Nationals at Tahoe boardfest
South Shore snowboarders made a habit of displaying a South Tahoe Snowboard Series banner each time someone stepped on the podium at the USASA National Championships last week in Telluride, Colo. It happened so often some competitors must have thought they were participating in the South Tahoe series instead of nationals.
South Shore riders came away with an exorbitant amount of medals and six overall championships, following the 43 medals they won the year before.
“The extra edge of living in Tahoe and having so much terrain to use really helps us out. I saw the skiing industry dying when I was younger, so I got into snowboarding. It’s just rad to see so many young people involved in it,” said Brady Gunsch, who won the men’s jams freestyle overall title. “It’s also due to Sierra having such a great pipe and the resort allowing us to do boardercross training.”
Heidi LaPointe, the women’s jams freestyle champion, also attributed Tahoe’s national success to the terrain but also a cooperative Mother Nature.
“Because of the terrain and snow we have, a lot of people I ride with are really awesome freeriders. People who came from other areas probably only trained for certain events because of their lack of snow,” LaPointe said.
Elena Hight of Zephyr Cove came away with nothing but gold in the grommet girls (8-9) division as she won five disciplines, an overall championship and freestyle and Alpine titles. Corral Warren of South Lake Tahoe capped her nationals with her sixth, seventh and eighth silver medals, finishing second to Hight in freestyle, Alpine and overall.
Stephanie Warren collected three more gold medals, bringing her national total to six. Warren, competing in the senior women’s (23-29) class, captured the Alpine, freestyle and overall titles. Rachel Newton of Truckee was runner-up to Warren in freestyle and overall.
Joanie Anderson also claimed the overall championship in the breaker girls (12-13) division. In addition, Anderson, who won gold medals in halfpipe and slopestyle and silver in the boardercross and GS, was the freestyle overall winner and third in Alpine events.
Tahoe Paradise’s Stacie Anderson left only a few crumbs in the menehune girls (10-11) division as she came away with the overall and Alpine titles. However, she shared the freestyle championship with Annie Finnegan of Duluth, Minn.
Heavenly Foundation’s Roger Carver made all of the trips from Placerville to the South Shore pay off as he was the overall and Alpine champion and runner-up to Sam Luebke in freestyle.
On the strength of his silver medal in slopestyle, seventh in halfpipe and a seventh-place tie in boardercross, Sierra-at-Tahoe coach Gunsch finished first in freestyle events in the men’s jams (18-22) class.
“I was pretty excited about how I did. There was more competition than I’ve seen in the past,” Gunsch said.
Jeff Speed of South Lake Tahoe was second in the men’s jams boardercross event.
Competing in one of the most entry heavy divisions, Dustin Singler of South Lake Tahoe was second in freestyle events in the junior men’s (16-17) division. Singler, who beat out 50 other competitors to win the boardercross and was third in halfpipe, was runner-up in freestyle to Nathaniel Shehan of Fairfield, Pa. South Shore’s Aaron Hernandez was fifth in freestyle and Jared Palant 15th. Palant showed his versatility by competing in all five disciplines and finishing 11th overall in Alpine and sixth in combined.
Mark Wehner used a second-place GS finish to take an overall Alpine championship in the open men’s division, and the versatile LaPointe shared first in freestyle and placed second in combined and seventh in Alpine.
Donna Vano was the overall champion in the legend women’s (40-49) class for the second year in a row. The Tahoe Paradise boarder, who co-directs the South Shore series, was first in freestyle and fourth in Alpine.
Jaime Vanlanen of Incline Village, Travis Chatwin of South Lake Tahoe and Aaron Johnston of Truckee helped Lake Tahoe dominate the senior men’s (23-29) freestyle class. The area boarders finished first, second and fifth, respectively.
Other local results included: David Bosson, 10th, youth men freestyle; Sarah Myers, Incline, first, junior women freestyle; Melissa Thaw, 12th, junior women freestyle; Lisa Warden, ninth, open women Alpine; Eli Lieberman, fifth, open men combined; Katrina Clapp, 15th, open women Alpine; Melissa Dennison, Truckee, first in youth women freestyle and second combined; Mitch Karandis, Reno, second in legend men freestyle and second overall; Michelle Rambo, fifth, women’s jams; Harrison Kramer, sixth, ruggie boys freestyle; and William Goldenberg, 14th, breaker boys combined.
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After more than 70 years of operating with a term deemed derogatory by many Native Americans, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has changed its name to Palisades Tahoe.