The 23rd annual United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) Championships were held April 1-5 at Copper Mountain and a local competitor earned a Top 10 finish once the points for the National Championship title were totaled. Jonathan Twombly of Shelburne earned ninth in the overall National Championship in his first year of competition. Twombly participated in the Menehune age group (age 10-11). The award was based on his cumulative performances in the five point counting disciplines.
To gain a start at the USASA Nationals, competitors had to qualify for an invitation in any or all of five disciplines – Slalom, Giant Slalom, Halfpipe, Slope Style, and Boardercross. Invitations were handed out in mid-March based on season-long point standings earned through event participation in any of 32 regions across the United States. Once competition started at Copper, riders earned points based on their performance in each of the five events. The competitors with the highest cumulative total in their age group are crowned as National Champions. Twombly participated in all disciplines and had Top 10 finish in Giant Slalom and 13th in Boardercross. Just 50 athletes from Twombly’s age group were invited to participate from the hundreds who attempted to qualify through local and regional competitions.
USASA introduced a new Rail Jam discipline for the 2011-12 season which was contested via a different age group format. Twombly earned also an invitation for the 13 and under class and finished in a tie for 16th in the event.
A representative of the USASA’s Northern Vermont Series, Twombly trains with the Mt. Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club (MMSC) based at Stowe Mountain Resort as well as the Green Mountain Freestyle Center in Williston. MMSC had 16 athletes in five age groups qualify for the 23rd Nationals.
Over 1,700 competitors representing 13 mens and 10 womens age groups participated in this year’s edition of the USASA Nationals.