Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Last Two Days at Nationals 2009
The trip home was wearisome. Scott and I were searched more thoroughly than Ive been searched before at TSA. After ten to fifteen minutes that felt like thirty we were found not to be terrorists. I was beginning to wonder myself. Easter was a great day with Ariel, Willa, Addie and MaryBeth (Ariel's mother). The odd tragedy and the tragedy narrowly averted at Nationals- the father of Waterville Valley's Kai and Olivia Wiggins passed away on the chair weds.- Mount Snow Coach and Jams competitor Tyler Redes was found unconscious after slope practice weds. am- these things really made me want to get home. The Wiggins family stayed on and competed as that is what they felt their dad made the trip for. They were still suffering but not alone. Tyler awoke after a touch and go night of seizures to say "I missed my slope run..."and is reported healing, it was hard to watch our fellow northeast riders have to deal with that. As a team our sympathies are still with those touched most intimately.
Working from memory some points of the last two days are easy. For any I overlook I apologize. Please be proud of your part in the SMS love and shred machine. It takes everyone.
Thursday was one of the better days of BX racing I have enjoyed. Josh Cohen gets my vote for the Most Improved BX Racer in the country this year. The day began with Ross Powers guiding JC through the course, explaining lines for time trials versus lines for heats. Josh had some good speed training runs and then the time trial where he finished with the fifth fastest time. In each speed run and the time trial Josh and his coaches saw small but incidental room for improvement so we knew we had a contender. Josh ran his first heat in the lead from start to finish. His smoothest run yet. In his second heat he made a strong pass and then held off to assure moving on without risk. In six man heats the top three in each heat advance to the next round. Time trials dictate lane choice in each round so advancing is winning until finals where winning is winning. My best advice this week at the bx venue was that there is only one heat you want to risk anything to win. That's the finals. In the semi's Josh continued in his wise strategy and was cruising in second when the third place guy put on a not so clean pass, clipping his board and sending Josh into a skid. From one hundred feet back in fourth Josh put on a bx clinic making up all the distance running a tuck on a flat base through the final jumps and banks, reaching as far forward of his board as his hand would reach to lose a photo finish by an inch for third and get sent to consolation finals. Photo finish is not an expression. Mike Mallon is this years Westhaven Award winner, The highest award given to a FIS snowboard TD in our country and Mike said the photo was the sickest and clearest, and closest photo finish he has ever seen. One inch of the other kids' glove... Josh was unhappy. His coaches were proud. Josh recognized that every kid in the consolation round had just suffered a similar letdown and wanted to prove he belonged in that final. Josh made a diving pass beneath the first jump in consies and crushed the field to finish a proud seventh place in the breaker boys 2009 national BX championships.
A seriously well ridden day. Thanks Josh. You crushed.
I couldn't see him but next door over on the slope course, on the iciest day of the week, Eric Beauchemin took third in the men's open class slopestyle championship. I wish I could say more but this is the Marquis event of the Nationals in my opinion and as always EB showed he can ride with anyone in any conditions. RULER. Beauch-face-killah!
Friday/ Half Pipe
In the morning heat of the halfpipe Lena Kuchera (Junior Women) ran her runs in the double-up format along with Phoebe Novello (Youth Women). Lena finished up her run with a three, three, air, back three combo that put her in the top fifteen in the nation for her agegroup. Really one of the better runs Lena has put down in a contest and a strong sign of continued improvement for Lena. Phoebe was hoping for just a lil' more out of herself- like a second run of banger straight air's capped with a front five but had to settle with her first run score for articulate and amped straight airs capped with a three three combo. Phoebe was disappointed partly because everyone all year has told her how great she is doing. Not every year of strong skill building is translated to success with the judges but believe me when I say this girl is a strong athlete who will ride with ANYONE when her time comes around. I was glad to see her spirits lift when she was suprised at the evening awards with second place in the overall category. Nice job kid. Your work is paying back more than you know-other than the obvious fact that you love it everyday of the week. Check the style on that method. I once new a skinny lil girl who did methods like that. She did alright.
Heat two saw the re-attack of the Tierney family. Makayla (Breaker girls) took her third silver in three consecutive events! That may read funny but you got it right- three disciplines- three silver medals. Three days competing, three days on the podium. No-one at SMS has put themselves in the spotlight more often in the later part of the season and noone has had as much fun trying. Maybe that's the secret. Or maybe Mak T is just keeping stride with the rest of her family. Chris had a great week in slope and pipe but on this day her younger sister Meghan (Menhune) also took second in her age class with (dare I start this battle?) the biggest airs of the day. If Meghan can hold on to that amplitude when she is grabbing and spinning Mak will have her hands full but is still the shred queen of the clan.
Over on the BX course Alex and Jacqueline put up strong timetrials In the Open Class with the pros but neither went as far as they expected in the heats. Thats' why we line up every weekend of the season and thats why we begin dryland next monday. Thanks for reading. Thanks for riding.