COPPER MOUNTAIN, COLORADO. April 8, 2015. In the hotly contested 14 year old and over age category, both free ski rail jam champions came from the same town of Hood River, Oregon located on the banks of the Columbia River, separating the states of Washington and Oregon. Tucker Fitzsimons and Hannah Bergemann, both of Hood River, won the male and female National Championship Rail Jam title on the final evening of Rail Jam competition at the USASA National Championships. Hood River, long known as a popular destination for windsurfers and kiteboard enthusiasts is located approximately one hour from Mount Hood, where both athletes train and compete as part of the USASA Mount Hood Series. The jam format finals took place under the lights at the Copper Mountain Resort in front of a crowd cheering on the athletes amid thumping music and commentary from event announcer, Jason “Jersey Jay” Christel.
PRIZES AT NATIONALS
In addition to Open Class Prize Money and National Championship medals, there were a number of “honorable mention” prizes awarded during both snowboard and freeski competitions. Throughout the 2015 USASA National Championships, Judges awarded “Best Trick” for Slopestyle and Halfpipe events and special prizes for the fastest Qualifying Time in the Boarder and Skier Cross races. Individual athletes executing the best trick in the Halfpipe contests won a new jacket from Under Armour. The best trick award for Slopestyle was a $200 gift certificate, courtesy of USASA Sponsor THE HOUSE.com Matt Guffstafson, of THE HOUSE.com was on hand to deliver each Slopestyle best trick in the form of an oversized check with the athlete’s name inscribed. The fastest qualifying time in each cross event (Boardercross or Skiercross) received a new Verizon Brigadier mobile phone for crossing the finish line ahead of their competition.
GoPro HERO 4 cameras were awarded nightly to the athlete performing the best trick at the Rail Jam venue. The highly sought after best trick awards were issued every night of scheduled Rail Jam competition.
VIDEO GAMES NATIONAL TITLES AWARDED
For the second year in a row, the film crew from the Upper Midwest Alt Series won the prestigious USASA National Championship Video Game Award. Billy Bjork was the winning filmer / editor for the second consecutive year. His prowess behind the lens earned him a one week trip to the WOODWARD Digital Media Camp and the Upper Midwest Alt “featured athlete” won a one week athlete trip to CAMP WOODWARD. GoPro HERO 4 cameras and cash prizes were awarded to the top three teams in the contest. For the sole submission in the Freeski Category, the Ward Brothers from upstate New York won two WOODWARD CAMP trips for their freeski submission. All awards were presented based on voting from online viewers who cast their votes via a survey posted on www.videogamesevents.com website. To view video entries submitted in this year’s contest, please visit www.videogamesevents.com and click on the links provided to view each film.
HEARD ON THE HILL:
Hitting the Trail.
Big Alaska Series Director, Alison Sterley is hitting the trail this month. Literally. Starting on Sunday, April 12 in San Diego, California, the anthropologist from Alaska will depart on her way north, along the Pacific Coast Trail. She is planning to hike the entire 2,500 mile trail in approximately five months, logging an average of 25 miles per day. She’ll be carrying around 18 pounds of gear during her hiking adventure and hopes to keep in touch via her blog: www.alisonsterley.wordpress.com
To keep her cell phone and computer tablet batteries charged, she will be utilizing a solar battery charger throughout her spring and summer stroll along the Pacific coastline.
SMS Snowboard Program Director and multi-Winter Olympic Medalist, Ross Powers will be inducted into the Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in a ceremony taking place at the Steamboat Springs resort in Colorado on Sunday, April 11. The Olympic bronze and gold medalist flew back to his home in Vermont after coaching at the USASA National Championships Snowboard Events. He will return to the mile high state to receive his award later this week.
Taking over from Josh Nicolaisen (NH Series Director and new dad who flew home to be with his new baby and wife after snowboard week) as the Techical Supervisor at the Rail Jam Venue for Freeski Week, TS Cat Leonatis did a fantastic job, keeping all events running on time despite some pretty large rosters. Her biggest thrill as TS for the Freeski Rail Jam week of events? “Not one single sled the entire competition!” Great news indeed!
SUNNY SKIES AND STATS!
The 2015 USASA National Championships will go down in the record books for a number of reasons:
· Largest USASA National Championships ever held at Copper Mountain (1,900 athletes).
· First time for FIS and Nor Am co-sanctioning.
· Largest prize purse ever awarded at a Nor Am / Hole Shot event.
· Roger Carver (USA) and Maria Ramberger (AUT) were named Nor Am Overall Champions.
· Record high USASA memberships (Over 5,000 full paid members!)
· Eleven Countries represented: USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, France, Spain, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Korea and Norway.
· First appearance of skiers in the Exhibition Banked Slalom event.
· Two-time repeat championship performances by National Champions:
o Colorado Carving Ace, Maggie Carrigan successfully defended her Open Class Snowboard Slalom title.
o Southern Vermonter, Mazie Hayden outraced her skiercross challengers to defend her 2014 Open Class title.
· Sunny skies were on tap for the entire duration of the 2015 USASA National Championships. With the exception of one overnight snow squall that deposited a freshening, half-foot of snow at Copper, just in time for the Banked Slalom, the Championships will be remembered for the incredible stretch of “bluebird-sunny” skies and exceptionally positive vibes.
ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Two separate “Parent Meet and Greet” events were held during the USASA National Championships. On consecutive Sunday Nights, parents of USASA athletes were invited to join USASA staff and volunteers for an evening soiree featuring a free drink and raffle ticket. Sales of additional raffle tickets raised over one thousand dollars, all of which will be used to fund the USASA Foundation’s mission to financially assist athletes in need. Thanks to everyone who purchased USASA pins, bumper stickers and raffle tickets at these fun, festive evening events.
In addition to funds raised at the Parent Meet and Greet events, significant funds were raised and donated by the following partners and friends of the USASA:
On behalf of the USASA and the USASA Foundation, many thanks to all above for their financial contributions so that we may continue our mission and vision!