Boardercross helps young riders
Nearly 50 riders went down the Gauntlet snowboard cross course Saturday at Sierra-at-Tahoe to help the resort’s young riders move up in their sport.
Saturday’s skier and snowboard cross at Sierra helped the resort raise nearly $1,200, which the resort will use to help send nine of its young riders to the USASA National Championships March 27-April 1 in Waterville Valley, N.H. Saturday’s event was the second fund-raising race Sierra added to its spring schedule to help its team.
“We had a lot more competition, so we raised almost all the money for the kids to get there,” said Sierra snowboard team coach Nikki Warren. “It’s nice that they can come out, spend $15 to support local kids to go to nationals and have so much fun.”
A series of grudge matches, which became more intense with each run, turned up the temperature on Saturday’s competition. The rollers, berms and jumps on the Gauntlet did nothing to mellow that.
“The course was awesome – just to have that at our resort is awesome, and the fact that it’s open to the public most of the time is cool,” said Sierra spokesman Ben McLeod – the third-place finisher in the men’s 20-and-older skiercross. “We definitely had a good time.”
McLeod’s average finish in three heats placed him behind winner Ray Garcia and Nathan Close in the division, while Jesse Bradford beat out Chris Berquist and Chris Perondi in the men’s 20-29 snowboard cross. Tara Parini won the women’s 15-29 boardercross over second-place Dani Case and Sierra rider Erin Craig. Joanie Anderson topped sister Stacie in the 14-and-under girls snowboard cross, giving Sierra a podium sweep in the division. Kevin Durves won the boys 14-and-under snowboard division, finishing above Cory Dicks and Mac Mawlton, and Daniel Dangelo took first in the 14-and-under skiercross, ahead of Kyle Heller and Tyler Mantz.
Katrina Stoddart edged Kristin Royce in a battle of South Tahoe High skiers in the 19-and-under women’s skier cross, and Nick Stoddart won the men’s 15-and-under division ahead of Aaron Strickley and James Alsbury. Frankie Jones won the 15-19 boys snowboard division, ahead of Asa Martinez and Wesley Klahn.
Sierra is sending Coral Warren, Joanie Anderson, Stacie Anderson, Jamie Anderson, Keelan Gardiner, Erin Craig and Harrison Kramer to nationals. Coach Brady Gunsch also will make the trip to New Hampshire to pursue national titles in five disciplines.
On Sunday, Sierra made up its KidsCross race, postponed from an earlier date, on the same course. Jamie Anderson, who beat out a field of boys for top honors among boarders ages 7-9, while Cameron Chappell won the ski division for the same ages. Gardiner edged Sierra teammate Stacie Anderson for the top spot among snowboarders ages 10-12, while Treven Hunter was the top skier in the age division. Frankie Jones and Brennen Davis were the top boarder and skier, respectively, among competitors ages 13-15. Alex Matzat won the 6-and-under skiercross as the lone entrant.
“It was a huge success – we were totally pumped on it,” McLeod said. “It’s something we think we want to do a lot more in the future.”
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