Anderson sisters awesome in pro debuts
Organizers and their competition felt Joanie and Stacie Anderson were too young, but Sierra-at-Tahoe coach Brady Gunsch knew better.
The Tahoe Paradise sisters made their professional snowboarding debuts last Thursday in the Vans Triple Crown boardercross at Sierra. They left the two-day event with the respect of their peers and the knowledge that they can compete with the world’s best.
“There was some controversy on them getting to compete because of how young they are, but (Sierra GM) Jon Rice gave me discretion. They’re great all-around riders and really strong,” Gunsch said.
Joanie Anderson, 14, qualified 14th Thursday and held that place in the finals. Her 12-year-old sister, Stacie, missed finals by three places, finishing 27th after a fall at the top half of the course cost her several seconds.
“On that technical of a course they both stepped it up in their riding,” said Gunsch, who finished 27th in the men’s division. “It was amazing to see how
they could do against the top women in the world.”
Lauren Anderson felt it was time for her daughters to see how good they really are. After all, they have won nationals the past three years and are regular winners in the South Tahoe Snowboard Series.
“Sometimes you don’t know how good your kids are,” Lauren Anderson said.
Stacie, the youngest competitor, experienced intimidation firsthand but came away wanting another opportunity.
“It was really scary. Those girls are extremely good,” Stacie said. “They were telling us we needed full-faced helmets and armor and how someone already landed on two people this year.”
Joanie’s knees buckled when she first saw the course, which Vans tricked up with longer table tops, wider gaps and more challenging step-ups.
“When I first saw the course I thought it was scary, but then it got easier the more I did it,” Joanie said. “My goal was to have fun and be safe, but next year I hope to do better.”
Norway’s Line Oestvold made it two in a row by edging qualifying leader Marni Yamada of Seattle for first place.
Marguerite Cossettini was the top local competitor, finishing ninth.
Drew Neilson, the 2000 X Games boardercross champion, upset France’s Xavier Delerue to win the men’s title. Delerue had won the tour’s previous two stops at Breckenridge, Colo., and Snow Summit, Calif.
Brandon Stieg of Olympic Valley qualified 15th and finished 18th.
Gunsch was pleased with his performance, especially since he finished sixth among the best the USASA has to offer.
“This is the best in the world … the top dogs … and the racing is a lot more aggressive when they’re out for that big of a cash prize,” Gunsch said.
Notes: American Jason Tittle, who was injured in Thursday’s time trials, was listed in serious-but-stable condition Monday evening at Washoe Medical Center in Reno. Tittle was airlifted to Reno after a solo crash that left him with unspecified injuries.
ESPN2 will televise the tour’s Sierra stop on March 27 and 31.
Vans Triple Crown
1. Line Oestvold, 2. Marni Yamada, 3. Julie Zell, 4. Doris Krings, 5. Kathrin Kellenberger, 6. Tanja Frieden, 7. Erin Simmons, 8. Claudia Haeusermann, 9. Marguerite Cossettini, South Lake Tahoe, 10. Nathalie Zenklusen.
11. Emily Thomas, 12. Guenevere Foster, 13. Yvonne Mueller, 14. Joanie Anderson, Sierra, 15. Snow Petersen, 16. Bettina Koefler, 17. Helen Schettini, 18. Alison Clark, 19. Rene Hollis, 20. Fabienne Breitenmoser.
21. Dana Melinn, 22. Brigitte Petruzzi, 23. Aimi Xistras, South Lake Tahoe, 24. Flavia Bruesch, 25. Jessica Hall, 26. Angela Hester, 27. Stacie Anderson, Sierra, 28. Allison Daniels, 29. Lucy Marcus, 30. Tara Parina, 31. Suzanne Tremblay, 32. Heidi LaPointe, 33. Dana Barry.
1. Drew Neilson, 2. Tor Bruserud, 3. Uell Kestenholz, 4. Xavier Delerue, 5. Berti Denervaud, 6. Gernot Raitmair, 7. Nate Holland, 8. Robert Fagan, 9. Gabriele Santopietro, 10. Mercel Mathieu.
11. Jason Smith, 12. Phillipe Conte, 13. Mark Schulz, 14. Xavier Jordan, 15. Borre Bie-Larsen, 16. Fabrizio Bonacina, 17. Matt Shrive, 18. Brandon Stieg, Olympic Valley, 19. Ernst Thue, 20. Romain Borrel.
21. David Henzen, 22. Michael Rosengren, 23. Nicolas Conte, 24. Marco Huser, 25. Axel Gmeiner, 26. Stefan Werlen, 27. Brady Gunsch, Sierra, 28. Forrest Devore, 29. Allan Traves, 30. Oscar Norberg.
31. Kasper Stenz, 32. Josh Niernberg, 33. Lucas Dehmlow, 34. Paul Henderson, 35. Ryan Phipps, 36. Daniel Winkler, 37. Marco Ambuhl, 38. Andrea Garbely, 39. Danny Sheehan, 40. Ivan Capaul.
41. Cooper Hall, 42. Chase Collard, 43. Matthias Ritler, 44. Alexander Kuprion, 45. Adam Devargas, 46. Christian Mosiman, 47. Tyson Terpening, 48. Jeff Warner.
in serious stable condition.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Sierra-at-Tahoe may not be able to open its full mountain this season and will have to limit the amount of terrain available due to destruction caused by the Caldor Fire.