Mount Snow riders sweep pro rail jam

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STRATTON -- Snowboarders took to the hill this weekend to compete in the second annual Vermont Open.

"The main theme here this weekend is having a good time. It’s about the camaraderie, competition and fun," said former pro snowboarder Steve Hayes before contests began. "It’s a great reunion and it’s great to have you all here."

Hayes was one of the founders of the snowboarding and music festival held from March 7 to 9 at Stratton Mountain. He mentioned that Scott Palmer had assisted with organizing the event, in which just over $20,000 went to riders placing in the top three bracket of the four contests.

Men riders from Mount Snow swept the men’s pro rail jam contest on Friday afternoon. Mount Snow Academy alumni Max Lyons took first place and Levi Gunzberg took third place. Carinthia Team rider Shaun Murphy took second place.

In the women’s division, Bekah Ashley took first, Lily Calabrese placed second and Elin Tortorice took third place.

Local legend and former Olympic athlete Ross Powers took first place in the halfpipe pro division contest on Saturday. Jerry Tucker and Thomas O’Hara followed behind him in second and third.

Anna Valentine took first place in halfpipe for the women’s division, while Mount Snow Academy student Ali Hseuh took second and Kiersten Edwards took third.

Later on Saturday, all local riders took to the podium for the big air contest. Jeremy Ellenburg took first place in the men’s division, Mount Snow Academy student David McCarthy placed second and Storm Rowe took third.

Tortorice’s score put her in first place and Hsueh made second. Valentine took third.

The banked slalom event on Sunday had the most competitors signed up before the festival started, when registration could only be filled out online. Snowboarders mentioned that the course contained over 20 turns.

Powers had the best time for any competitor in the banked slalom. He ran the course in 62 seconds.

Mount Snow Academy coach Tom Anderson took first place in the 40 year old and up men’s division in the banked slalom.

There were performances all weekend by the Brett Wilson Band, Groov’n Dkes, DJ Joe Bell, Twiddle, the Kind Buds, the Boardlords, the Whiskey Dicks and more.

Ross Powers was the overall winner of the Vermont Open.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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