On March 15, the team wrapped up its season at the state championships at Okemo Mountain. It was a good day for the Wildcats: as a team they finished fourth in the halfpipe competition and had two top-five individual finishes in other events.
Sophomore Allen Cole led the way for Twin Valley, finishing second in the slopestyle competition. Cole, who was named the team’s most valuable rider at the school’s winter awards recognition last week, had a score of 170 on his first run in slopestyle. He finished one point behind winner Nick Blaney, of Enosburg.
“Allen finishing second in slopestyle is pretty impressive,” said Twin Valley coach Scott Salway. “There were a lot of good kids riding from division 1, division 2, and division 3 schools. His second-place score came on his safety run. He ended up falling on his second run, which included some bigger tricks. It speaks volumes about him”
Sophomore Logan Boyd had a fifth-place finish in the giant slalom race with a time of 1:37.92.
In the halfpipe, the Wildcats scored 21 points as a team. Boyd finished eighth, Cole 13th, freshman Finn Fisher 22nd, and sophomore Sam Fleischer 28th.
“They all did an awesome job,” said Salway. “They push each other well. They’re neck and neck with each other and they’re in the top half of riders in the state. Allen is legitimately in the top three.”
Salway said the competition at the state meet was top notch, and was made even more difficult for all because the two-day competition was compressed into one because of snowstorms and school cancellations.
“They put all of the races into one day, because of snow days and weather. They had pretty much one practice run through each course, and it was go time. Overall, the competition would have been stronger with better performances if they hadn’t crammed it all in. But, every team had the same circumstances.”
With three sophomores and a freshman, Salway and co-coach Brennan Cofiell are also excited about how the team shapes up for next winter.
“Hopefully next year we’ll start out with more riders. After this year, there’s a little bit more of a buzz.” Salway said he’s also looking forward to his core riders returning. “The great thing is we had three sophomores and a freshman. Finn was a good team player. He’ll be a force next year in multiple events.”
Salway was appreciative of how the riders juggled school and snowboarding. “The kids have to work super hard to stay on top of their work. Allen was our MVP and showed great dedication. The whole team had an awesome experience. The guys feel real confident. It’s so good to have them coming back.”
The coaches also appreciated the support from Twin Valley’s administration and staff and from the team’s home mountain. “Tom (Fitzgerald, principal) and Leann (Monroe, vice principal) and all the teachers were super flexible,” said Salway. “Mount Snow was the most accommodating out of any mountain. They do the most, and Tim Dolan was really great.”
Salway added that Cofiell is hoping to join the Vermont Snowboard Council for next season.
Another local rider, Trevor Finaldi, of Wardsboro, also competed in the state championships. He rode for snowboarding powerhouse Burr & Burton Academy, which won the boys’ titles in all three competitions. Finaldi, a senior, finished 12th in the halfpipe, 10th in the giant slalom, and seventh in slopestyle.