Nor Am / Hole Shot Boardercross at Nationals
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colorado. March 30, 2015. Rosina Mancari and Roger Carver won the final Nor Am / “Hole Shot” Boardercross event today at the 2015 USASA National Championships. The event featured an elite field of national and international athletes competing for Nor Am and FIS points as well as thousands of dollars in prize money. The event included athletes from six countries competing in the final Nor Am / “Hole Shot” Boardercross event presented in the USA this year. Many of the Boardercross athletes competing in today’s Nor Am event will be departing for the Nor Am Finals taking place at the Big White resort in Canada, April 2 and 3.
Snow conditions varied dramatically from the frozen, hard pack, early morning surface to the midday soft snow, that transitioned around noon. By the time finals were held in the early afternoon, warm temperatures had turned the morning hard pack into very soft, spring snow conditions. Coaches at the top of the venue could be seen working on folding tables, busily adjusting the wax and base structure of their racer’s boards to accommodate for the challenging, changing snow conditions.
The women’s final featured race winner Mancari (USA), Meghan Tierney (2, USA), Maria Ramberger (3, Austria), Anna Miller, (4, USA). Men’s finals included eventual race winner Carver (USA), Hagen Kearney (2, USA) , Thomas Matthew (3, Canada) and Devryn Valley (4, USA).
Season Long Nor Am / Hole Shot awards were announced at Copper during the afternoon awards ceremony. Roger Carver and Maria Ramberger won the Overall Nor/Am Hole Shot titles for the year. Meghan Tierney and Jake Vedder were named Nor Am / Hole Shot Junior Athletes for 2015.
Race winner Carver earned $3,000 and Mancari $2,000 for their winning performances in the Nor Am / Hole Shot finals. Prize money is calculated based on the size of field for all Open Class Events at the USASA National Championships.
The 2015 USASA National Championships is the final event of the season for USASA athletes. Over 1,900 athletes are competing in up to seven different disciplines from March 29 through April 7 at Copper Mountain. Disciplines of competition include: Snowboard Alpine Giant Slalom, Snowboard Alpine Slalom, Boardercross, Slopestyle, Halfpipe, Rail Jam and Banked Slalom. At the conclusion of snowboard competitions on April 3, the USASA and Copper host four additional days of Freeski competition featuring Skiercross, Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Rail Jam.
Founded by Chuck Allen in 1988, the USASA is proud to represent the recreational and competitive interests of amateur snowboarding and freeskiing in the United States. USASA accomplishes this by supporting 31 series across the country that present over 500 events at more than 100 resorts throughout the season. The goal of the USASA is to promote fun, fair, and safe events while fostering a competitive spirit in the snowboard and freeski athlete community. In addition, USASA emphasizes education for coaches and competitors, and promotes an overall healthy snowboard and ski lifestyle.
Heard on the Hill
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colorado. March 30, 2015. Copper Mountain Ski Patrol stopped by USASA's event registration to say how thankful they were for the unsolicited help they received from a USASA competitor who assisted them setting up a few section of “B” net. Youth Men competitor Xander Cornaby, of the Big Mountain West Series took the time to help out Ski Patrol on an early morning run. Special thanks to the Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitor for pitching in, doing a great job representing the USASA and snowboard athletes here at Copper!
Nor Am / Hole Shot Boardercross Race Champion, Roger Carver, was heading down to the Boardercross venue when he noticed two little “Grom” competitors slogging through a few inches of early morning, soft, sticky snow. Their mom was doing her best to get the kids across the flats, but was obviously having a difficult time. Remembering his early years as a USASA Grom competitor and the challenges he faced, Roger offered his assistance, picking both boys up and carrying them across the flats to the steep section of the trail, where they could let gravity take over and enjoy the early AM freshies.
Olympic Gold Medal Coach Bud Keene reflected on something that keeps him motivated, inspired and stoked: random conversations with kids on chairlifts. He gets energized every time he hops on a lift and has fly-by conversations with kids. Their enthusiasm and energy are contagious. Their stoke for their sport is better than a double shot of espresso!“That kid from the Upper Midwest Alt Series is the new Steven Speilberg!” Comment overheard at the GoPro / Video Games Event USASA premiere at the WOODWARD BARN at Copper. Billy Bjork’s second year submission blew people away at the end of the video night, hosted by VGE, GoPro and WOODWARD. Submit your vote for this year’s best video on the www.videogamesevents.com website. Look for the “Survey Monkey” survey to cast your vote.
