Freeski Nationals Review

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A montage of happenings prior to the 2016 Nationals Free Ski Awards on Sun, April 10.  For a group of young competitors, arriving early for the ceremonies paid off as they won prizes from several USASA and 2016 National Championship sponsors including a unique tote bag from Swag Bag (, backpacks from Windells Camp and a speaker from Braven Products, among others.Spons montage 4-10 Sun

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On Sunday, April 10, Group 1 (NorAm, Open, 19-29 and 30 & Over for both Men and Women) hit the SkierCross course. Full results can be found via the Nationals tab on the USASA Homepage (left)













 Group 3, which consisted of the 13-15 year-old Men and Women as well as 16-18 year-old Men and Women spent Sun, April 10 in the Copper Mountain Superpipe.  

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It was Sunday in the Park for the Freeski Boys and Girls competing in the 9 and Under and 10-12 year old age groups. From the get-go, it was evident that the youngsters had been working hard all season long on their tricks.  A special shout out goes to Troy Podmilsak for throwing down the Best Trick as determined by representatives of  The young gun, who hails from Park City, UT, earned $200 for his effort.  Oh, and he also finished third in the 10-12 year old group.








Slope Montage Sun 4-10


USASA Names Executive Director

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Mallon The United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association announced that Michael Mallon will lead the USASA as the new Executive Director. The USASA was founded in 1988 by former amateur surf coach Chuck Allen with a $500 donation from Transworld Snowboard Magazine.  In 27 years the USASA has gone on to help support and encourage the youth of snowboarding and freeskiing and is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world with over 5000 members.

Mallon’s appointment came during the 2016 National Championships held at Copper Mtn. with over 1800 skiers and snowboarders competing over twelve days. Mike’s leadership and experience has the USASA poised to continue the momentum through the summer and into next year.

Mike began his relationship with the USASA in 1995 as a coach for the USASA Junior National team. As a team coach and organizer he hosted all-inclusive training camps each season, and attended five ISF Junior Worlds Championships and three Topolino events with the USASA.

In 2004 Mike was named as the Sport Committee Chairman for US Snowboarding and a served on the USSA board of directors for three consecutive terms through two Olympic cycles. In 2009 Mike served as the FIS Technical Delegate for the World Championships in Seoul, Korea. In the same year he was awarded the prestigious Westhaven award for his outstanding service as a FIS Technical Delegate. In 2010 he was also recognized for his distinguished achievement in snowboarding administration with the Anna McIntyre award.

After the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 Mike went on to serve on the USASA Executive Board for four years as the President and is currently employed at Carrabassett Valley Academy as the snowboard program director.

In addition to his volunteer involvements and running events Mike has led the top snowboard programs in the country and received recognition for these achievements three times as the “Snowboard Program of the Year.” Carrabassett Valley Academy, where Mike is currently employed, has been nominated for this esteemed acknowledgment this year.

“Snowboarding has been so good to me and I’m stoked that I am able to give back now and be right back where it all began for me with the USASA. We have an amazing group of series directors and with the help of our newly formed foundation I’m looking forward to making the USASA experience more accessible to every kid out there. Together we are going to focus on giving back to the local series that make up this amazing organization.”

Mike will be transitioning from his role at CVA after the class of 2016 graduation and will begin as the Executive director at USASA on June 1st.

USASA Benefit Banked Slalom

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The first Annual Banked Slalom Charity Competition was held on Fri (April 8) on Copper Mountain's Lower Bittersweet trail. Nearly 50 snowboarders and skiers turned out looking for bragging rights in the two run format.  All proceeds from the event benefitted USASA.

Awards, including Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were presented at Incline Bar & Grill following the race.

Snowboard Championship Week Recap

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IMG 4573 - adj ZOEUSASA celebrates Open Class athlete, Zoe Kalapos from Avon, CO. Zoe laid down the gold mdal run in Halfpipe on Wednesday.

The Women's Open Class Silver went to Anna Valentine of Sparta, NJ and Stamford, CT rider, Noelle Edwards captured the Bronze.

In the Men's Open Class, Ryan Wachendorfer (Edwards, CO) led the way for the Gold.  Justus Judd Henkes V (La Jolla, CA) took the Silver and Chase Blackwell (Longmont, CO) was the Bronze medalist.

Reports from the Halfpipe indicated that the tricks being thrown down by both the men and women were very impressive including back-to-back doubles.

The progression continued the next day into Slopestyle where 81 men and nearly 20 women were entered to tackle the Copper Mountain course. There was a buzz following the event describing the level of competition that had just been witnessed.  Triple corks and more were described.

