US Snowboarding names official teams

US Snowboarding, America’s official governing body for the sport, has named its squad of pro athletes for the 2009-10 winter season. The US is aiming for a medal haul to match its one at the 2002 games, where the men took a clean sweep on the half-pipe podium.

The men’s squad, which includes the likes of Louie Vito, Scotty Lago and Luke Mitriani as halfpipe competitors, has a few notable exceptions – not least of which is global superstar Shaun White. Also missing is Kevin Pearce, White’s closest rival in many of last year’s high-profile pipe comps.

Their absence however, does not necessarily mean that the pair will not be in contention for places in the US Olympic Team, but merely that they will not be receiving financial backing for their qualification campaigns from the official authorities. White and Pearce must be banking on their position

On the women’s side, the official squad is slightly more predictable, with a “dream team” featuring three former Olympic medallists in Hannah Teter, Kelly Clark and Gretchen Bleiler. Teter, the 2006 gold medallist, was obviously stoked to be included in the team, saying: “It’s obviously a privilege to have the opportunity to be friends with your competitors in a sport that’s so creative and so artistic rather than competitive.

“We do all of our warm up stuff together when we get up to the halfpipe. It’s a really friendly team atmosphere.”

The Snowboard cross teams have also been picked, and include former medallists Nate Holland, Seth Westacott and Lindsey Jacobellis. Interestingly, the men’s B-Team includes all-time legend Shaun Palmer and 2002 Halfpipe gold-medallist Ross Powers.

Here are the full official rosters:

Halfpipe Men
Greg Bretz (12/19/90; Mammoth Lakes, CA)

Steve Fisher (10/21/82; Breckenridge, CO)

Scott Lago (11/12/87; Seabrook, NH)

Luke Mitrani (7/24/90; Mammoth Lakes, CA)

Elijah Teter (3/7/84; South Lake Tahoe, CA)

Louie Vito (3/20/88; Columbus, OH)

Halfpipe Women

Clair Bidez (8/7/87; Minturn, CO)

Gretchen Bleiler (4/10/81; Aspen, CO)

Kelly Clark (12/19/1990; Mt. Snow, VT)

Elena Hight (8/17/89; South Lake Tahoe, CA)

Ellery Hollingsworth (9/2/91; Stratton, VT)

Hannah Teter (1/27/87; Belmont, VT)

A Team

Nick Baumgartner (12/17/81; Iron River, MI)

Jonathan Cheever (4/17/85; Saugus, MA)

Nate Holland (11/8/78; Squaw Valley, CA)

Seth Wescott (6/28/76; Sugarloaf, ME)

Graham Watanabe (3/19/82; Sun Valley, ID)

B Team
Jayson Hale (6/26/85; Sierraville, CA)
Pat Holland (5/5/82; Tahoe City, CA)

Shaun Palmer (11/14/68; South Lake Tahoe, CA)

Jason Smith (1/11/82; Durango, CO)

Ross Powers (2/10/79; Londonderry, VT)
Bobby Minghini (1/24/86; South Lake Tahoe, CA)

SBX Women
A Team

Lindsey Jacobellis (8/19/85; Stratton Mountain, VT)

B Team

Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (2/14/89; Girdwood, AK)

Brooke Shaw (5/12/91; Litchfield, CT)

Marni Yamada (8/26/78; Seattle, WA)

Photo: Scotty Lago – US Snowboarding


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