Hailey's Graham Watanabe, 26, made his first visit to the X Games podium at Aspen, Colo. Saturday with a silver medal result in the men's snowboardcross (SBX) event won by Squaw Valley's Nate Holland, 30, a native of Sandpoint.
It was the fifth X Games gold medal for Holland, who became the first man to four-peat in SBX during the X Winter Games 13. Lindsey Jacobellis of Stratton Mountain, Vt. joined Holland, repeating her SBX gold for her fifth X Games gold.
Bellevue's Kaitlyn Farrington, 18, also had a huge result, placing fifth in the X Games women's halfpipe on Buttermilk Mountain Friday night. "Kaitlyn is knocking on the door with the upper girls," said Sun Valley Snowboard Team coach Andy Gilbert.
Australian Torah Bright, 22, won her second X Games halfpipe title in three years over 2002 Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark and 2006 Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter, both from the U.S. Farrington was the fourth American.
Snowboard team makes trip
Sun Valley Snowboard Team coaches Gilbert, Jon French, Pat Lee and Josh Keefer took 19 kids to Park City and The Canyons in Utah last weekend for halfpipe and slopestyle staged in very challenging conditions.
Gilbert said the weather for Saturday's Park City slopestyle event was miserable. He said, "I've never seen it rain so hard in my entire life." On Sunday, it was dumping snow for the slopestyle at The Canyons.
Nevertheless, Gilbert said the slopestyle courses were great, the Sun Valley kids did very well in their first halfpipe—without much training in the event—and some of the local eighth- and ninth-graders posted top-10 finishes that bode well for future years.
"It was a productive weekend. Slopestyle was a full field, which made for a long day, and there was a tough, huge field in Open Men that brought out the big guns with money on the line. Placing in the top 10 was good for us," he said.
Taking first places were Chase Josey and Taylor Figge. On the podium in their classes besides Chase and Taylor were Kenny Ballou, Hailey Rheinschild, Ali Appleton, Cary Reinemann, Roger Figge, Ryan Roemer and Josie Bunce.
Coming up: The scheduled Sun Valley home snowboard race Jan. 31-Feb. 1 has been postponed. Sun Valley's "A" team will leave Monday, Feb. 2 for a Revolution Tour event in the Tahoe area at Boreal Resort. Younger kids return to Canyons for slopestyle Feb. 8.
Results by class and event from last weekend:
Open Men: 2—Kenny Ballou. 7—Mal Prior. 9—John Martin.
Youth Women (ages 14-15): 2—Hailey Rheinschild. 3—Ali Appleton. 5—Josie Bunce. 6—Bria Gillespie. 8—Noe Garing.
Youth Men: 6—Sam Strong. 7—Jesse Forgeon. 8—Rex Kelly. 9—Michael Nero.
Junior Men (16-17): 3—Cary Reinemann.
Breaker Girls (12-13): 2—Taylor Figge.
Breaker Boys: 1—Chase Josey. 3—Ryan Roemer. 6—Andy Mallea.
Menehune Boys (10-11): 3—Roger Figge.
Open Men: 10—Kenny Ballou. 15—Mal Prior. 19—John Martin. On Sunday: 6—Martin. 8—Ballou. 11—Prior.
Youth Women: 2—Josie Bunce. 6—Ali Appleton. 8—Hailey Rheinschild. 9—Bria Gillespie. 10—Noe Garing. On Sunday: 3—Josie Bunce. 5—Appleton.
Youth Men: 7—Sam Strong. 9—Jesse Forgeon. 10—Michael Nero. 12—Rex Kelly. On Sunday: 6—Strong. 7—Forgeon. 11—Nero. 12—Kelly.
Junior Men: 5—Cary Reinemann. On Sunday: 9—Reinemann.
Breaker Girls: 2—Taylor Figge. On Sunday: 1—Taylor Figge.
Breaker Boys: 1—Chase Josey. 3—Ryan Roemer. 7—Andy Mallea. 12—Cole Caminiti. On Sunday: 2—Josey. 5—Roemer. 11—Mallea.
Menehune Boys: 4—Roger Figge. On Sunday: 5—Roger Figge.