The first-ever Winter Olympics gold medal in slopestyle snowboarding won by 20-year-old American Sage Kotsenburg at Sochi, Russia on Saturday motivated the big crowd of young slopestyle competitors on Dollar Mountain Saturday.
So did Saturday’s snowstorm.
About 200 free skiers and snowboarders competed on Sun Valley’s Dollar Mountain Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 6-9 in the USA Snowboard Association (USASA) Big Mountain West Series.
The Intermountain Division staged the four-day series of boarder/skier cross, slopestyle and halfpipe competitions with the organizational support of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and Sun Valley Resort.
Even Saturday’s snowstorm couldn’t disrupt the slopestyle event. About 120 competitors took on the challenge of the Dollar Mountain terrain park, in the largest slopestyle event ever held in Sun Valley.
“Sun Valley Company provided an incredible array of freestyle venues that left competitors, coaches and parents smiling,” said Andy Ware, SVSEF Snowboard and Freeskiing program director.
He added, “Sun Valley’s park and pipe crew did an outstanding job. The cut on the halfpipe was about the best I’ve seen it.”
In slopestyle, SVSEF Freeskiing team members Trevor Hattabaugh of Boise and Will Griffith took home first-place finishes, while Justin Kennedy of Boise and Noa Hecht were both second in their classes.
SVSEF snowboard team member Jack Verhaeghe claimed the bronze in the Grommet Boys (ages 8-9) class for the slopestyle. Clara Jenner and Payton Bacca went 1-2 in Breaker Girls. Zoe Bacca was second in Menehune Girls (10-11) and Hanna Blackwell second in Skier Women.
In Sunday’s halfpipe for 71 contestants including 16 from Sun Valley, the top scores went to Hood River’s Sean Fitzsimons in Breaker Boys (12-13) with a 58.75, to Bend’s Jacob Beebe in Open Skier Men with a 58.25, and to the Park City Youth Men’s trio of Matthew Grant, Chandler Hunt and Skyler Ordean with 60.60, 52.75 and 51.50.
Those earning halfpipe podiums were Clara Jenner, Payton Bacca, Jack Verhaeghe, Olive Gilbert, Zoe Bacca, Channing Curci, Trevor Hattabaugh, Harper Mallett, Christopher Pederson, Hanna Blackwell and Cora Kaiser.
Dollar’s four-day series that attracted young boarders and skiers from Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, California and Washington plus a solid collegiate field began with boarder/skier cross on Thursday and Friday.
SVSEF snowboard team members Clara Jenner and Peyton Bacca put down two of the fastest times of all competitors in the time trials and had the most exciting head to head races of both days, Ware said. Each Breaker Girls race was won by just a board length.
Jenner came away with three wins and Peyton edged Jenner out in the last race to claim the fourth competition.
Other locals with podium finishes among 75 boardercross entries included Zoe Bacca, Channing Curci, Cole Peterson, Cora Kaiser, Matthew Fisher, Jack Horowitz, Jake Evans and Clyde Montgomery. Also competing among locals were Dylan Prabowo, Walker Pate, Angus Gilbert and Elias Murcko.
Ware said, “Our coaching staff and parent volunteers came together and did an outstanding job all weekend long. My thanks to everyone for their support.”
Here are local slopestyle and pipe placings by age class:
Youth women (ages 14-15): Cora Kaiser 4-SS, 3-HP.
Youth men: Clyde Montgomery 8-SS, 6-HP; Bryce Gillespie 9-SS; Matthew Fisher 10-SS; JD Stark 11-SS.
Breaker girls (12-13): Clara Jenner 1-SS, 1-HP with a 46.25 score; Payton Bacca 2-SS, 2-HP with a 33.75 score.
Breaker boys: David Rau 5-SS, 5-HP.
Menehune girls (10-11): Zoe Bacca 2-SS, 2-HP; Channing Curci 3-SS, 3-HP.
Menehune boys: Tague Higgins 6-SS; Cole Peterson 12-SS, 8-HP.
Grommet girls (8-9): Olive Gilbert 2-HP.
Grommet boys: Jack Verhaeghe 3-SS, 3-HP; Walker Pate 6-SS, 7-HP.
Open skier men: Trevor Hattabaugh of Boise 1-SS with a score of 50.75, 2-HP.
Skier girls (13-15): Hanna Blackwell 2-SS, 2-HP.
Skier boys: Will Griffith 1-SS with a score of 51.25; Noa Hecht 2-SS with a score of 50.75.
Skier boys (10-12): Harper Mallett 8-SS, 1-HP with a score of 37.75; Christopher Pederson 9-SS, 3-HP.
Freestyle moguls at Bridger Bowl
SVSEF racer Zac Maricich-Siele swept the Feb. 8-9 weekend of Intermountain Division freestyle racing at Montana’s Bridger Bowl with wins in both singles moguls events as well as Sunday’s dual moguls.
He led the eight-racer SVSEF squad in Montana that also notched a number of class wins in the 38-competitor field.
Women: Parker Nance 6th and 7th overall singles (2-F2 twice) plus 9th duals, and Eliza Marks 11th and 9th overall singles (1-F4 twice), 10th duals.
Men: Jack Rizzo 4th and 6th overall singles (4-M2, 5-M2) plus 6th duals; Wilson Dunn 7th and 7th singles (1-M3 twice) plus 7th duals; Wyatt Wilson 8th singles (1-M1); Luke Rizzo 12th and 13th singles (2-M4, 3-M4) plus 18th duals; Tobias Verheijen 13th singles (4-M3).
In other freestyle news, Sun Valley’s Shane Cordeau, 27, notched two outstanding results in Nor-Am mogul racing at Val St. Come, Quebec, Canada with second overall in singles and seventh in duals.