Kids get their turn at Slash and Burn Banked Slalom
Steamboat Springs — With The Hungry Dog taking the place of the many beer tents Sunday at Howelsen Hill, the second and final day of the third annual Slash and Burn Banked Slalom had a different feel than the first.
While Saturday’s competition was catered toward the adults, Sunday’s finale was a festive occasion for the kids, who were able to try their luck at the course built into the face of Howelsen.
“Yeah, it’s super fun,” said Winston Vaughan. “It’s just all fun. Good people, fun course.”
Vaughan, 14, a Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboarder, won Sunday’s teen boys’ (ages 14 to 17) race with a time of 1 minute, 5.01 seconds. Vaughan, who will compete at the USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain in two weeks, is already a podium veteran at the Slash and Burn event, having won the 10 to 12 age group last year.
Next to him on the podium Sunday was second-place finisher Gabriel Irlandini (1:09.08) and third-place finisher Tyler Robison (1:10.75).
The teen girls’ race was won by 15-year-old Vail resident Montana Braden in 1:14.14.
“I’m stoked to have won. I usually don’t win things like this,” Braden said. “I just came out here for fun, but I’m super excited that I managed to pull off the win.”
Braden had a lot of competition from local 14-year-old Grace Drobek, who took second in 1:14.46, a difference of 0.32 seconds. Both girls posted nearly identical times in each of their two runs.
Taking third was Kaitlin Hancock in 1:19.87.
“It was a little sketchy this morning, but when it softened up, it was nice,” Braden said about the course. “My first run, I lost a bit of speed. That’s why I didn’t have the greatest time. But the second run definitely felt really good, especially the top section.”
The boys’ youth (age 9 to 13) podium consisted of winner Marty Boyd (1:07.28), Johnny Duty (1:11.54) and Forrest Christian (1:15.77). The girls’ youth podium was made of winner Rebecca Dillon (1:29.88), Kendall Harrington (1:31.88) and Tatum Lightner (1:34.03).
Winning the boys grom (age 8 and younger) race was Seamus Malia in 1:30.06. Following him was Jett Nemec (1:32.14) and Isaak Loeppert (1:38.51). The girls’ grom podium was winner Isabelle Drobek (2:19.82), Marley Moore (2:29.28) and Jordan Casavecchia (2:30.49).
With the third annual Slash and Burn Banked Slalom in the bag, event organizers already are looking ahead to year four. Key co-sponsors SmartWool and Powder Tools Snowboard Shop are committed to continuing to raise the bar on an event that has only gotten larger each time.
“It’s definitely a big team effort and a big, end of the season party with the whole industry. It’s kind of a great way to kick off the spring,” said event co-organizer and Powder Tools manager Bernie Tomassetti. “It’s very humbling, for sure, that it got this big … (we want to) keep rolling with it and see where it goes. The people are asking for more. So, if they ask for more, we are going to give them more.”
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