The Men's leaderboard - Gold - Chris Corning (Silverthorne, CO), Silver - Dylan Thomas (Kingsley, PA) and Bronze - Jaren Elston (Bend, OR).

The Women's podium - Gold - Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (Wanaka, OTG), Silver - Serena Shaw (Bondville, VT) and Bronze - Jade Thurgood (Clinton, UT).

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All told, 1250 snowboarders participated in the 27th edition of the USASA National Championships across the five days of competition, in six disciplines in one of 148 different age groupings.  Before the athletes arrived at Copper Mountain Resort, they had qualified through the 495 USASA Sanctioned events held during the 2015/2016 season, in one or more of the 31 Series from among the five Regions.

The youngest competitor to participate in the 2016 USASA Snowboard National Championships was five year-old Sloane Alexander from the Snow Ohio Series.  As a Ruggie, this young lady tackled the Slalom and Giant Slalom courses in her first Nationals appearance.

On the other end of the spectrum, the eldest competitor to participate in the 2016 USASA Snowboard National Championships was a veteran of many (many) years, Dick Schulze from the South Tahoe Series.  At 70 years young, Mr. Schulze competed as a Methuselah (60+) and finished second in the Overall standings for his group after participating in Slalom, GS, Superpipe, Slopestyle and Boardercross.

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Line up for the Parade of Regions near the climbing wall.  This year, the regions went all out with wonderfully colorful shirts, sweatshirts, and other forms of outerwear.  It also appeared there were many new banners and flags which made for quite the kleidoscope 

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Mother Nature treated the snowboarders to a pow day on Tuesday - which was great for those who weren't competing.  It made for a rather challenging day for those who were performing at one of the disciplines as well as for the judging and officiating staff.

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DSC 0345 - adj - webA beautiful view from the top of the Boardercross course.






What's Been Happening - First 3 Days of Snowboard Nationals

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The mobile scoring app fueled by @kyoceramobile and @verizon, along with the sponsor supplied WiFi hotspots (which enable the judges to upload scores in real time) have proven to be invaluable tools to the athletes, coaches, family, friends and supporters on site at Copper Mountain Resort.  The mobile app has also proven to be a handy resource for people who are not on-site.  The app enables them to keep track of everything from afar.

Be sure to check out the other features contained on the app.  Starts lists for each of the disciplines are available for each group.

Results, which are divided by group, are then subdivided by each day's event for viewing.

A copy of the Rider's Guide is also available through the app.

There is a direct link from the main page to the portal for VAST Action Photography.  VAST has seven photographers covering events every day, including the award ceremonies and evening Rail Jams.  They upload the photos on a daily basis for everyone's viewing pleasure.  Due to the volume of images, the data needed for the search feature has been experiencing delays. You can still look through the photos from each discipline and identify riders by their attire and/or bib number.

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@Kindsnacks have been presenting "Kindness Awards" at each day's award ceremony based on nominations from each USASA Regional Series Director. From the healthy snacks we make to the way we work, live and give back, our focus is on making the world a little kinder, one snack and one act at a time.  The Regional Kind award is presented to the athlete/member that best exemplified, spread and celebrated kindness throughout the USASA season.  Congrats to all of the winners so far.

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NorAM SBX Finals

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Snowboardcross NorAM Finals Decided at 2016 USASA National Championships

The 2016 NorAM Snowboard Boardercross title was on the line Sunday at Copper Mountain in the final event of the USSA’s Hole Shot Tour NorAM Series.  An international field, including five US Team members and an Olympian tackled Copper’s purpose-built boardercross venue.  Sunday’s race was contested as part of the Open Class competition at the USASA’s 27th annual National Championships. The dual sanctioning of the OPEN Class events represents a cooperative effort between the USASA, the USSA, and Copper Mountain Resort.   

US rider, Cole Johnson, claimed the NorAm title with his fourth place finish in the last race of the season.  His margin over runner-up and fellow US competitor, Robert Minghini, was 225 points.

Defending NorAm champion, Rosina Mancari, led the US women with her second place finish in the 2016 standings. She was fifth in Sunday’s event.  Canadian, Meryeta Odine earned the women’s NorAm title.

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Japanese competitor, Shinya Momono (center) won the final men’s NorAm event over US riders, Mike Dierdorff (left) and Alex Diebold (right). 


Diebold was the bronze medalist at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.  A pair of Americans, Johnson and Devryn Valley completed the top five.






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Karen Iwadare (center), also from Japan, completed that country’s sweep of the top podium position.  American rider, Danielle Steinhoff (left) captured the silver and Annabel Tudhope (right) from Australia earned bronze. 


US competitors, Yoshi Knowles and Mancari rounded out the top five.