The Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding’s third and final stop was held at Sierra at Tahoe March 9, 2002. A big storm rolled in on Thursday really throwing a wrench in the works. At first I was pumped thinking that I would get to ride pow all weekend. Then I realized that they don’t put on these huge contests so that media can show up and get face shots in the trees. They want these things to go off even if it means cramming everything into one day. Afraid that another storm would roll in on Sunday organizers ran the slopestyle finals, pipe qualifiers, and pipe finals all in one day.

Let’s start with the men’s slopestyle. The men were originally going to go second but they changed it for Shaun White who had to take his two runs and get on a plane to Europe for another contest. Shaun had a chance at winning the overall title but an 8th place finish today might have hurt him. We’ll see if Rahm Klampert can put it together for the title tomorrow.

The event would go on to prove that there are a lot of kids out there that are hungry. Hungry like the wolf. All day long people found themselves looking at their start sheets asking themselves “who the hell was that?” As a matter of fact, almost all the names in the top ten I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard before. But that didn’t deter any of them from killing it.

For example Ryan Paris: never heard of him. That didn’t stop him from doing a cab 9 and a backside rodeo. I don’t know Chris Patterson from a hole in the ground and that doesn’t mean that he cant do huge backside 5′s and switch frontside 3′s that’ll land him in third place. If I had to identify Jimi Tomer in a police line up I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it. But I know what he could do and that’s pick up second place with a backflip off the table top rail, frontside 5 -cab 5 combos and rodeo 7s. In fact, the only name I did know was Josh Feliciano and that’s because he’s won like the last three contests he has been in. Josh’s run included; 50-50 to frontside boardslide on the flat-down rail cab 5, and a huge rodeo 7. Keep an eye out for this kid; he’s young and very hungry.

The women’s final came next and it was nice to see some names I recognized. I was beginning to think I was really out of touch. I know Katrina Voutilaninen and I know that she can do 50-50 to frontside boardslides on handrails. I don’t know 12 year old Stacey Anderson, but now I know that she can do switch 50-50′s better than I can. And I’m told that she and her sisters swept last year’s USASA Nationals so I’ll probably be hearing more about Stacey in the near future. I know who Dresden Howell is, but I’m pretty sure that she’s not going to share her third place check with me.

Every once and a while I see Jonnel Janewicz chillin’ but today I saw her backside 3n’and frontside 180ing herself into second. Now Janna Meyen I know real well, that’s why I wasn’t surprised when she gapped the tabletop rail with a nosegrab or when she frontside 180 to half cabed the doubles. But I was pretty surprised when she did a crossrocket right in front of the judges tent. The judges most have liked it ’cause they gave her first.

I think that next year they should make everyone wear those, “HELLO my name is” stickers. That way I wouldn’t have to tackle people in the middle of their runs and ask them who they are.

Final results slopestyle
Men
1.Josh Feliciano
2.Jimi Tomer
3.Chris Patterson
4.Eric Shaw
5.Ryan Paris
6.Nate Sheehan
7.Chauncey Sorenson
8.Shaun White
9.Colin Langlois
10.Borden Panesa

Women
1.Janna Meyen
2.Jonnel Janewicz
3.Dresden Howell
4.Priscilla Levac
5.Katrina Voutilaninen