Local snowboard teams send kids to Junior Nationals
Five local-area teen-agers were recently named to the Junior Nationals snowboard team and will participate in the March event in Sunday River, Maine.
From the Heavenly snowboard team, South Tahoe High seniors Ari Giovenco and David Bosson, along with Elena Hight of Zephy Cove, were named to the team and will travel to Maine for the March 24-30 event. Sierra-at-Tahoe is also sending two competitors: sisters Stacie and Joanie Anderson of Meyers.
All five returned last week from Junior Nationals camp in Steamboat Springs, Colo., where a number of young snowboarders gathered to practice their disciplines.
Heavenly snowboard team coach Ed McClain praised his kids and noted their hard work is what got them the invitation.
“It’s exciting because those guys, Ari and Dave, have been working so hard for so long,” McClain said, adding that each had been with his Heavenly team for about six years. “This was their goal. Now that they’ve been named to the team, they’ve gotten sponsors to take notice.”
“It’s so much fun meeting people from all over the country,” Giovenco said. “It’s a good experience with good coaches and training.”
This is the fifth year for Giovenco to advance to the nationals team, and probably his last on the Heavenly snowboard team. The South Tahoe senior plans to graduate early, at the end of next week, and begin focusing on making the move from USASA to USSA competition.
“For the rest of the year I’m trying to plan a pretty intense travel schedule to make some other (USSA) events,” he said.
“Elena Hight was named to the team last year as the youngest member ever,” McClain continued. “She was also invited as an alternate to the X Games. If she gets to compete, that would be huge since she’s only 13 years old.”
Hight finished third in the USSA Grand Prix in Colorado recently.
Sierra-at-Tahoe head coach Brady Gunch is proud to have two of his own heading off to Junior Nationals, where they will meet “an elite group” of fellow boarders from across the country.
“I think it’s great they get to go train with another team and get a different coaching style,” Gunch said. “We have been to nationals before, but to be on the Junior Nationals team and have two from Sierra is kind of unique.”
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