“Ghostbusters!” Mick Dierdorff’s reply when asked who he was going to call with the new KYOCERA BRIGADIER phone he won for posting the fastest qualifying time (51.17) in the Nor Am / Hole Shot Boardercross event.
“Nope! I’m heading right into surgery.” Austrian Boardercross ace, Maria Ramberger’s reply when asked on the podium if she was heading to Canada to compete in the Nor Am Finals at Big White. Laughing as she spoke, the crowd wished her well as she heads into surgery to repair her knee, damaged before competing at Copper. Good-luck for a smooth recovery!
Competition Day 1
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colorado. March 29, 2015. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been to the USASA National Championships a dozen times or if it’s your first time, nerves are bound to play a part in your experience.
How do the athletes and coaches deal with nervousness?
Seven year-old Sophia Capua, a Ruggie competitor from Aurora, CO is attending her second Nationals and nerves aren’t something she acknowledges. Her petiteness exudes confidence as she rode up the lift heading for her second half pipe run, “I do all of the events and I hope to win the Overall championship,” she said. “I think Boardercross is the hardest, usually because of the drop-in, but it’s also my favorite. I like it because I get to race against the other girls.” When asked what she might tell someone who is attending their first USASA National Championships, the precocious youngster answered with no hesitation, “Have fun and good luck.” And what might she say to a first time parent? “Have fun watching your daughter (or son).”
Acy Craig, last year’s Menehune Girls (10-11) Overall Champion who is competing as a Breaker in 2015 doesn’t feel that nerves are a big concern for her since she’s got a couple of years experience at the USASA National Championships and has had some success. “I feel more confident with Boardercross and pipe is my second favorite,” she said.
Standing with Craig following their Slalom runs were a pair of first time competitors, Northern Vermont Series rider, 15 year-old Maxine Senft Miller from Colchester, VT and Caitlin Doty, 13, of Shelburne, VT from the Southern Vermont Series. Both of the ladies felt that even though they had finished their first event they would still experience nervousness in their other events.
Coach Marcus Patterson from the Big Mountain West Series and Team Utah Snowboarding tries to help his athletes by impressing them that that the USASA National Championships should be considered a practice session for their future snowboarding. “I like to think about the original meaning of the work competition, which was to lift up and inspire those around, not to win,” he explained. I encourage the athletes to work toward their personal best and to be satisfied with their run, not to be worried with what others are doing.”
Tim McLaughlin, Snowboard Director at New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley BBTS added his thoughts, “Every athlete is different and you have to learn how to help them with the situation. For a younger rider, distracting them during a long wait time might work before turning their focus toward the event when it’s closer to their time to drop. For older riders, helping them learn to channel their nervousness into a positive can work as well.”
Jake Vedder of Pinckney, MI is a boardercross athlete competing on the Holeshot Tour and is a rookie with the Nor Ams. A former USASA competitor, Vedder now trains in Park City, UT. The 16 year-old finished fifth in Sunday’s Nor Am event, “We have a team psychologist who helps us work through being nervous. I try to breathe and stay in the moment, it doesn’t matter who you’re racing, you just go out and run your race.”
Nick Stotz from Brooklyn Park, MN is attending his second Nationals and has a full plate. The Breaker Boy competitor ran GS today but will participate in the other four disciplines as well hoping for a shot at his age group’s overall title. “I get nervous (at the start of events), I pray that I’m going to have fun,” he remarked.
A third year Open Women Slopestyle and G Team competitor was enjoying a day off, “As the event gets closer my nerves get pumping. All I can do is try to put down my best run.” When asked what advice she would offer to the young USASA competitors to help quell a case of the nerves, she replied, “I’d tell them that you’ve earned your spot here, you can hold your own, believe in yourself.”
Sochi boardercross bronze medalist, Alex Diebold was at the BK Pro tent signing autographs and talking to athletes on Sunday afternoon. Diebold, who’s competed across the world at the highest of levels admitted that he still gets nervous. “At any given event it still happens, I have to focus on my snowboarding and realize that I can’t control the external stimuli (such as) the other racers, weather, course conditions. Once I key in on that it makes me less nervous.” Diebold mentioned that it is this philosophy that has helped him attain his recent successes on the World Cup stage. He concluded by saying, “Learn to enjoy the process, when you’re young, embrace your nerves. It takes years to not have them affect you as much.”
- by Marjorie Fay