Created: 02 April 2019

Abby Champagne earned her first USASA National Championships title in PSL Tuesday.

Racing for the Open Class riders wrapped up on Tuesday at the USASA National Snowboard Championships at Copper Mountain Resort with slalom competition taking to the perfectly prepared Copperopolis slope, where Abby Champagne won her first career National Championships title and Robbie Burns made it two-for-two after taking the giant slalom win on Monday.

“It was a really good day,” Champagne, who races out of Park City, UT, said after receiving her gold medal, “The course was really nice today, a little bit easier but still with a lot of terrain. I was pretty tired after (competing in the giant slalom) yesterday and racing today in the big final was tough. But it was just like, ‘Ok, two more runs…” And Lexi (Alexa Bullis) gave me a serious run for first in the final; I think I just beat her by a very small fraction of a second. I’m very happy though. I’ve been to almost every Nationals since I was 16 and I’m 33 now, and this is my first win. It’s awesome.

“I think every athlete has their competition that they go to but they can never really get the result that they want and Nationals has been like that for me, so for me to finally push past that here feels great.”

As Champagne mentioned, the slalom silver medal went to 19-year-old Alexa Bullis in an extremely tight battle with the veteran Champagne, while Dana Albers rounded out the podium with her second straight bronze medal performance.

Burns makes it two-for-two with slalom victory

With momentum on his side, Robbie Burns claimed his second USASA National Title in just as many days taking home the win in PSL Tuesday.

Over on the men’s side, Burns proved once again his mastery of the Copper Mountain venue, as the 28-year-old who races out of Steamboat Springs, CO, kept the momentum from his giant slalom victory on Monday rolling right into Tuesday’s race where he once again claimed top spot.

“I was I could say I was hanging around to celebrate with all these beautiful people, but I’ve gotta go back to work tonight. 11:00pm to 7:00 tomorrow morning…not really looking forward to it” smiled Burns, who works as a nighttime security guard to fund his riding, “But, to win double gold here at Nationals this year, a lot of things had to go right. There was a little bit of a smaller group this year, a few less athletes, but that almost makes it so people think maybe I should win. But in our sport, anybody can win it on any given day. So when I get in the start gate against Everett (McEwan) or one of these young kids who are gunning hard, I look at it like, I’ve got my head out there and they’re just ready to take it off. It’s a different sort of intimidating.

“To win both titles this year, it’s really special. I’ve had a lot of people reach out, and that’s a testament to the overwhelming support from this community. My heart’s full and I can’t wait to be back at the USASA’s and do it again next year.”

Incredibly, Burns’ double gold performance at this year’s National Championships almost didn’t happen, after a crash last week resulted his goggles smashing into his face and opening up a deep cut near his eye.

“I actually called Zippy (Neil) last week and told her I wasn’t going to be racing this week,” Burns explained, “But a bunch of people were like, ‘Hey, the snow’s really good at Copper right now. Just go out there and feel the snow,’ so I said Ok and on Sunday I took some runs with my team and thought, ‘Ok, my head feels good, my eye doesn’t hurt, let’s do this.’ It’s weird how it all works. I wasn’t even planning on racing, but I turned it around and I did race and it’s just been a wonderful experience here, like always.”

Runner up to Burns on Tuesday was Canada’s Jacob Farber, who did one better than his bronze medal performance in the giant slalom on Monday to score Tuesday’s silver, while 46-year-old Everett McEwan earned his first Nationals podium with a bronze medal finish.

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