SNOWBOARDERS TAKE ON A ... BANKED SLALOM
By Dick Mason
Observer Staff Writer
TOLLGATE A La Grande band, Drive-By, added contemporary rhythm to the sounds of nature last Saturday when it played outdoors at the Spout Springs Ski Area.
The bands music could be heard all the way to the top of the hill directly north of the Spout Springs lodge. La Grande snowboarder Paul Roe was at Spout Springs but he didnt hear the band, at least not for one 60-second period.
Roe was one of about 50 snowboarders who participated in the seventh annual One Track Mind Banked Slalom Snowboard Race. Snowboarders negotiated 10 snow banks while dropping about 650 vertical feet.
You cant hear anything (during a run). You are just shut out to the world, Roe said.
Not surprisingly it takes Roe and other snowboarders time to unwind after a run.
Im shaking when I get done. There is a lot of adrenaline, Roe said.
Ian Clark of La Grande adds an exclamation mark.
There is a ton of adrenaline! he said.
John Hernandez of Walla Walla, competing in the mens 21-29 age division, had the fastest time of the day with a clocking of 50.29 seconds on his best run. Jayne Baremore of La Grande had the top womens mark with a clocking of 54.49 seconds.
Snowboarders made two runs during the competition, one in late morning and another in the afternoon. Their fastest run determined their place.
Competitors generally had faster times during their second run because the temperature jumped several degrees in the afternoon and the banks were less icy.
The snow was softer so people didnt have to slow down while going around the banks, said Ron Evans of La Grande, who had the second fastest overall time with a clocking of 51.68.
Evans and Baremore are the owners of One Track Mind, a La Grande snowboard shop.
Taylor Evans of La Grande, who took second in the 12 and under age division, agrees that the banks were icier in the morning.
The banks were faster early, Taylor Evans said.
Snowboarders fared better if they stayed low while going around the banks because the top of the banks were slicker.
You dont want to go too high on the banks, said Josh Gillum of Athena.
Snowboarders who were not careful on the banks risked losing control and falling. Gillum and others were tempted not to gear down on the curves.
You just think that you can do the curves without slowing down. It takes technical skills, you just cant fly down, Gillum said.
Some snowboarders, however, tried to let their natural reactions dictate what they did.
You dont think, you just go, said Jess Gleasman of Joseph.
Throughout the day snowboarders had to be on the lookout for shadows on the banks.
Shadows are a problem because you cannot see them, said Athenas Jason Demianew.
Saturdays race had an international flavor. Entrants included Philipp Matscheko, an exchange student from Austria. He said that snowboarding is popular in Austria and that competition in the sport is more intense.
It (snowboarding competition) is more relaxed here, Matscheko said.
Saturdays event was one of the few banked slalom snowboard races conducted in the Northwest.
One of the best things about a snowboard slalom race is that time alone determines where one places, Ron Evans said. In many other snowboarding events the subjective evaluation of judges determines how one fares, which he said sometimes frustrates snowboarders.
Last weekends Spout Springs slalom was a family affair for some. Mandy and Randy Treanor of La Grande and their young children, Landon and Jayden, were among the families who competed.
The best feature is being with everybody. It is great fun, Mandy Treanor said.
One Track Mind
12 and under age division: 1, Theresa Stangel, Joseph,1:22.31. 2, Tara Fox, Weston. 3, Andrea Locke, Joseph. 4, Jayden Treanor, La Grande.
13-15: 1, Ellen Barlow, La Grande, 57.08. 2, Kerry Gleasman, Joseph. 3, Whitney Locke, Joseph. 4, Hanna Close.
16-20: 1, Jaysi Bennetto, 1:12.67.
21-29: 1, Amy Wall, La Grande, 1:40.64. 2, Kristy Carlson, La Grande.
Advanced-30 and over: 1, Jayne Baremore, La Grande, 1:12.67.
30 and over: 1, Shirley Cornford, La Grande,1:08.43. 2, Mandy Treanor, La Grande.
12 and under age division: 1, Lucas Stangel, Joseph, 1:05.44. 2, Taylor Evans, La Grande. 3, Chad Conrad. 4, Jalen Miller. 5, Kyle Stangel, Joseph. 6, Jared Gorham, Tollgate.
13-15: 1, Wade Gleasman, Joseph, 53.61. 2, Nick Cornford, La Grande. 3, Landon Treanor, La Grande. 4, John Hine, La Grande. 5, Cody Drey, La Grande. 6, Seagar Pence, Baker City, 56.42.
16-20: 1, Ian Clark, La Grande, 51.96. 2, Tyler Brooks, Corvallis. 3, Jess Gleasman, Joseph. 4, Jake Berado, La Grande. 5, Dustin Wegner, La Grande. 6, Weston Weaver, La Grande.
21-29: 1, John Hernandez, Walla Walla, 50.29. 2, Jesse Longoria, La Grande.
Advanced-30 and over: 1, Ron Evans, La Grande, 51.68. 2, Mark Kokubun, La Grande.
30 and over: 1, Randy Treanor, La Grande, 1:19.28.