Dover boarder takes 3 medals, overall prize at Copper Mtn.
DOVER -- Griffin MacFadyen walked into a room and emptied his pockets.
The contents: three medals and the overall champion award for 10-to-11-year-old boys division he received after competing at Copper Mountain last week.
"I won silver for boardercross and two gold medals for halfpipe and slopestyle," he said.
His family traveled to Colorado for the annual United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships. It has become a tradition. MacFadyen told the Reformer he was not as nervous as he was in previous years. This marked his fifth year. He has competed at Nationals since he was 7 years old.
The event itself is believed to be one of the biggest snowboard competitions of the year. It was held from March 29 to April 8. Participants required invitations.
This was the first year MacFadyen won more than two awards.
The overall award was won by having the most combined points in all the events for his age division. The plaque says first place overall.
"I thought it was pretty amazing," he said of the award. "I thought it was not real. At the same time, I was pretty happy. But it didn’t seem quite realistic."
Classmates at Dover School approached MacFadyen as soon as he returned. They were excited to hear about his success.
"They came up to me at lunch. I was swarmed by eight people," he laughed.
His father Don MacFadyen mentioned that in halfpipe and slopestyle, competitors in each field tend to have specialized training for the individual contest type. Each award is highly sought after.
"He’s put in a lot of work to get there in both those events," said Don.
Throughout the season, coach Mike Lund trained with MacFadyen and another student at Mount Snow. Lund said that it was likely the most successful that he’s seen as a coach at Nationals.
MacFadyen’s medals did not come without challenge. Since there was snow throughout the events, it caused the slopestyle course to be slow.
"No one could hit the big line of jumps," he said.
During practice runs, he was hitting the bigger line of jumps that others were avoiding. By the time of the contest, competitors could not get enough speed for those jumps.
While waiting for award ceremonies, MacFadyen and friends took advantage of a village area at Copper. They went long boarding and hung out.
For each gold medal, he also won a half-dozen donuts and with the overall champion award, he will not have to qualify in order to be invited back next year.
There was another first for MacFadyen this season. He had signed on to assist the High Fives Foundation by having potential donors pledge money for his contest wins. The non-profit organization is dedicated to raising money and awareness for athletes that have suffered a life altering injury in a winter action sport.
Between $2,200 and $2,300 was contributed to the cause and money was still coming in as of Tuesday.
"They’re pretty happy," said MacFadyen. "They started giving me some stuff. I got this hoodie two days ago."
The plan for next year is to expand the program. All of the details are still being etched out but some of MacFadyen’s friends have voiced interest in it.
For now, MacFadyen is resting up. He will begin training for baseball soon. He also plans to go downhill mountain biking at Mount Snow more often this summer.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.
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