Members of Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club freeride and snowboard teams swept the leaders’ boards in two separate events in Crested Butte earlier in the month, despite training woes due to opening delays on their home mountain terrain park facilities.
Both the snowboard and freeride teams put members on the winner’s podium Jan. 15-16, at the season opening USASA slopestyle and halfpipe events in Crested Butte.
Freeride Team Kicks Off Season With Flurry of Wins
TSSC freeride coach Dan Plumer didn’t know what to expect of his skiers when they arrived at the Crested Butte slopestyle event earlier this month. They had little pre-season training on larger jumps (Telluride’s advanced terrain park was not open for much of the early season) and the lack of preparation could, in theory, have caused some first-event-of-the-season jitters among member of the team.
But Telluride’s slopestyle skiers didn’t appear to be fazed, and in fact dominated their fields with big tricks matched with impressive on-course poise.
“Being the first slopestyle event of the season, and without much training on the bigger jumps, they all adapted really well,” said Plumer of Telluride’s skiers, who brought home five top-three finishes in the different age divisions.
Leading the way for the Telluride crew was Conner Overly, who “destroyed everybody else,” Plumer said, with his fluid series of 360s, 540s, and switch rail tricks. Overly easily took first in his 10-12 year-old age class, and ranked third overall.
Flynn Kruger, competing in the youngest age division, also put together a first-place winning run, thanks to the biggest 360 Coach Plumer has seen yet from this young jibber. Rounding out the team’s highest placers at Crested Butte were Ian Mitchell and Jake Burchmore, who finished second and third, respectively, in their 13-15 year old age class, and Owen Parker, who took third in the 16-18 year old division.
Telluride’s freeriders have the opportunity to go big on home turf this weekend, as Telluride hosts a USASA slopestyle event on Saturday. Competition takes place on the Lower Misty Maiden terrain park (Night Park) and will showcase skiers from Durango and Aspen, as well as the Telluride contingent.
The team will then return to Crested Butte for another event the following weekend, in hopes of continuing the Telluride freeride reign.
TSSC’s mogul team will also be on home turf this weekend, with the popular Southwest Mogul Tour coming to the Hermit course on Sunday.
Snowboard Team Rides High With Top-Ranking Performances
Without a halfpipe to train on in Telluride, some would say its snowboard team would be at a major disadvantage. But as TSSC’s snowboard team proved in Crested Butte, what these athletes lack in training they make up for in hard-charging competitive spirit.
When the dust settled over Crested Butte’s terrain park and halfpipe, Telluride’s six snowboard team members had garnered 12 top-three finishes. It was an impressive showing for a halfpipe-starved group, TSSC snowboard coach Dylan Cooney said.
“It was really cool to see them show up and do so well, especially since our park and pipe facilities at home have been lacking,” he said, noting that training trips to Crested Butte have helped fill in the gaps. “These are really dedicated guys. They definitely have a lot of talent, but they also have the dedication to back it up.”
Beecher Cooney took home a first and a second in halfpipe and slopestyle; Jack Clark, a second and first in halfpipe and slopestyle; Hobie Plumber finished first in halfpipe and second in slopestyle; Noah Perkovich left with two third places; Lucas Foster took home two seconds; and Peter Danner landed in first in the halfpipe and second in slopestyle.
The team will return to Crested Butte next weekend, in hopes of continuing Telluride’s snowboard reign. Telluride will host a snowboard slopestyle and race event at the end of February.