Friday, April 9, 2010

More shots and more podiums

2010 Nationals winding up and down...

Yesterdays Open Class Slopestyle May be the Marquis event of the week. 78 Men lined up and Hunter, Joe, Eric and Spencer all put in their Bids for a spot in the 16 man Final. Hunter Looked good on each try but just flew too far on his cab five in both runs. Joe took a stiff crash in run one and laid down a beautiful run in his second try to end with an edge caught riding away from the sixth and final feature. A tough break ending what was surely a final qualifier run. Spencer and Eric moved through the qualifier as per their usual slopestyle routine. In the final Spencer earned a top five with a cab seven switchback nine opener! So Technical and stomped. EB's final run as an SMS Student Athlete was a five to five to double back rodeo that he made look too easy. He was just around tenth but the progressive nature of  Beachface Killah's run typified the incredible snowboarding show that he has put on for the past two years with Ian at his side. They have stood atop the course at finals and on podiums all over the land and pushed the snowboarding art in every level of contest. It has been an honor to watch.
For the women in the a.m. Jenn and India came in tenth and eleventh place missing finals but riding strong. It has been a great season riding you both, have a great time in Mexico this week. Kiley Kennedy survived the drama of lost tiebreaker followed by an expansion of the final field that first bumped her out and then took her in. She qualified sixth into the field of eight and made the best of the opportunity. She put out her patented half cab method to Huge roast beef grab air to method, to air off the rocket box, and a boardslide to fakie, cab 270 on and off the final box. A strong and proud show in her first Open Class Nationals.

Today the comeback of Makayla Tierney was completed as she took sixth place in Halfpipe with only a few weeks riding this season. She rode solid and smoothly following her straight airs with the biggest three-sixty of the day (double click that pipe shot on the right!) into a newly learned switch front five.
Also in the same field of youth girls were Phoebe, Karen and Marian. Lena K rode in the junior class simultaneously with the youths. Lena put down one of her greatest halfpipe runs ever charging for the drop to her biggest frontside airs and finishing strong with a back three. Congrats on fourth place Lena. Karen kept it together with some smoothe airs and a click or two in her spins so the runs were not her best but in light of the overall performance she has put in all week she has to be happy. I have been impressed by Karen's Slope and SBX riding already this week.
Marian Lobell also ran solid and also aquired a new cab five for her self. I know Marian was happy with her runs I just wish I had a photo. maybe Sully can add an edit. Nice work stepping up to your own challenge to do that run Marian.
Finally but also in the youth class Phoebe Novello started the day charging with a first hit Backside five-forty that might have won best trick of the day. She nailed it three times in practice but  struggled with it in the contest, over- rotating a bit first run and slipping out a check after putting it down in second run. That changed her line and slowed her momentum too much for a strong score. Phoebe has ridden hard all year and is among the most progressive young women out there. I really wished I could do more to help her nail that down today but her snowboarding is her real reward and she is past it already.
JJ Hawkrigg put in a nice couple of runs for sixth after we were done. Strong work all week long for overall performer Hawkrigg... Jackie is still out there boardercrossing with the nations fastest for a national championship... Great Job To all the athletes and coaches. Thanks for another proud and fun SMS Year Mike Scott Sully and Ian. Most of all thanks to all the parents for making this thing go. Enjoy spring break...

