Friday, January 29, 2010

Status Report

As we go into our first USASA weekend I thought a quick Elite Men Status Report was due.  Its been a busy, progressive past month that has taken a toll on this tough team.  Tricks and lessons have been learned, and patience has been cultivated as well.  
As you can see from the photo, an injured foot has healed and ERIC BEAUCHEMIN is back!

JAMES HAFFNER still struggles with pain in his foot, but has taken some time off and will be riding at Okemo this weekend.
JOE MENSCH has weathered all storms and continues to ride slope and pipe with equal intensity.  He may be jumping a pink bar in this photo, but he ain't no sissy!

HUNTER WOOD incurred a separated shoulder and concussion in the past month and has had to suffer on the sidelines.  Stay strong Hunter, lots of winter left!  He will be riding this weekend.
CHRIS TIERNEY took one of the worst falls of the season a few weeks back and is just getting back on snow.  He rode well yesterday and it was great to see the Tierney style back.  He will be competing this weekend also.
SPENCER SHAW is riding so well, whether he admits to it or not!  He stepped right to the big jump line at Stratton and has landed some of the best runs that park will see before the US OPEN.
RANDALL STACY is in top shape.  His style and rail skills are a pleasure to witness, and he has been developing stylish switch backside spins.
MIKE PERLE is hitting his stride, and I can attest to his style, progression and unwavering focus this year.  After winning the last Gatorade stop, Mike is geared up do some damage at the upcoming comps.
IAN KIRK has worked through a sprained right ankle, and a bruised left ankle this season but manages to limp along and even enjoy some urban shredding with the kids in his spare time (photo by Tikos).

In closing, I  enjoyed a day with the Pro/Ams last week.  The crew is fun to ride with and skills are developing.  Hudson has tricks for days.   I witnessed Cam have some of the best slope comp runs in his life.  Landy might be the World's Best Riding Partner, funny and energetic.  Kyle Dorfman guinea pigged the jumps for us and landed smooth backside 180s on jump 3 (pictured).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Congratulations to our graduates!!!!!!

Louie Vito  2010 USA Olympic Halfpipe Team

Lindsey Jacobellis 2010 USA Olympic SBX Team

Danny Davis 2010 USA Olympic HP Team  (unable to compete due to injury)

Ellery Hollingsworth 2010 USA Olympic HP Team 1st alternate

Ross Powers 2010 USA Olympic SBX Team 1st alternate

Good Luck!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Victory Slash: Mike Perle

Sick runs all day- the whole crew. Full story below by Scotty J. Good luck tomorrow that slope course is fun.

Gatorade free flow tour

GATORADE free flow tour

The Gatorade free flow tour hit Killington this weekend and the weather could have not been any better. The crew took some park laps to get their legs warmed up and with all the new fun terrain most forgot that they were at Killington for a pipe contest. At the end of the park run everyone was treated to a perfectly cut half pipe. It wasn't very long before people were dialing in their contest runs, and it was on! Randal had some of his biggest air to fakies I have seen him do,check the photo you be the judge. It was also cool to see Josh Cohen and Oran Pearce in the mix for the men's finals. As I sit here and think about today,the only thing better than the weather was the team comrodrie and overall sportsmanship the SMS team had. Cheering each other on and pushing one another was what makes this job so great!

JR JAM 2nd place Maverick Shaw

Men 1st place Mike Pearle

Woman 1st place Phoebe Novello
Woman 2nd place Kiely Kennedy
Woman 3rd place Karen Kobayashi

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a quick look at the Heart of the Contest Season

