Author of Story: Elizabeth Karam/USSA.ORG
The USA clinched its second 2011 FIS Junior World Snowboard Championship medal Saturday with Taylor Gold earning silver in the men’s halfpipe contest in Valmalenco. It marks Gold’s first podium of the season at this level of an event.
“I didn’t really have any expectations. I was just really happy that I was able to qualify for finals,” said Gold. “I just wanted to put down a couple good runs. I wasn’t really anticipating that I would make the podium. So it was a big surprise and I’m really stoked on it.”
“It’s pretty amazing. Chloe Banning had a third place finish here,” said Gold referring to Banning’s Junior World bronze medal in women’s snowboardcross. “I’m stoked to be part of that.”
Gold, who competes out of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, posted the highest score, 28.0, in the qualification heats advancing straight to the finals. Teammate Benji Farrow also advanced directly to the finals with the second highest score of 27.6, solidifying that at least two Americans would compete for gold.
Gold threw down a solid run consisting of Michalchuck to a front 9, to a method, into a front 10 and ending with a cab 9 to land silver. However, it wasn’t enough to best Japan’s Taku Hiraoka who posted a score of 28.3, edging Gold out for the Championship. Japan’s Ayumni Nedefuji rounded out the podium landing bronze.
Tahoe Select Snowboard Team’s Casey Pletz (San Ramon, CA) and Spencer Shaw (Winhall, VT), who rides out of the Ski and Board Club at Strattton, both advanced to the semifinals. Unfortunately, Shaw’s day ended early with only Pletz joining Gold and Farrow in the finals.
In the women’s contest, Summer Fenton (San Francisco) and Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) were the only two American women to advance to the finals. Gold finished eighth and Fenton was ninth. Japan clinched the top two spots with Haruna Matsumoto taking gold and Hikaru Ohe grabbing silver. France’s Mirabelle Thovex earned bronze.
The 2011 FIS Junior World Snowboard Championships conclude Sunday with the men’s and women’s slopestyle contest.
Gold: Taku Hiraoka, Japan, 28.3
Silver: Taylor Gold, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club), 24.5
Bronze: Ayumu Nedefuji, Japan, 23.2
8. Benji Farrow, Mt. Holly, VT, 21.0
11. Casey Pletz, San Ramon, CA (Tahoe Select Snowboard Team), 19.5
Did not qualify for finals
22. Spencer Shaw, Winhall, VT (Ski and Board Club at Stratton), 14.6
Gold: Haruna Matsumoto, Japan, 28.4
Silver: Hikaru Ohe, Japan, 28.2
Bronze: Mirabelle Thovex, France, 26.0
8. Arielle Gold, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports), 15.5
9. Summer Fenton, San Francisco, 13.9
Did not qualify for finals
18. Karly Shorr, Milford, MI, 14.5
23. Serena Shaw, Bondville, VT (Stratton Mountain School) 10.9
24. Kirby Kelly, Algonquin, IL (Steamboat Winter Sports Club), 10.4
For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=SB&event_id=29012