post script: More results are in from today and the overall tallies are now out. First congratulations to Jacqueline on yet another USASA National SBX podium. Always fast and always right in the fight. Third place behind an olympian and your noram nemesis who I hear nearly ran out of time with you bearing down through the end. Nice stuff.
Now Congratulations to the SMS Development crew for all around ouststanding riding. In the Breaker girls JJ Hawkrigg was 6th in the overall combined. Karen Kobayashi 2nd in the Youth division followed closely by her teammate Marian Lobell in 3rd. Lena Kuchera was 3rd in Junior girls. All four SMS Development Team Girls in the top 6 in overall combined with 3 out of 4 on the podium. Nice Job girls and congrats Sully!
Finally Congratulations To Kiley Kennedy for 3rd in the Open Class overall combined. Kiley was forced to compete in "open" this year as a result of her great showing at the US Open. Way to face the music girl. Dancing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Boardercross for me today with Mikey Perle and Josh Cohen. Ian Kirk had my back all day and he was soaking up the scene and keeping the guys in check. These kids showed up ready to race and the Copper mtn course offered many challenges and every type of weather possible to keep our days interesting. After a slight course hold that allowed over an inch of snow to build up after inspection we finally got the clear to begin time trials. Despite my pleas for a snow seed,(the lower seeded riders go first to break in the course) the OC wouldn't have it and MIkey being the top seed ventured into the freshie laden course as the first rider on course. I'm not sure how it would have been had he gone later but he posted the fastest time of the day that bested the field by 1.5 and even trumped the 16-17 boys. Sitting comfortably in the lead and lane choice for the day had us feeling pretty good. Josh Cohen following Mikeys lead and rising up over a tough practice run crash posted the fifth fastest time for the day. Josh has been riding awesome and he showed a lot of courage jumping right back in after a crash and really hanging it out there.

The first heat left josh in a tangle up with some less experienced riders who were in over their heads and used Josh as a leaning post through turn three. This is sbx racing and sometimes the worse luck happens to the best guys. Josh was not able to overcome the pileup and settled for fifth in his heat and the end of his day. Josh should hold his head high knowing he was the fifth fastest guy out there today and he has many races to come in his young career.

MIkey tore through heat after heat battling tough conditions and even a few mistakes. In the semis he passed five guys after turn two to win every heat headed into the finals. In the final it was Mikey again who proved why he was the fastest on the course and made short work of the competition making a strategic pass on the final turn to seal the deal. Congrats to both these boys on their hard work today and through the entire season.


More Podiums !

Monday, April 5, 2010

Nationals Day 2: Podiums!

Day 2 at Nationals and the SMS Train is full steam. I enjoyed a day at Slopestyle with the Jr and Youth men. The slope course was firm and fast, which caters to rippers, but is hell for the mediocre. Lucky for me, I have rippers on my squad, and so does Scotty J!
While Mike Perle came up a bit short on a sure podium run, Chris Tierney and Randall Stacy found their way to the podium in 1st and 2nd respectively. I hate to call a podium run before the comp is over, but after Tierney's second run I was surrounded by fans of his who claimed the run for him. Tons of style coming out of both these riders, no wild hucking in sight.
I was really happy to see Hunter Wood, James Haffner and Jamie Charron cheering on the riders. It really helps and it was totally genuine.
Speaking of Jamie Charron, that kid ripped today! His run of 5, 5, 7 turned into 5, 5, 1080! While the 10 was an unintentional overspin, the kid landed it and his SMS status skyrocketed in under a minute. Great job Jamie!
Kyle Dorfman also tore it up and like Jamie, Mike P, Tierney and Randall, he has style for days. I believe he ended up 8th. Great day for Pro/Ams!
The Development Team also had a couple of podium spots today in Boardercross. Lena and Marian rode really well today and did great in time trials but just missed finals. Karen and Jennifer were on fire today! They easily made it to finals and both placed 3rd in their age groups. Congratulations ladies.
Thanks for all the positive support from the families out here. As Scotty J has been telling me, a nice word goes a long, long way.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

