. Minghini took second in the round, while Greenspan fell again and finished seventh. In all, almost 100 athletes from across the world competed in the boardercross event.

“When Bobby gets going, it’s 130 percent aggression down the hill,” Brown said. “Abe has a little bit more finesse. He’s just so smooth. He had the smoothest lines of anybody there. These two guys weren’t who people were looking to, but they made a name for themselves.”

This was the last competition of the winter for both athletes, who participated in more than a dozen events in three countries and two continents.

Minghini plans on returning to Tahoe next winter. Greenspan, 17, will spend the entire month of August in Chile training for a World Cup event, then will enroll in the fall at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. His result in Switzerland made him World Cup eligible.

“I would say my best result was winning at nationals,” Greenspan said. “I qualified 13th (at worlds) so I expected to be somewhere between 10th to 13th. I was pretty happy with it.”