Created: 04 April 2019

David Retzlaff keeping it cool under pressure to win his first USASA National Slopestyle title with a 95 point run.

The final day of snowboard week competition of the 2019 USASA National Championships went down on Saturday at Copper Mountain, where once again all five daily venues were buzzing with action from first chair to last, and where the highlight Open class slopestyle competition saw Makayla Kellogg and David Retzlaff use their final runs of the day to claim this season’s national titles.

The day started with a change in schedule for the ladies, as in the riders meeting after practice the competitors on hand elected to forego qualifications and head straight into a three-run final for all riders.

Kellogg was one of the standout riders from the get-go. However, despite stomping both of her first two runs, she still found herself in second-place behind Colorado’s own Ellie Weiler before the start of run three.

As it turned out, though, Kellogg had another gear, stepping it up in a third run that included a cab 540, backside 360, and a well-held mute grab through the jump line, before going 50-50 frontside 360 out, 50-50 to boardslide, and 50-50 frontside 180 through the rails to earn a score of 88.25 and the gold medal.

Makayla Kellogg spinning her way to National Championship Open Class gold.

“I started the day off pretty nervous. Practice was pretty scary and I wasn’t landing stuff,” 17-year-old Kellogg said of how her competition went, “So we switched my run up and I started landing it every run, and then landed all three runs in finals, so I was super happy about that. I’m so excited to win…I don’t even know how to explain it. Everybody threw down today and it’s awesome to be first.”

16-year-old Weiler would finish the day with a score of 85.25 for the silver medal, while Lauren Dominio, a Rocky Mountain Series rider like Weiler, would round out the podium in third with a score of 82.00.

Retzlaff rules with final-run banger

Over on the men’s side of things, top qualifier Retzlaff would need to come up with a little last-run heroics to take his National Championships title after failing to put down his first run and looking up an intimidating leaderboard that had three riders in the 90’s after their first runs.

Dropping in last on the day, 19-year-old Retzlaff started things off on his 95.75-scoring gold medal run with a cab 900, into a frontside 1080, and finally a backside 1260 to finish off the jump section, before going cab 270 sameway 270 out, switch boardslide to regular, and frontside 270 boardslide to regular through the rails.

“I stomped my first qualifying run, and then I upped it in my second qualifying run and I think I increased my score by 10 to take top spot,” Retzlaff, another Rocky Mountain series product, said about his day, “So I was last one to drop in finals, but on my first run I just came up short on a jump. After first run there were some high scores on the board, but I didn’t really pay attention to them and I was able to put down my bigger tricks in my last run and get a 95-something.

“I was just trying to stay focused, wasn’t really thinking about what the other competitors were doing, just trying to make sure I knew what I could do and know that it was all up to me if I was going to land or not. It’s super cool. I ended up third last year, so to come back and win it this year is awesome. I’m excited about it.”

Second place behind Retzlaff was 18-year-old Alec Little of the Big Mountain West Series, who took silver with a score of 93.00. Bronze, meanwhile, went to the Maine Mtn Series’ Bo Warren, as the 22-year-old put down a first-run score of 91.50 to earn his place on the podium.

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