LUDLOW >> Owen McDonald took first place in the individual Slopestyle State Championship competition and also helped the Leland & Gray boys team win gold in snowboarding Slopestyle on Thursday at Okemo Mountain Resort. Max Cramp, Cody Cutler, Patrick McDonald, and Casper Rowe teamed up with "the Blur" to put the Rebels on top.
"I think the team's performance matched up to our circumstance. The year was rough, in terms of snowfall, but we made the most out of what we were given and what the mountains made. When it came to the Slopestyle event, these riders were ready to focus on the moment and lay down their best," stated Leland & Gray snowboarding coach John Salzman. "I think each of us on the team knew that senior and MVP Owen McDonald was going to place well. A pleasant surprise came from our freshman rider, Casper Rowe, who took 8th place. With three of our competitors graduating, it's good to know that a strong base of talent will still exist in years to come."
The individual state champions are Lyndon's Sierra Keon (Girls Slopestyle), Burr and Burton's Allie Nowicki (Girls Halfpipe), Ryan O'leary (Boys Halfpipe), and Leland & Gray's Owen McDonald (Boys Slopestyle), who reportedly raced back to school after the competition to appear in his school's production of MacBeth.
Owen McDonald's best run was a score of 27.00. Rounding out the Top 5 were: O'leary (25.00), Nick Blaney (24.50), Woodstock's Evan Bloch (21.00), and Rutland's River Wilman (20.50).
The Rebels placed sixth overall in the team standings, despite winning the Slopestyle title, behind champion Rutland, BFA, Woodstock, Burr and Burton, and South Burlington. BFA, Woodstock, and BBA made up the girls' podium.