It has been a big season for Snowboard Yukon and its athletes, but who can slow down when winning medals is as addictive as big air jumps?
Fresh off his performance at the Arctic Winter Games earlier this month, Whitehorse’s Max Melvin-McNutt showed why he was a multi-medal winner in Grande Prairie, Alberta, taking gold in the male 17-and-over division at the Board Stiff Yukon Championships, a slopestyle event hosted by Snowboard Yukon and the Yukon Freestyle Ski Association at Mt. Sima on Saturday.
Melvin-McNutt, who won overall silver in the juvenile boys division at the Games, gave a winning run that featured a 540 and a switch 720 off the jumps.
“The other thing that made his run stand out was that he was hitting every rail possible on the way down,” said Snowboard Yukon head coach Mary Binsted. “He wasn’t skipping any and just doing his favourite ones; he was putting them all in a line.”
In the male 13-16 division, Noah Hutchinson, who had some of the largest points scores of all the competitors, finished first, beating out competitor Adam Waddington.
“I had never met Noah before; I’d seen him out snowboarding, but I didn’t know who he was, so we were really happy that he signed up for the championships,” said Binsted. “He’s a really strong snowboarder. He over doubled the score of the other competitor in his category.
“His run was clean and really smooth.”
By far the closest of all the divisions was the two-rider female 13-16 category that featured competitors (and friends) Talia Woodland and Stacey Macklon. The two had a score of 19 points in their best runs – only the best of three runs counted – forcing judges to review their prior runs.
In the end, Macklon, who unlike Woodland was not on the Arctic Games team, took first by half a point.
“(Macklon) didn’t come to the Arctic Games trials, but she got a hold of me a couple weeks after and said she wanted to join the E-Team,” said Binsted, referring to Snowboard Yukon’s elite squad. “So she’s been training with them all winter long.”
At the Arctic Games in the juvenile girls division, Woodland came sixth in both the banked slalom and slopestyle events for her best results.
Last weekend’s snowboard events, including boardercross races Sunday as part of Mt. Sima’s end of season festival, Simapalooza, were the last events of the season, which has been one of the most successful for Snowboard Yukon.
Not only have numbers of competitors at RBC Riders events grown significantly between this season and last season, Snowboard Yukon’s board of directors and coaches numbers have more than doubled since last year.
In addition, Snowboard Yukon has been running weekly training session for the first time, which is likely to account for the 10 medals Yukon’s six boarders won at the Arctic Winter Games.
“(Prior to this season) we haven’t had enough interest in a week to week program,” said Binsted. “So to have 20 out every week is fantastic.”
1st Stacey Macklon
2nd Talia Woodland
1st Noah Hutchinson
2nd Adam Waddington
1st Max Melvin-McNutt
2nd Geoffroi Bourcier
3rd Patrick Parker
4th Travis Borsa
1st Tim Schirmer
1st Sam Macklon
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com