 Here is a photo montage of the Mount Snow Rev Tour, a report on the 1/18 SVSS SBX event and Great News about the Sunbowl Park. The news is that Sunbowls newly built large feature Park is well laid out and fun. "The Large Park" has  a butter box, a nice straight rail line and three jumps in the twenty five- thirty five department on the way to a nicely shaped 17-18 foot tall and very long halfpipe on the sunbowl USopen Pipe pitch. The fresh snow marginalized tech- park and pipe training but maximized the freeride turnshape training which was very refreshing after so many days in the contest venues. So its fairly old news that the girls swept the FIS REV TOUR Pipe podium. The usual suspects Tierney and Perle were once again dual discipline finals qualifiers. So sick. Sure sign of a rider's rider. Well they were joined in that feat by Kiley Kennedy who took fifth in Pipe and Slope. You will see her switch- on boardslides below and a mean backside air in the pipe shots as well as being my segue- Kiley was one of our SVSS SBX winners on the MLK Day Race at Bromley yesterday. And once again joined in success by Mike Perle who made his own triple crown of acheivement. The same could be said of the Shaw family- Triple Crown that is; Spencer, Serena and Maverick all won their races at Bromley. In fact SMS brought fourteen competitors and won eight divisions. Not bad considering the overlap of our ages, the 122 competitors from around the country and the sweep of one division. I was more impressed with the domination of this SVSS event than I can remember being or I expected. SBX is alive and well. It was great to see all the racers out. Thanks to the team for an action packed week since California...





Jenn Cohen Silver in Pipe and Steeze.

Gatorade Freeflow at Killington this weekend, we'll get you caught up. Thanks for "reading"

Jackie wins second stop of Nor-Am tour!

Jackie Hernandez  showed up to the first two stops of the FIS SBX Nor-am tour with one goal in mind.  I tried to persuade her that top four was a good goal in either of the first two stops, she was confident and serious in her response. " I want to win" " Fair enough." i said, "lets get to it."  With back to back days competing on the same course it gave us ample time to prepare and develop a solid plan.

Day one on the fast 55 second course at Copper Mtn. Colorado and it quickly became clear that Jackie meant business.  After a second fastest first run, she stepped it up on her second run and narrowly won the time trial by .14.  This gave her the ever important first lane choice throughout the day and into the heats she breezed through the first two rounds winning each by several board lengths.  In the Final it was the number three qualifier Chloe Banning from Steamboat who got the hole shot and was able to hold Jackie off all the way to the bottom.

Day two began with weather moving in and we quickly realized that the course was going to slow as the snow fell.  Jackie made sure there was nothing left to chance and laid down the fastest first run by .43.  Even after some course maintenance between runs the new snow proved to be too much for the field for the second run as times slowed it became apparent that her first run time would stand.

Similar to the day before Jackie eased through her first three rounds winning each heat. After a quick board change to better handle the new snow in the finals she again faced Chloe Banning from Steamboat.  Jackie won the start, gave up the lead once on a tricky inside move in turn three, but recollected herself and passed Chloe on turn four and was able to hold her off for the win.

It was an exciting day of racing and i am looking forward to the next stop of the tour in Big White, CAN next week.  The overall tour winner of the five stop series will earn a personal spot for their nation for the 2010-11 World Cup season.  Jackie is currently tied for first.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Rev Tour Mt Snow


I have been on snow almost daily since early Nov and I can say that today, at Ragged Mt in NH, I got my first powder turns with my Nephew Finn and his family.  It was much needed.. Sadly I could not get my surf-style pow slashes or shoot tree limb pipelines without some suffering in my park-tenderized back and feet.  Oh well, the torch can pass to Finn!
Looking back on the Rev Tour, some immediate highlights come to mind.  Seeing Shelby, Serena and Jenn on the Podium for HP was really cool.  It will be tough to see Jenn and Shelby graduate, and its nice to see a young new rider following those two.  Spencer Shaw continues to ride strong and placed third in mens HP.  He also won $250 for being the only rider to land a 1080.  Although he didn't agree with pipe and its dimensions, he had his way with it.  Other SMS riders to make pipe finals include Kylie Kennedy, Chris Tierney, Joe Mensch and James Haffner.
Sunday's slopestyle found the crew a little beat up, with more hardship in store.  Sore parts plagued the crew, but Kylie, Joe, Mike Perle, Chris Tierney and Hunter Wood all made slope finals.  No sooner than practice opened I recieved a call to come down to jump 3 where Chris Tierney had sustained a concussion.  It was a nasty looking impact and we all feel for the Tierney family.  Our riders somehow avoided the podium on Sunday, but will come into the next event strong and hungry.  A big shout out to Joe Mensch, Kylie Kennedy and Chris Tierney for making finals in both Slope and Pipe, and to the Podium sweepers, Jenn, Serena and Shelby Simpson.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Louie is one step closer.....

