Grand County athletes wear gold at USAUS National Championships |

Grand County athletes wear gold at USAUS National Championships

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado
Cindy Kleh placed first overall for women ages 50-59 in the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain. She obtained gold-medal status in boardercross, giant slalom and slalom and silver medals in halfpipe and slopestyle. Kleh took the overall title from Donna Vano, a legend in snowboarding who has held the overall title in her age group for 15 straight years.

WINTER PARK – Two Winter Park athletes stood tall on the highest podium – gold in hand – at the USASA National Championships held last week at Copper Mountain.

Young skier Birk Irving of Winter Park placed first in the halfpipe and second in slopestyle.

“Birk Irving …what talent we have at such a young age on the Winter Park Freeride team,” said Jeremie Livingston, Winter Park freeride coach. “At times it was a white-out, and other times it was blowing every direction it could. This 10-year-old knew he needed to lay down his second run to up his score and get on the podium. To say the least, he had a beautiful, solid run in horrible conditions that landed him on the podium.”

Another Grand County standout was snowboarder Cindy Kleh of Grand Lake, who placed first in the overall combined for her age division 50-54 years, scoring three first places in boardercross, slalom, and giant slalom, and two second places in halfpipe and slopestyle.

Coming off a high from winning gold at the Nastar Nationals at Winter Park, Kleh entered the USASA National Championship knowing that her biggest competitor Donna Vano had held the overall title for 15 consecutive years. “Nobody thought I had a chance to take it away from her,” Kleh said.

Incidentally, Vano also is in the Guinness World Book of Records for having the most national snowboarding titles – man or woman.

“It was an exciting ride. I had to defeat Donna in three of the five events, and she is a freestyle specialist. It all came down to GS, and despite the cold and snow, I went with a speed suit that day. I only beat her by .12 seconds over two runs (combined times),” Kleh said.

“I have a feeling she’ll be wearing a speed suit next year, even though her motto has always been ‘sideways and baggy forever.'”

Strong representation

Alpine athletes had a strong showing at multiple U.S. National Championships, while the Winter Park freeskiing and freeriding athletes represented with multiple trips to the podium during national championships. Also, the Winter Park athletes who attacked moguls in freestyle took home numerous medals. “Winter Park Resort would like to congratulate all athletes and coaches who put countless hours and time into this year’s competitions,” said Winter Park spokesperson Mistalynn Lee. “Winter Park was well represented across the spectrum of competitions.”

National Results of 2009/2010 Competition Season for Winter Park Athletes

provided by Winter Park Resort

National Winter Park Terrain Park and Pipe Results

USASA National Championships, Copper Mountain, April 3-9, 2010, visit

Youth Snowboarders and Skiers

Birk Irving 1st place halfpipe 2nd place slopestyle

Svea Irving 2nd place halfpipe 3rd place slopestyle

Billy Wandling 4th place halfpipe 38th place slopestyle

Heather Bremer 3rd place halfpipe 7th place slopestyle

Jillian Fowler 6th place half pipe

Freddy Silber 25th place halfpipe

Lydia Silber 2nd place halfpipe 5th place slopestyle

Sam Kaplin 33rd place halfpipe

Lyman Currier 3rd place half pipe 2nd place slopestyle

Brett Summers 44th place slopestyle

Nicole Mcnulty 16th place halfpipe 27th place slopestyle

Stephan Florian 25th place slopestyle

National Winter Park Alpine Results

US National Championship downhill, Aspen, Feb. 27, 2010

US National Championship slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom, Whiteface, NY, March 20-23, 2010

Congratulations to the four athletes representing Winter Park in Aspen and Whiteface, NY – Sarah Williams, Sean Horner, Nick Stenicka and Cody Unicume

US J2 National Championship, Sugarloaf, ME, March 2-9, 2010

Ziggy Rohloff, 10th giant slalom, which lead all Rocky Mountain Division athletes for that event

National Winter Park Freeskiing and Freeriding Results

Subaru US Extreme Freeskiing Championships – Crested Butte, CO, Feb 17-21, 2010

Taylor Merritt 3rd junior ladies (see photo below)

Michael Martina 14th junior men

Taos Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships, Taos, NM, March 10-13, 2010

Alyssa Stowers 4th junior ladies

Jackie Murphy 5th junior ladies

Kyle Lund 7th junior men

Subaru US Freeskiing Nationals, Snowbird, UT, March 16-21, 2010

Taylor Merritt 7th junior ladies

Kelsey Barlow 8th junior ladies

Michael Martina (3rd after 1st round) 5th junior men

Andrew Binder 14th junior men

Prescott Delaware 15th junior men

Taylor Merritt, placing 3rd in Crested Butte, 2010

National Winter Park Freestyle Results

Junior Olympics, Waterville Valley, NH, March 10-14, 2010

Top 60 freestyle juniors in the nation were invited to compete

Kylie Van Hoesen 3rd place J3 women

Casey Andringa 3rd place J3 men

Brandon Cronin 12th overall (see photo below)

Branden Goldenberg 13th overall

Congrats to our Junior Olympics team from Winter Park Freestyle Team : Brandon Cronin, Branden Goldenberg, Matt Robertson, Sean Saffell, Casey Andringa, Justin Bondi, Zane Larson, Alyssa Lawson, Larissa Burg, Lauren Burg, Kylie Van Hoesen, Kellie Lawson.

US Freestyle National Championships, Squaw Valley, CA, March 23-28, 2010

Alyssa Lawson* 15th place in single moguls 5th in dual moguls

* She was the single non-US Ski Team female athlete to make it to the round of 8

Branden Goldenberg qualified 16th in dual moguls

Six Winter Park athletes qualified in the competitive moguls event – Alyssa Lawson, Larissa Burg, Brandon Cronin and Branden Goldenberg. Two young female up-and-comers qualified but are not FIS age, meaning they are too young to compete – Kellie Lawson and Lauren Burg. Watch out for these girls.

Winter Park Freestyle athlete Brandon Cronin 2010

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