The Mountain Sports team traveled to Bend, Oregon for the USCSA Nationals competition in March. The team competed in freestyle ski and snowboard events, as well as nordic ski events.
The first day of competition at Nationals consisted of a rail jam for the ski and snowboard freestyle team, and a 7.5 classic ski for the nordic team. It was a warm and sunny day at Mount Bachelor in Bend, Oregon, and the conditions were great.
The rail jam consisted of three different lines of boxes and rails. Judges wanted the riders to change up their lines and to use all of the features available.
Western had both men and women riders make it to finals, and everyone competed at the top of their game.
Overall, the women’s snowboard team got fourth, men’s skier got third place, and men’s snowboard got second place! It was a good day for Western Mountain Sports.
Western’s large variety of disciplines at nationals included a quick and strong Nordic Team that competed in a 7.5 k classic race. This was first of four events that the Nordic Team competed in during the week.
Racing through Bend’s mossy coated forest provided a series of challenging uphills that the team had to overcome, but the team’s stoke level stayed high and they were happy to race in new territory.
With the 7.5 k classic not being a typical race that the Nordic team competes in, it was a new experience for the crew and was a great way to kick off the week of competition for the team.
The next event that the freestyle ski and snowboard team competed in was an awesome slope style competition on a great course.
The slope style run started with either a rail or a box, into a two jump line, followed by a rail, a pole jam, and ending with a wall ride. Everyone competed well and we had a bunch of W’s in the finals.
It was a full day on the hill, but Western finished strong. For skiing, Dom Pucherelli finished in ninth place overall. For the snowboarders, Hunter Knoll finished in ninth place, Micaela Lambeth in fourth place, and Grady Shoop finished in third place.
The Nordic team broke out the wax and iron early Wednesday morning to prepare themselves for the Freestyle race. The short race tested the team on endurance as each competitor full out sprinted the short lap. With the level of competition stacking higher than last year, the team knew they would have to leave it all on the race course at the end of the day.
Samantha Maddox, or as her friends and teammates know her, “Bob,” held down the fastest time for the women on the team finishing a respectable 19th place out of all 41 competitors. Although it may not have been exactly what she wanted, she gave it her all and was a perfect example of a Mountain Sports athlete that refuses to quit.
On Thursday the men raced in boarder and ski cross all day. With another sunny warm day. the course was slick and the team went fast.
The competition consisted of a single rider qualification, followed by heats of four depending on qualifying times.
No one from the team made it to finals, but everyone gave it their best.
Friday was a board and ski cross day for the girls, and the mens freestyle team spent the day in the big park at Bachelor filming and progressing tricks. With a blue bird day and a high of 60, it was a perfect day to get some laps in the park.
The Nordic team was at it again Friday morning, and this time it was all about distance. The team competed in a 7.5k race, where each skier had to make two big laps and two smaller laps before finishing the race completely. This race was a mixture of endurance and pacing each lap out.
Instead of doing intervals starts, like the team had been doing the past two races, they all started off at the same time which made for a more exciting and challenging start for all competitors as they sprinted down the start and into the mossy woods. The race streamed in fans that scattered themselves along the course, giving each racer encouragement as they pounded through the lengthy race.
Kevin Geisen lead the Western males in the 7.5k race placing 17th out of 44 competitors and Bob Maddox lead the woman’s standings for Western placing 15th of the 40 competitors.
Western athletes capped off the week with a warm bluebird day as their final day in Bend, Oregon, competing in Nordic, and Men’s and Woman’s Snowboard GS. Athletes race down the course weaving themselves through colored gates, while trying to maintain as much speed and control as possible. Grady Shoop finished with the fastest time for the team finishing 18th out of all 40 competitors in the Men’s Snowboard GS.
Ethan Field taking it tight around the gate with the final turns in sight in the finals of the Men’s Snowboard GS.
Jordan White (red jacket) & Katelyn Novak (grey jacket) and Micaela Lambeth competed in the Woman’s Snowboard GS. Although each of them slightly struggled with the icy course, they still finished strong and plan on coming back stronger next year in hopes of achieving a spot on the podium.
For the Nordic teams last race, they competed in a three person, three lap relay race. The women’s team finished strong in fourth place overall.
It was hard to beat a fun nordic race in the 60 degree sunny weather in Oregon!
Final Results were strong for the Mountain Sports team. Micaela Lambeth finished in the top 10 for women’s freestyle snowboarding. Grace Owen also finished in the top 10 for women’s freestyle skiing. Dom Pucherelli and Morgan Hunter Haymans both finished in the top 10 for men’s freestyle sking. Ethan Field, Hunter Knoll, and Grady Shoop all placed in the top 10 for men’s freestyle snowboarding. Grady took home fourth place overall. The men’s snowboard team took third place over all! Good work everybody!
Overall, Western Mountain Sports had an amazing week at Mount Bachelor in Bend, Oregon, and we took home some medals to prove it. Thanks to our sponsors, and to everyone that was able to come compete!
To see more photos from the trip, check out: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wscumountainsports
Stay tuned for a video from the trip.
Photos / Story by Preston Hoffman and Taylor Ahearn
To see more information about the USCSA Nationals head over to the events website: http://www.uscsa.com/
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