WSC struts its stuff at Angelfire |

WSC struts its stuff at Angelfire

If it wasn’t already obvious that the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s snowboarding program is one of the best in the country, it is now.

Twenty-seven Steamboat riders proved it at the Angelfire Resort in New Mexico on March 21 through 27 by winning 18 medals at the United States Amateur Snowboarding Association National Championships. Those same riders also placed 15 times in the overall standings, which include overall alpine, overall freestyle, overall combined and overall triple combined.

“It’s a real rough guess, but I think we probably won more medals at the championships than any of the other clubs that were there,” Steamboat coach Jon Casson said. “I think that’s the most medals we’ve ever won at these championships.”

Among the top Steamboat finishers was Carter Smalley, who was first in four out of the five events and swept all four of the overall categories in the ruggie boys division, which is for riders 7 and younger.

Maddie Shaffrick finished first in the giant slalom, second in the halfpipe and slalom and fourth in the slopestyle at the championships. The finishes earned her first in the overall Alpine (slalom and giant slalom) race for the grommet girls (8 to 9). Teammate Chloe Banning placed third in two overall combined categories for the menehune girls (10 to 11) and was third in the halfpipe and slalom events.

After crashing in his first run of the day, Steamboat’s Matt Ladley came back to win the halfpipe event in the breaker boys division. His run included a frontside 540, a backside 540 and a frontside 900. He also finished 15th in the slopestyle event to finish third for the overall combined freestyle results.

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Blake Eddington was fifth in the overall combined category, and Ryan Oleski (third in the slalom, fourth in the giant slalom) placed third in the race for the overall Alpine title in the breaker division.

Emily Robinson won the slalom event in the youth girls division (14 to 15) and was fourth in the overall Alpine and combined for the week.

Davis Johnson, junior men, finished second in the halfpipe; David Manthei, open men, was second in the slalom and fifth in the overall combined; and Teresa Ward, open women, was second in the slopestyle.

Casson took a little time off from his coaching duties to place second in the halfpipe for the master men.

“This is a huge championship,” Casson said. “It’s a grass-roots effort that gives a lot of different riders, from a lot of different regional series, a chance to taste national competitions.”

Casson said the age groups were relatively small, so that the athletes were competing mainly against riders their age. But the championship, which hosted 1,200 riders this year, is much broader than the United States Skiing & Snowboard Association championships.

–To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

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