Snowboarders get into Alpine groove at Sierra |

Snowboarders get into Alpine groove at Sierra

by Dan Thomas

The Heavenly Ski Foundation’s snowboard team got into the groove on Saturday and Sunday by getting into Sierra-at-Tahoe’s grooved Alpine race course.

Heavenly brought 26 racers to Saturday’s giant slalom, and followed that with 18 riders in Sunday’s slalom at Sierra. Even though there was no new snow to augment the course, Sierra’s race department managed to keep the course up for both two-run races.

“I was very pleased with the team’s results,” said Heavenly Foundation snowboard coach Ed McClain.

Sierra-at-Tahoe’s snowboard team also had a strong presence at the home meet. Sierra racers captured nine first-place finishes and four more second places between Saturday and Sunday.

Heavenly brought its snowboarders out in force for the first USASA snowboard event of the season in the Tahoe area. The breaker boys (age 12-13) GS race illustrated Heavenly’s strength in numbers.

“As you can see, in Saturday’s race, there were 10 kids in the breaker boys race, and eight of them were ours,” McClain said.

Heavenly riders finished that race with the second through eighth spots, behind Sierra’s Keelan Gardiner, first with a combined time of 125.64 seconds in two runs. The team followed that by placing Ryan Bosson (49.88 seconds, combined) on top of the division in Sunday’s slalom. Gardiner was second, with a 51.90 finish, and Heavenly’s Michael Flanagan rounded out the podium with a combined time of 53.38.

The competition also was tight in the youth men 14-15 division. On Saturday, Heavenly’s racers swept the top five spots. Jimi Tomer was first, leading a podium sweep of teammates Ari Giovenco and David Bosson. Tomer also won Sunday’s slalom, while Giovenco and William Goldenberg took second and third, respectively. Heavenly’s depth could pay dividends because training simulates the intensity of racing.

“It’s been said that 80 percent is mental and 20 percent is actually training and the physical part of it,” McClain said.

McClain lauded Sierra-at-Tahoe’s race department for its efforts to put on the race. The USASA schedule moves to Heavenly for the next events: a halfpipe competition on Jan. 8, and a giant slalom the next day.

“We’re pleased to have our first contest out of the way,” McClain said. “I’d like to ask everyone to pray for snow so we can have this next halfpipe contest.”

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