Digging through some old files this morning I came across Louie's junior year goal sheet.  "Make it to the Olympics" is clearly written.  Louie continues his march to the Olympic games in Vancouver and the realization of those goals created here five years ago.  After another solid day and a second place finish he is sitting solidly in second in the Halfpipe standings.  Things could get shaken up in the final two qualifying events next week in Park City, so keep tuned in and keep your fingers crossed.  SMS alumni Ellery Hollingsworth and Danny Davis are also in close contention, and are poised for the Park City event.  We will keep you posted.   Lizzie Beerman is out of the hunt for Vancouver but on the mend and in a good spot heading into the Dew Tour and the X- games in the coming weeks.  Some goals need to be reserved for other days and I know Liz will be cheering on her team mates in their quest to represent the US in February.  Just to be in this elite group down to the final events is an honor and we are very proud of her and everyones accomplishments to date.

Lindsey Jacobellis and Ross Powers continue to press forward in their quests for the Olympic team in Veysonnaz, SUI in two days.  They have both met the minimum top four World Cup criteria for Olympic selection.  All the results still need to be tallied after the final qualification event in Stoneham, CAN on January 19th before anyone is named.  On the men's side there are several athletes who have met this top four criteria.  Jackie Hernandez  '10 has been offered the 4th women's spot for these last SBX World Cups/ Olympic qualifiers but has declined to focus on her recovery from a fall in December, and pursuit of the Nor-am title.  She is headed to Copper for the first stop of the tour in three days.  All the best to everyone on their journey through these tense last few weeks of qualifying.

Rev tour is this week for our crew trying to secure Junior World spots as well as coveted US Open Invites and selection to US Snowboarding projeckt gold camps.  The top five overall finishers in the tour will also receive invites to USASA nationals.  I was psyched to be able to spend some time with Randall, Chris T, Mikey, Phoebe and Kiley while Ian and Dave were away.  We had some great days and i am amazed at the level these kids are at and the work they are putting in. They all charged hard  and along with the road crew coming off the GP all should be set for success, and ready to put on a show.   We look forward to seeing everyone at Mt. Snow beginning with Women's qualifying at 9 am on Thursday in the ditch.

Keep praying for Kevin Pearce, the love and support our community is pouring out to him and his family is helping.  He is improving every day.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Quick Tribute to Dave Redden

Dave Redden has been raising the bar in coach performance this year and is hitting his stride here at the Grand Prix. He has immersed himself in tuning technology and spends hours tuning, experimenting on his own boards, waxing in the Grand Prix intensity , purchasing wax and gear, and sitting in with the US Team tuners at night. That is on top of maintaining order, transporting athletes across the country, coaching his ass off, filming, and creating blog magic. Here's to you Dave Redden!
Shred Redden exploding a stylish skate style ollie over the Volcanic rocks of Mammoth getting the Shot! Who would ever know this dude is in his forties and has two kids? Im so glad he is traveling with us! - Hunter Wood

Dave Redden has been shredding Mammoth to its fullest, looking like one of the boys, and has been creating some of the best lines on the trip. Every ride up the lift he gets super pumped and finds crazy new spots. Riding with Dave this past week has brought back some good memories. Its nice to know when a coach gives you advice, you know he can go out and actually show what he's talking about. Dave took on the waxing and tuning job like a true pro for the Grand Prix, making sure our boards were perfect for the contest. Thanks D RED you're the man- Joey Mensch

Grand Prix Half pipe #2 @Mammoth Mtn.

