Like they need one: South Tahoe boarders have extra edge for nationals
During the past two USASA National Snowboarding Championships, the South Tahoe Snowboard Series has traveled to New Hampshire and Colorado to show the rest of the country where the best amateur riders reside.
This year, South Tahoe’s boarders only need to make a three-hour drive to Mammoth Mountain to defend that distinction in the five-day nationals that open today.
“We feel strong with South Tahoe having 60-something competitors. So far we have had the most medals two years running so everyone will be gunning for us,” said Heavenly Foundation coach Ed McClain.
Last year, the local series brought home 25 gold, 16 bronze and seven silver medals.
This week’s competition figures to produce more of the same, especially with nationals on familiar terrain.
“It’s pretty exciting to have the nationals at Mammoth. It might gives us a little edge,” McClain said.
Sierra coach Brady Gunsch, Heavenly’s Elena Hight and Sierra’s Jamie Anderson and Harrison Kramer have been responsible for raising the area’s gold medal total the past two years. All four showed their versatility a year ago by winning the overall Alpine, freestyle, combined and triple combined titles.
“We train for Alpine, freestyle and boardercross events. A lot of people specialize these days so it gives our kids a better chance of winning the overall title,” McClain said.
Others from the local series expected to contend for titles this week are Sierra’s Joanie and Stacie Anderson; Heavenly’s Nicholas Poohachoff, Jimi Tomer and Wesley Klahn; Travis Chatwin and STSS co-director Donna Vano.
McClain took most of his competitors to Mammoth on Sunday so they could adequately prepare for the novelty of competing in a bigger pipe.
“We don’t have one on the South Shore so there might be a little anxiety riding the superpipe,” McClain said. “It’s larger than the halfpipe with a bigger transition area, so we’re going a couple days early.”
Monday was a practice day, but the action lifts off with boarders competing in five events today through Saturday.
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