Six athletes headed to NorAms
By Than Acuff
It’s been a busy and powder-filled competition season for Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team (CBMST) freeride athletes and the team wrapped it up in the IFSA Junior 3* National event in Breckenridge Friday through Sunday, March 17-19. Once the snow settled, six CBMST athletes had qualified for the North American Championships (NorAms) in Kicking Horse, Canada.
“We had a lot of kids on the cusp of qualifying for NorAms and several executed, it was great,” says CBMST head coach Mark Robbins.
Sixteen local athletes made the trip to Breckenridge opening with the 12–14-year-old skiers and all of the snowboarders on Friday all looking to make the cut for the Breckenridge event finals on Sunday. Teagan Turner made it through easily with a second-place finish in the 15-18-year-old girls snowboard class while seven CBMST athletes in the 12-14-year-old age class qualified for the finals on Sunday.
“All of them stayed on their feet which was great,” says Robbins.
The 15-18-year-old skiers then took over the venue on Saturday, March 18 also looking to make the cut for the finals day on Sunday. The CBMST team is young with several of the skiers in their first year in the older group. Nevertheless, five of them made it through the qualifier stage to reach the finals as Alyssa Lodovico was the lone CBMST girl to get through while Marin Gardner led the boys finishing the qualifier day in second place with Max Naughton, Wyatt Cook and Rowen Downum all pushing through to the finals as well.
“We got a young crew so most of them are new to that age group,” says Robbins. “It’s not just about staying on your feet; they have to ski at such a high level and always have to be pushing it.”
The younger CBMST athletes continued to push the envelope on Sunday in the finals. Snowboarder Temple Robertson remained on top of the leaderboard through qualifiers and finals to take the 12–14-year-old title while Beckett Kidd had the top result among the young skiers placing second. Sam Anderson moved up from eighth to sixth place overall with his finals run and all three athletes are through to NorAms with their efforts. Meanwhile, Liam Hadley and Brooks Miller finished toward the back of the finals results, but they were already through to NorAms with their results from earlier in the season.
NorAms still hung in the balance for Gardner in the 15–18-year-old skier class. A second-place finish on the first day set him up for success but he still needed a top three result to make it to the big show. Gardner channeled his nerves into execution in the finals to remain in second place and is headed to NorAms.
Lodovico was the only girl to make it into the Breckenridge finals on skis and finished her season with a 17th place result.
Turner was equally consistent over the two days and is headed to NorAms as a snowboarder in her first year competing in the 15–18-year-old class.
Naughton and Cook finished out of the NorAm cut but both closed out their seasons with some of their best skiing to date. Naughton finished the first day in sixth and then pushed his way onto the extended podium to finish in fourth place overall at the comp. Cook posted the top score on the final day to move from 18th up to 11th place in the end.
“To end the season on high notes bodes well for the both of them,” says Robbins. “They still have three more years competing in that age class.”
Downum closed out his season with a 13th place finish.
The six CBMST athletes will be here for closing day and then head to Canada for NorAms April 5-9.