Today was the qualifier round of HP#2  out here and it was another fine day of sun and quality riding. Things started with a bump as James Haffner had a difficult morning trying to keep pace with the worlds finest riders on a cracked tail. Rather than try and adjust to a new ride and burn his remaining practice run having his bindings switched he elected to try and make it work but couldn't put together the type of run we know he is capable of. James was disappointed but doing

better now and remains one of our all time favorite
riders. The rest of the world will just have to wait to see it.
In the next heat Joe Mensch and Spencer Shaw enjoyed a nicer practice and some better results. Joe claimed one of the high Backside Airs of the heat, 900's to the left and the right. Spencer laid down the best SMS HP run of the year with a beautiful Crail to front ten, cab seven, front nine, back nine. Nice to see him feeling some satisfaction, knowing as we do the expectations he places on himself and his riding. Ian will show footage soon but here are shots of Joes BS air and Spencers BS Crail...
For the elite girls team I can say that all three HalfPipe riders are riding better every day. Serena, Shelby and Jenn all have different styles but each are spinning more comfortably out of these twenty two foot walls and linking these spins between more articulate and amped straight airs with every session they get. So after they all landed their first runs they made the next run a more aggressive attempt to get into the final or at least bag a few more points. Progression is a snowboarders best friend and the girls are enjoying the climb. Shelby Simpson landed her first run and then next run her biggest back five of the year made the front five tough to hang in there for. Jenn Cohen has added front fives back into her runs out here along with a truckdriver grab (front and back edge at the same time, like driving a truck.) in her frontside 360, and an air-to-fakie to set up her caballerial five forty which is likely to become cab-seven...almost too much progression for a single sentence but still we are looking forward. And then there is Serena Shaw...Serena is the youngest girl in the event and once again Serena stomped her front and back fives, grabbed her threes and styled out some four to five foot airs. Another top twenty for Serena and Jenn as well this time. Serena put up a great bid for a frontside seven in her second run today and it was over three feet out. Courage and determination to start and finish tricks equals progression and I can't wait to see what that equals throughout the rest of the season. Enjoy the pics and the footage on the way...We get to watch some great riding by SMS alumns and this years Olympians while we do a little training tomorrow and sunday. It has been a great experience for our crew to see what lies ahead and where we stand. They should be as proud of the effort as they are eager for the challenge. Click on these photos pulled from video of their runs. Can't show their big straight airs every time so check out the spins.

Serena fs five.

Jenn method air                                             
                                                                                                                        Shelby sw.back three sixty

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"SMS Riders Land Runs"... At Mammoth Grand Prix

At the years first Grand Prix in Copper Mtn I was proud that our first ever elite girls squad held their FIS seedings among the worlds best. I mentioned that it was long term strategy implementation and execution just to get on the invite list at these events. I mentioned also that these are the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Qualifiers for the US Team and plenty of other national teams. To be a high school athlete at a world class event is an incredible honor, and an opportunity that few will ever get the chance to understand. For me as a coach and a witness to work with these kids and Kirk out here is as much as i could ever ask for. The reason is that everyone here is taking the opportunity in hand. To improve at the little skills that bring the big runs together and not overreach is the challenge that Jenn Cohen, Joe Mensch, James Haffner, Shelby Simpson, Serena Shaw and Spencer Shaw have met today. With one day in a little (18foot)pipe and one day in an imperfect 22' to get back to form before today's contest the SMS Elite kids proved to the world why they deserve to be here. The event score keeper's laptap is still down and the boys results are not in but for the women we have a proud crew led by Serena Shaw in 17th, Jennifer Cohen in 23rd and followed up by Shelby Simpson in 29th. Shelby is bringing more amplitude and getting all of her tricks but couldn't smoothe it out today. Jenn and Serena each landed their strongest runs of the year. Not once but twice. The kicker for a coach is that each girl added one to two points to their first run by tightening up combos and changing up grabs. SMS Snowboarding has a saying,"sms riders land runs"... Today they landed and then landed better runs. My hats off and it feels good.