COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colorado. April 3, 2015. Hailee Mattingley and Kevin Eisenman won the Open Class Banked Slalom (BSL) competition at the 2015 USASA National Championships today. The event featured a field of 174 snowboard and freeski athletes competing for bragging rights and USASA National Championship medals. The event included athletes from four countries (USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia) competing on the Copper Mountain Resort’s Lower Bittersweet Banked Slalom course. Guests at the resort had a great view of the entire course from the finish line. The Freeski winner in the Men’s division of the Open Class BSL event was Eric Tompkins from the New York based Catskill Mountain Series. There were no female competitors in the Women’s Open Class Freeski category for today’s BSL event.
Five inches of fresh snow brightened the BSL course today. By the time practice runs were held, the sun had crept out from behind the clouds and when the competition began, classic “bluebird” conditions were moved in for the remainder of the day. Ten banked turns and a “roller” section challenged riders and skiers in the 2015 BSL competition. 2002 Winter Olympic Gold Medalist Ross Powers was on hand to defend his 2014 USASA Open Class BSL title, but ended up in second place behind Eisenman who posted 34:97, the fastest time of the day. For Powers, it was a family affair as his eleven-year old daughter, Victoria joined him in the competition, racing in the 10-13 year old age category. Billy Thurston of Plymouth, Minnesota had the third fastest time in the Open Class, exactly 0:40 seconds behind Powers. 2014 Winter Olympian, Justin Reiter of Steamboat Springs, also competed in the Open Class and had the seventh fastest time of the day in the men’s Open Class of the BSL.
Hailee Mattingley of Sandy, Utah won the women’s Open Class BSL title by 0:26 seconds, beating USASA 2014-15 National Slalom Champion, Maggie Rose Carrigan from Steamboat Springs. Third place was claimed by Emma Brodigan from Chanhassen, Minnesota, who rides for the Upper Midwest Alt Series.
An interesting story from the nine and under boys division was the thousandths of a second difference between division winner Fynn Bullock Womble of North Carolina and second place finisher, Australian rider, Valentino Guseli. After posting the fastest two times in their age category, both boys opted out of their second run so that they could enjoy fresh powder on the other side of the Copper Mountain Resort. The best of two run time format meant that neither of the two boys felt the competition was more important than enjoying a powder day, riding together in the half foot of new snow. Interviewed on the podium, both boys agreed that they made a great decision and only wished that their times had remained a tie score.
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, Banked Slalom on April 3rd, 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.