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News Update: December 20, 2004


Elena Hight, 15, lands historic women's run

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (Dec. 19) - The U.S. Snowboarding Team did some damage to the competition Sunday at the first stop of the Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix. Both top spots were claimed by U.S. Team Members - Tommy Czeschin (Mammoth Lakes, CA) for the men and reigning Grand Prix champ Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) for the ladies. Ten grand went to each for the afternoon's efforts.

Teter claimed first place with her first run and held the lead for the entire contest, making her final run little more than a victory lap. Things were more tense on the men’s side, with Czeschin’s winning run coming the second to last of the day - beating Travis Rice's (Jackson, WY) top scoring run in the eleventh hour. Landing third was Canada's own Justin Lamoureux. It was Czeschin's first Grand Prix win since snagging an Olympic spot in 2001.

Czeschin mixed it up with huge technical tricks all day. While watching the final competitor drop in, the only person who could steal the top spot from him, Czeschin had this to say when asked what was going through his mind. "I am super happy right now. It’s a podium no matter what. To get a podium these days is just awesome, because anyone can win a contest any day. There are so many good riders right now." Don’t you just love a humble rock star?

There is nothing like a 15-year-old girl raising the halfpipe bar to new heights to make you grateful for your desk job. Elena Hight, (South Lake Tahoe, CA) did just that, linking an historic combination of spin tricks never before seen in women’s competition. It was enough to land her a place in the history books and third place behind some of the fiercest competitors in the world - including Olympic gold Medalist Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, VT), who landed second. Says Head Coach Bud Keene, "She linked a frontside five to a backside five to a frontside nine and grabbed every one. She really pushed the sport today. She’s never practiced it- she just did it."
U.S. Snowboarding claimed three of the six available podium spots today. Coach Bud Keene credits the results to the team’s willingness to work. Says Keene, "They are hard workers, good at focusing in and laying it down when their names are called."

Up next: Chris Klug (Aspen, CO) and Co. with PGS on Monday.

Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix
Breckenridge, CO
December 19, 2004
Women's Halfpipe
1. Hannah Teter, Belmont, Vt., 45.20
2. Kelly Clark, Mount Snow,Vt., 40.20
3. Elena Hight, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 39.60
4. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, Colo., 38.70
5. Soko Yamaoka, Japan, 37.50
6. Tricia Byrnes, Stratton Mountain, Vt. 34.00
7. Naho Mizuki, Japan, 29.40
8. Clair Bidez, Minturn, Colo., 19.80

Men's Halfpipe
1. Tommy Czeschin, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 46.00
2. Travis Rice, Jackson Wyo., 45.70
3. Justin Lamoureux, Canada, 45.20
4. Andy Finch, Fresno, Calif., 42.90
5. Ross Powers, South Londonderry, Vt., 42.90
6. Jan Michaelis, Germay, 42.80
7. Xavier Hoffman, Germany, 42.30
9. Hugo Lemay, Canada, 41.60
10. Steven Fisher, Breckenridge, Colo., 40.80
11. Vinzenz Lueps, Germany, 37.90
12. Luke Wynen, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 31.20
13. Christophe Schmidt, Germany, 29.30
14. Jarret Thomas Golden, Colo., 29.00
15. Abram Teter, Lake Tahoe, Calif., 28.80
16. Keir Dillon, East Stroudsberg, Pa., 28.20
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