Fresh from dominating one half of the World Championship snowboardcross podium, gold, silver and bronze medalists Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton, VT), Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME) and Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA) will be headlining the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Park City’s Canyons Resort Feb. 11-12.
The Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix will also act as the U.S. Snowboardcross Championships. Jacobellis, Wescott and Holland will be looking to add 2011 U.S. champ to their resumes.
After winning a string of titles during the beginning years of the U.S. Championship SBX series, it’s been a long time since Wescott’s been able to take home the U.S. crown. And he has a message for this year’s competition.
“I am coming to take back my U.S. championship title,” Wescott said. “I’ve won it three of the first four times, but not since ’03. I want it back.”
In addition to his silver, two-time Olympic champion Wescott has a World Cup podium under his belt for the season to lead the men’s field. But right behind him is his shake n’ bake partner and five-peat X Games gold medalist Holland. He’s no stranger to the World Cup podium this season with a win already in his 2011 stats.
“I’m fired up to have an event back in Utah. It’s been a while since I’ve been there. It’s become a training ground in the fall for me. I’m excited to revisit it and prove my training has paid off in the contest,” Holland said.
Adding to the intensity in the men’s field – 2009 World Championship bronze medalist Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, MI), X Games silver medalist and Westminster College student Graham Watanabe (Sun Valley, ID) and Canyons rider Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, MA) who is looking forward to the competition at his home mountain.
“I’m pumped that they [Canyons] are going to get exposure out of this and that the sport of SBX will be showcased on its great course,” Cheever said. “My family is coming out to watch too. I’m second right now national champ standings, so it would be awesome to win the title at home.”
After packing the third World Championship gold medal of her career into her carry-on baggage, Jacobellis will be looking to reclaim another important trophy from her past – the coveted green jacket bestowed upon U.S. champs annually. According to Jacobellis, the Canyons offers her a chance to experience new terrain.
“I haven’t ridden at Canyons. so I’m excited to get there and compete on a new course,” Jacobellis said. “I’m also happy to have the Grand Prix back on our circuit.”
SBX took a one year break from the Grand Prix during the 2010 Olympic season.
U.S. femme fatales, not to mention 2010 Olympians, Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (Girdwood, AK) and Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City) will also be on the scene and vying for a spot atop the podium.
The action kicks off Friday, Feb. 11 with qualifications and wraps up with finals on Feb. 12.
The Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix will air on Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC and 4 p.m. ET on Versus.
Author of Story: Lindsey Sine via us snowboarding news, ussa.org