Monday, April 6, 2009
2009 USASA Nationals Update/ The Fire is Spreading.
After two days of competitions on good cool snow and under sunny skies SMS Snowboarding has already put up a strong campaign for the week. It will be tough to say enough about everyone's riding but the outstanding results deserve announcement. The Pipe is perfect if a little smaller than some of the major halfpipes we have competed in this year. The slope course features a thirty seven, forty five, and fifty five foot three jump line followed by three options of three rail/jib features. Good wax helps the first jump and speed management is required for the next two jumps. The slalom and gs courses are holding up great each day and the Boardercross has more features than most major courses we will ever see. More features in a BX course favor the most skilled riders and that for me is the way they should all be designed. Thanks to Copper for excellent venues. Thanks to the snow gods for some super fun back bowl riding to get the kids loose and acclimated on our extra and early training days. I personally enjoyed some the best runs I've had in ten years. Finally and as always thanks to the kids for working hard all year, stepping up in the end of the year contests against the nations best and thanks to the Parents and other coaches who make this program work. It seems to be continuing to work well.
Yesterdays first results of the National Championships came in from the Slalom venue and there was Bondville Vt and SMS' own Josh Cohen on the top of the podium. Congratulations! An individual national title is something to be proud of for the rest of your life. Enjoy it Josh. We are very proud. Meanwhile the Halfpipe saw our teams biggest group and the Pipe says we look good. The slopestyle course hosted what is maybe our toughest crew and that is most of our girls. These are marquis events and here is how it shook out. Lena Kuchera had a challenging day and landed in 28th in the nation in the junior women division.
India Stephenson landed a forty five foot backside three sixty in between two Straight airs and above an aggro jib line to take home the silver medal for second in that same division. That wrapped an awfully succesful first year at SMS for India. In the Junior girls division Phoebe Novello had the third best jump line of the day but had a tougher time with rails and took seventh. Lena said Phoebe did the biggest method air she's ever seen. In the Breaker Girls division Makayla Tierney continued her incredible run through the late season and took The silver for second. Man I wish I got second in the nation in slope yesterday. Those girls are fun to hear from any distance (often you may hear them from any distance!) and great to ride with and watch ride.
I spent most of my day at the Halfpipe and had the satisfaction of seeing some of my favorite snowboarders stand up Beautiful, technical lines. The youth mens div. is arguably the most competitive division in USASA. These are also some of the guys I have spent the most time with at SMS and so I'm particularly proud. Mike Perle had what he considers a bad day. He missed a couple grabs but still put down an air, five, five, seven, switch crippler run that gave him 15th place. His second run ended with an abrupt slam to the shoulder, some pain and disappointment. Many young snowboarders would give anything for a top fifteen finish. Brendan Conroy edged mike out for fourteenth place with styled straight airs, a front five and front seven run straight off the Lacrosse field. Eleven pipe runs in the past month and he beats forty plus regional champs. Austin Schweyher did the best looking back five of the day, put up two tech runs and finished the second run with a back side 900 to take 8th. Chris Tierney Jr had the days smoothest run. He went frontside seven, haakon flip (switch frontside seven), frontfive, back five and nice big frontside slob grab. Chris missed the top three by point three and left with fourth place in the nation. I couldn't be any more proud of his riding, whatever his results. He is standing up runs in the clutch and beginning to get the credit for the rider we know he is. We believe in great riding and results come second. Our crew is riding proud.
For more of an example we move on to the junior mens division. Thomas Tikos-Kadji (TTK) linked one of his strongest trick lines with style for 8th. Randall Stacy did the biggest air to fakie for the second year in a row, followed by four switch tricks to take home fourth place and Joseph Mensch powered out a heavy cab sev, front nine, bs five, fs five to huge method on the last hit- where other riders are calling it a run, playing it safe or barely reaching the lip: To take home the junior men's national championship title in half pipe for 2009.
We are going long here. Thanks for bearing with me. Today we were all over the hill again and Josh Cohen was again early to get after it. Josh fell, in first run, had to hike to stay legal on the turn and then came back to win the second run of Breaker boys GS. He finished around twenty but again his coaches are proud of his effort. In the open class slalom against former and present US team riders Jacqueline Hernandez, Alexander Hernandez and Indrik Trahan all advanced to finals. Ripping fast and strong, I wasn't there but heard rumor that Indrik was passing former US team racers like they were sideslipping but couldn't slow down and stand up to finish it. He finished fourth and spreading fear among "faster" finishers. Sick.
Still Here? Good. It has been said that Makayla Tierney is on fire. The truth is that she has learned more about snowboarding from her older brother and his inimitable style than anyone. Where it started nobody knows but the FIRE is Spreading. Her riding crew was at the BX today. Scotties angels. Lena was more fired up for BX than any other discipline and advanced through two heats to consolation finals and eleventh place. Wicked. Phoebe Novello won her time trial and advanced through one heat but was run down by another rider and a little disappointed. Phoebe has had a great season and has to be proud. Her riding partner also scorched the time trials and no wonder: Makayla Tierney is on Fire. Mak T won heats all day in to the finals. She was aggressive fast and smoothe. She held herself small over fast jumps and kept the pedal down riding over her front legthroug rollers and banks. She looks like a BX racer is supposed to. Makayla took the lead and held it through three quarters of the course to get passed underneath in a late bank. Temporary disapointment for Makayla but she learned more in getting dogged than she would have winning easy style. Two silver medals in two days at National Championships. Anybody else out there having this kind of week. I don't think so.
So on with the fire, The Tierney family snowboarding bonfire jumps across the trail to slopestyle, where, in the Men's Junior division, TTK put down a styling front one indie, cab five, back seven to major jib line (I couldn't see)... Fifth Place, Congrat's Tom. Thomas was followed by Joe Mensch in twelfth- big niner! Tough Jibs. And Randall Stacy took two unfortunate falls followed by sick jib lines to take thirty eighth. Good boys.
Brendan Conroy spun front and back threes for the first time ever on these jumps and finished a very respectable lacrosse season sabbatical slopestyle in 18th. Chris Tierney Jr. continues to blaze his 2009 Nationals appearance with a smoother than all y'alls cab five front seven back five, deep deep deep to half cab on 360 off jib opener.... to second place in the Youth men's slope. I want to come back as a Tierney Kid when I die. Good livin folks. Obviously I could go on all night but my connection time is up. Photos are not loading. Check em out tomorrow. You are the world.