USASA North Tahoe Series shreds the night at Boreal |

USASA North Tahoe Series shreds the night at Boreal

Taemus Birmingham carves down the slalom course at Boreal on Wednesday, Jan. 3.
Justin Scacco / Sierra Sun |

The lights were on at Boreal Mountain Resort on Wednesday, Jan. 3, for the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) North Tahoe Series’ second round of slalom competition.

A few dozen snowboarders took to the course, ripping down Boreal’s Race Arena trail for roughly an hour of competition during a warm evening and on a hill that was in great shape considering the lack of snowfall to start the season.

“The snow was soft,” said Adam Laboda, of Chester, Calif., which according to his father, allowed for the racers to dig in more than the season’s previous race at Boreal.

Laboda captured first place in the deepest field of racers, defeating four other boys in the 10- and 11-year-old division. He’d lay down the fastest time of the night in his first run at 44.91 seconds, and finished with a total time of 1:30.66.

Laboda’s little brother, Mathew Laboda, raced unopposed in the 7-and-under division, finishing with a total time of 1:37.12 to give the brothers two first-place finishes each over the first two races of the slalom series.

Other winners included a trio of friends who made their way to Boreal from Redding, Calif., to compete in the series.

“It’s definitely a steep course,” said Dylan Wakeland after the race. “The conditions weren’t too great, but it was fun, it was a blast going down the course and really getting back into things.”

Wakeland blistered the course for first place in the men’s 18-22 division with the night’s two fastest times (36.35, 36.52) for a total time of 1:12.87.

Marc Speake made the trip with Wakeland and laid down the next fastest time of the night in his first run, finishing in 36.66 seconds.

“They did a really good job with what we have,” Speake said. “The snow conditions weren’t perfect, but we both raced hard, and it’s nice to just get edges in.”

Speake raced unopposed in the men’s open division and finished with a total time of 1:14.46.

Sage Will rounded out the trio’s haul of gold medals with a time of 1:26.38 in the women’s 16- and 17-year-old division.

“It was kind of wild, definitely just staying early and high on the course,” said Will on her strategy. “Usually when the course is like that, it’s just me trying to stay alive, and then get into a rhythm once it gets a little cleaner.”

The 29 competitors ranged in ages of more than 60 down to the grommet’s 8- and 9-year-old division.

“It was pretty awesome,” said Madden Brennan, 9, of Rocklin, Calif., who was the grommet champion. “My strategy was to see the mountain first, to know it before. I made sure I had those turns good and all of that.”

Brennan’s strategy led to a first-place finish — his second of the season — in the grommet (8-9) boys’ division with a total time of 1 minute, 36.52 seconds, to edge out South Lake Tahoe’s Devon Smead (1:47.26).

Other winners included: Nadia Harper-Herbold in the girls’ 10-11 division, Emily Leach in the women’s open class, Sage Smead in the girls’ 7-and-under division, Angela Oyervides in the women’s 50-59 division, Dave White Jr. in the men’s 23-29 division, Paul Schwartz in the men’s over 60 class, Fraser Campbell in the boys’ 12-13 division, Flynn Davis in the boys’ 16-17 division, Thomas Lutz in the boys’ 14-15 division, Tony Mainz in the men’s 50-59 division, and Andy Morris in the men’s 40-49 division.

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