JUNE MOUNTAIN, Calif. — After a day’s delay, the second run of the giant slalom competition at the X-NIX U.S. Snowboard Championships was pulled off on Friday under brilliant sunshine at June Mountain, CA. Sondra Van Ert (Ketchum, ID) won the women’s GS by nearly an eight-second margin, while Mike Kildevaeld of Denmark won the men’s GS. Manuel Mendoza (Whitefish, MT) was the top U.S. men’s racer, finishing second.
“I liked yesterday’s course better, but I like the sunny day today,” said Van Ert. The giant slalom was scheduled for Thursday at the championships, but was postponed a day after the first run due to high winds gusting in excess of 70 miles per hour. Friday dawned as a beautiful, sunny day, with calm winds.
“Today’s course was a really fast course, and I would have liked something that controlled my speed — but it was fun,” said Van Ert, whose spectacular first-run time on Thursday not only put her in the women’s lead by almost five seconds, but also placed her tenth among the men’s field. “I’m just relieved to have the whole thing done now!”
“This was so fun,” said Kildevaeld, who lives in the U.S. and trains with the U.S. team, but who races for Denmark. “The course was super fast, and that’s the way I like it.” Kildevaeld was the first-run leader after Thursday. “It was pretty hard to stand overnight in first place…but I got over it. Conditions today are just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful — I’m really happy.”
“This is a great day — a great day for racing…a great day for me!” said Mendoza. “I’m happy with my finish. Some parts of today’s course were easier than yesterday, because today’s course was set a lot straighter and was a lot faster. There were a few tricky gates…you really had to make sure you knew the course and set up well for the gates. You definitely had to be on your toes.”
The women’s halfpipe championship competition was held on Friday afternoon, after the giant slalom. Aurelie Sayres (East Haddem, CT) won the women’s competition, with Cammy Potter (Park City, UT) finishing second and Annemarie Uliasz (Huntington Beach, CA) third. Sayres, a high school senior, is the reigning 1995 U.S. women’s halfpipe champion.
“The halfpipe was really good today,” said Sayers. “The pipe was really smooth and fast. There was a lot of good competition, though — there are a lot of good girls here.”
“The pipe is great — I’m glad we finally got a really good pipe,” said Potter, who won the bronze medal at the inaugural FIS World Snowboard Championships this past January in Austria. “It was a great sunny day…I liked the afternoon competition. I just had two good runs…I didn’t choke! This is the best national championships result I’ve ever had, so I’m really happy. ”
The X-NIX U.S. Snowboard Championships will conclude on Saturday with the men’s halfpipe, where Lael Gregory (Bend, OR) will be looking to defend his ’95 championships title.
— uss —
Notes…”Now I get to go have a crash course in halfpipe,” said Van Ert after the GS, who is in competion for the women’s overall title, which includes halfpipe competition. “I do the pipe for comic relief,” said Van Ert, who rarily makes a freestyle appearance. The men and women’s combined will be determined on Saturday…Potter and her dog Spot are the stars of a new
Apocalypse board for the ’97 line. “This is my signature model – – it’s a Cammy and Spot dog board,” said Potter, who rode the board in the halfpipe on Friday. A drawing of Potter and her dalmatian Spot grace the nose of the board. “It’ll be for sale for next year,” said Potter.
X-NIX U.S. Snowboard Championships
Giant Slalom Friday, Mar. 29 — June Mountain, CA
1. Mike Kildevaeld, DEN, 111.80 seconds
2. Manuel Mendoza, Whitefish, MT, 112.16
3. Thomas Lyman, Whitefish, MT, 112.72
4. Bill Enos, Waterville, Valley, NH, 113.52
5. Mike Jacoby, Hood River, OR, 113.54.
1. Sondra Van Ert, Ketchum, ID, 117.05
2. Leslee Olson, Bend, OR, 124.94
3. Lynn Ott, Bend, OR, 125.22
4. Jeanne Pogue, Hood River, OR, 128.65
5. Erin O’Malley, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 129.42.
1. Aurelie Sayres, East Haddem, CT, 55.2 points
2. Cammy Potter, Park City, UT, 46.7
3. Annemarie Uliasz, Huntington Beach, CA, 46.3
4. Leslee Olson, Bend, OR, 44.5
5. Gwen Foster, 43.8.