Truckee rider defends championship, claims cash at Burton Qualifiers
If Keegan Hosefros has to hike for a snowboard competition, there better be money involved.
The 19 year old from Truckee pocketed $1,000 last Saturday by outdueling a deep field of competitors at the Burton Qualifiers, repeating as Open Division champion.
“Every time I hike, I just want cash,” said Hosefros. “If there’s cash, that’s all I’m thinking about, this is the way I make my money.”
Hosefros, who won the 2018 competition at Boreal Mountain California, repeatedly hiked to the top of the venue at the resort during the hour-long session, piling up points behind boardslide pretzels, several 270s, and a ton of style on the quad-kink rail.
“My trick selection — I just tried to keep it flowing, while riding all the features,” said Hosefros. “I kept watching my other buddies land stuff. So it made me want to land more.”
Competitions, especially those involving cash prizes, are typically paired with a bundle of nerves for the Truckee rider, but at Boreal and with a handful of friends in the field as well, Hosefros said he was locked in and relaxed.
“I didn’t get stressed out, and just had more fun at being at the contest,” said Hosefros. “(Contests) are usually super stressful. It wasn’t stressful at all today, just riding with friends. It was great.”
The top six winners out of each of the two divisions (15-and-under and Open) from Saturday’s event qualified for the March 23 finals at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania. Hosefros said he hasn’t committed to competing in the finals, but added he’ll more than likely be there. The winner of the finals for the Open Division receives $4,000.
Big Bear rider Drayden Gardner, 19, was second on the day, and said he threw down a boardslide with a roast beef grab on the quad-kink rail as his top trick of the competition.
“Consistency matters more than just single tricks,” said Gardner on claiming second place. “Just riding hard and trying to land as much as possible.”
Tony Ceccarelli was third out of the open division, followed by Derek Lemke, Mammoth’s Matt Romanowitz and Reno’s Cole Sorensen.
The day’s rail jam also featured youngsters competing in the 15-and-under division.
George Cavers of Minnesota picked up first place. Brooklyn DePriest of Rocklin, California, was second, followed by Washington’s Carson Klundt in third. South Tahoe rider Graydon Ross was fourth. Connor Cavers was fifth, and Truckee youngster Tanner Kuch was sixth to round out the finals’ qualifiers.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.