National Championships 2010

2010 Nationals Day 1




Day one of The 2010 USASA Nationals is in the books, and is worth reading about! As always there were highs and lows, the lows today being Randall, Chris Tierney and Phoebe not quite able to land their runs. The bummer is that they all had podium worthy runs. There is no blame to spread though, and they went down attempting amazing runs.
Now to the highlights of the day. I started out with the Jr and Youth Men in HP and today I had the pleasure of working with Josh Cohen and Kyle Dorfman, two riders who I have not had enough time with. Kyle blew me away with his style and, much like Randall Stacy, his approach to HP is unique and refreshing. Just look at the photo of his ultra tweaked first air!
Josh Cohen was all business today. I could see this coming yesterday when he expressed his concern that his board be tuned for high performance. Scotty J and I made sure this was the case and sent 5 lightning fast boards to the hill today. Tuning continued on the hill as you can see from the Scotty J action photo.
So, we did our part, and the rest was up to Josh. The kid's first run started with a monster fs air, followed by a front 540, front 3 and cab 3. We were proud of him, but his mind was on run 2 and how he could step it up. The call was adding a difficult frontside 720 to the run, and that is just what Josh did (in addition to making the rest of the run bigger and cleaner). Great working with you Josh, way to step it up!
Mike Perle was also all biz, but that is old news to me now. His backside 900 is so nasty, quite a crowd/judge pleaser. Mike also stepped up run two, adding a 720, much like Josh. His run paid off and put him on the podium in the 2 spot. Great Job Mike!
Another 2nd place podium went to Maverick Shaw, who had a great day at Slalom with Scotty J. A Shaw on the podium, what's new? We still love it and look forward to many more Shaw podium appearances. Get better quick Serena!

As proud as I was of Mike for landing on the podium, there was something else that got me just as stoked. That was the RETURN OF MAKAYLA TIERNEY!!!!!! I ripped over to women's slope after pipe just in time to see Mak's second practice run. Keep in mind that 5 months ago I was with Mak when she traumatically broke her leg in Austria. I have been thinking about and hoping for her safe comeback ever since, and today was the day I had hoped for. The girl attacked 40-50ft kickers with confidence and style (a Tierney trait). As I sat in pleasured awe on the side of the course to watch run 2 I was mortified to see her overshoot jump one by about 25 feet, flying over 50ft and dropping about 50ft to her back in the flats. She went so big I could feel my heart sink while she was in the air. I was the first to the scene where she lay motionless. It was a sickening sense of deja-vu and I couldn't believe she was broke again. Amazingly, she wasn't at all broken and after gaining her senses and testing some movement she informed me she wanted to finish her run. "Heck No" I said, to which she replied, "Can I at least finish the rail section?"
Sorry I didn't let you do so Mak, but after that scare it just wasn't worth it. I could not be any more impressed with this girl and I am so, so, so glad you are OK!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Nor-Am Finals

Jackie Hernandez, Maelle Ricker and Carle Brenneman.

Sunny skies and 65 degree temps have been the norm for the last three days at the Nor-am SBX final in Tremblant. The course built by Head Canadian SBX coach Renee Brunner provided plenty of air, step downs, and technical sections. Over a minute long this course set the stage for some challenging racing. The sun and warm temps kept the vibe loose and the slush made the course seem more forgiving. Jackie Hernandez sitting in second in the Nor-am standings had complete focus and a positive attitude coming into this one. The fate of the title lay not in her hands but in the hand of Chloe Banning who had a 172 point lead before the day began. Jackie's focus was simple, stay on line, have good starts and pass when you have openings. Focus on your own riding and let the cards fall where they lay. With gold medalist Maelle Ricker of Canada laying down the fastest time of the day followed by Chloe and Jackie, the stage was set for and exciting afternoon of racing.

All three girls would pick apart the field heat after heat and all landed face to face in the finals. By advancing to finals Chloe had safely secured the title and almost with a sigh of relief took some of the pressure off. The only focus then became the podium for the day. Jackie greased the start and hung on Maelle's tail through the whole course but could not find a place to pass the experienced world champion. Jackie finished on the podium in second and marked her highest points of the season!

Days like this are few and far between and Jackie rode hard, stayed focused and finished strong. I am very proud of her accomplishments this season and her second place finish in the nor-am standings (46 points behind) and her very successful day here in Tremblant. Few get to share a podium with an Olympic champion, and it has been an amazing season.

Off to Colorado in the am to join the team for USASA nationals.

Enjoy the break!