SOS sends 80 to nationals |

SOS sends 80 to nationals

Ryan Slabaugh

A contingent of more than 80 snowboarders from Colorado competed last week in the USASA National Championships in Mammoth, Calif., bringing home 40 top-five finishes and providing a strong overall showing.The competitors, the most of any series in the country, all qualified for Nationals through the SOS Outreach Series, also the largest amateur snowboard series in in the country.3This is an incredible showing for Colorado and we are proud to have been a part of these competitors going to California, said Chad Young, director of the SOS Outreach Series. 3Not only were they representing the best of Colorado amateur snowboarding, but they represented the core ideals and value of SOS.SOS1s Vic Wild won the Alpine Overall competition for Youth Men (ages 14-15)<which combines scores from slalom and giant slalom finishes. Wild was a usual winner at the Vail races, which makes Avon1s Steven MacCutcheon1s third-place finish in the same age group that much more impressive.3It1s fun when you know you1re competing against the best, Young said. 3The higher the standard of competition, the more it shows how you are progressing.Avon1s Deacon Maloney finished fourth in the Youth Men bordercross competition, while Eagle1s Billy Rodriguez finished 42nd. In the Menehune Girls (ages 10-11), Lindsay Telling finished third in the boardercross and second in the giant slalom.Max Ericson of Frisco finished 29th in the Menehune Boys slopestyle, while Ben Hernreich of Edwards finished 53rd among the Breaker Boys (ages 12-13).Sean Wood of Eagle, finished 13th among the Junior Men (ages 16-17).But finishes, placing and trophies are not the main purpose of the SOS program, Young said. As Vail Resorts underwrites the costs of running the program, the entry fees to all the races are donated to the charity. This season, there were 14 competitions averaging around 70 snowboarders.The Nationals marked the end of the ski season for SOS. Next year, Young said, they would like to see more of the community involved<moms and dads who want to support the charity.This summer, SOS is supporting a learn-to-kayak program and a summer program called the SOS Experiential Learning Camp. Call Young or Arn Menconi at (970) 845-7040 for more information or if you1d like to volunteer.The SOS Outreach Series is a fund-raiser that supports the Snowboard Outreach Society1s programs serving youth with risk factors in their lives. Through its signature Learn-to-Ride program, which utilizes the fast learning curve and 3cool factor of snowboarding, students are able to overcome their fears, reach new goals and discover new possibilities. Unlike any regular snowboard lesson, each of the five days of the Learn-to-Ride program focuses on one of five values: courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom and compassion.

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