Bulldog snowboarders prepare for states


KILLINGTON -- In their next to last competition of the season, some of the members of the Burr and Burton Academy snowboard team got a final tuneup in slopestyle before they get ready to defend their state titles in March.

BBA only brought six riders to the competition, which was held at Killington on Tuesday.

The boys had the necessary four riders required to score as a team with Elliot Buckley leading the way for the Bulldogs taking second place.

Carson Hunter took fourth and John Zaccheo seventh with Kevin Gormley -- participating in his first slopestyle event -- rounding out the scoring with a 23rd place finish.

While the girls team did not have enough members on hand to score as a team, Caroline Kepler took second place overall and junior Nora Lindberg finished in seventh place.

The way several of the riders finished in the latest competition, as well as how they have performed throughout the season, is encouraging going into States, which will be held March 5-6.

"We have a pretty experienced group. Caroline and Elliot and Will (Helmetag) who is one of our top riders were all on the state championship teams from last year. So was Nora and John and Nick Scott," said BBA coach Jason Thomas. "We're riding with a lot of confidence right now. The kids are putting in the work. They're doing what they need to do and we're trying to find the right blend [to bring to States]."

Thomas said that they can bring six student athletes for each of the three disciplines - halfpipe, giant slalom and slopestyle - and that they were trying to find the right mix of kids and use their strengths.

The final competition of the season was a giant slalom event on Thursday leaving the team with a rather substantial layoff before States -- time that Thomas said they will have to use wisely.

During that time Thomas said it will be important for the team to practice all of the disciplines even though many of team members prefer slopestyle. In addition, Thomas will use part of that time to try to determine his roster for States.

"We've got everybody eligible and I think a lot of it is going to come down to [if] we're staying consistent with the work we're putting in in practice," he said. "[I'll be looking for] consistency. The commitment to one another and just that they're improving everyday. The reality is that the more time we're on snow and the more committed we are to the overall goal, that's what I'm looking for from these guys."


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