KILLINGTON, Vt. (April 11, 2010)-Killington Mountain School’s (KMS) Max Elles, of Bridgewater Corners, Vt., and Mitch Heberer, of Kewaskum, Wisc., each claimed a podium spot in the Junior Men division (ages 16-17) at this week’s United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) National Championships at Copper Mountain in Colorado. Elles battled through four heats to take silver in boardercross, while Heberer earned a bronze medal for his work in the halfpipe. The USASA National Championships is the nation’s largest and most prestigious amateur national snowboard event.
Elles battled through more than 50 top U.S. competitors, landing lane-choice in his first two heats because of his sixth place finish in the initial Time Trial. Lane-choice proved critical to his success.
“This year, we focused on having Max’s board prepped specifically for the Time Trial because we knew lane-choice would be an important factor,” said KMS Head Snowboard Coach Ian Coates. “He placed first in his first two heats. In the third heat, he squeaked by into the final in a highly-contested third place after much jostling and contact. In the final, he had a slow start out of the gate in fifth position but was patient and chose effective lines for passing, battling his way to the front of the pack despite being clipped by a falling competitor. Unfortunately the race ended before Max could overtake the winner even though he was gaining steady ground.”
Elles, a 17-year-old junior at KMS, began earning FIS points toward the World Cup Tour this season. Originally a skier, Elles has been snowboarding for just about five years.
Heberer started his career at a young age. “My cousins and I always had plastic snowboards and went in my grandma’s backyard until my cousins got real ones,” said the 16-year-old Heberer. “So my brother and I got real ones also and started snowboarding. I was in third grade when I actually started on a real hill (Sunburst) and with a real snowboard.”