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Pipe dreams come true
April 23, 2008
|St. Michael's Ski and Snowboard Club tears it up at Jay Peak|
|Megan Davin | Staff Writer|
Throwing down a ‘front side rodeo 720 truck driver,’ St. Michael’s senior Colin Boyd rode his way to victory, clinching the title for Overall Best Rider along with the Ski and Snowboard Club's first-place victory at the Battle for Burlington.
King of the mountain
Competing against the University of Vermont and Champlain College, the St. Michael’s Ski and Snowboard Club came from being the underdogs to winning the whole event at Jay Peak on March 29.
St. Michael’s proved to be the best team in the park, showing off the moves of 10 skiers and five riders.
The Battle for Burlington was the proving ground for our college scene, says Nick Bush, Ski and Snowboard Club vice-president.
“This competition is really good because there is no official collegiate organization for this,” says Michael Hayes, president of the Ski and Snowboard Club. “We make our scene and schedule our events.”
It was an intimidating course, which Jay Peak created just for the event, with advanced features, Bush says.
“We were intimidated at first,” Ski and Snowboard Club member Chris Bishop says.
Bush says: “Going into the Battle for Burlington we felt like the underdog. We were more laid back than other schools and did our own thing.”
The St. Michael's riders are slowly beginning to make more of a name for themselves, gaining more respect and attention as a riding community, Bush says.
Up until now in the Burlington area, they were not well-known. At the Battle for Burlington last year, they finished third with Champlain College winning the event. This year St. Michael’s came in, ripped it up, and won the event, Bush says.
“It was a long day and everyone put a lot of effort in, and it was good to be rewarded,” he adds.
For Boyd it is all about having a good time and taking it to the next level especially when others are not, he says.
“I was stoked and hadn’t been that stoked in a while,” Boyd says. “We do things St. Mikey’s style. We have great camaraderie even if everyone does not make it to the finals. Ducks fly together.”
The Battle’s beginnings
Beginning as a grass-roots event, the Battle for Burlington concept was created by skiers and riders from the University of Vermont, Champlain College and St. Michael’s College who were looking for some competition.
The Battle for Burlington began last year when then Champlain College graduates Derek Brown and Alex Rice-Swiss decided to organize the competition.
“It was a good turnout last year, which was positive,” Brown says. “It got momentum allowing it to turn into something and grow into an annual competition where the schools get to compete against each other.”
It expanded due to partnerships with sponsors allowing, the creators to produce events that give talented riders a fun, safe, and energetic venue to show their skills in front of friends, family and peers.
The event works with sponsors Burton Snowboards, Chill, RED Protection, Anon Optics, Jay Peak Resort, Bolton Valley Resort, Fuse Sports Marketing, Monitor Premiums, and other local companies, according to the Battle for Burlington Web site.
08/09 winter season
The St. Michael’s Ski and Snowboard Club is continuing to grow every year. Those in the program were surprised to win and it boosted team camaraderie, Bishop says.
“St. Mike’s is primarily all about fun because to us that’s what skiing and snowboarding is really about,” Bush says.
Next year, Bush and Bishop will be co-presidents. Bush snowboards and Bishop skis. They both love Vermont, skiing the East, and sharing their passion with others.
The team is a young team with several first-years who were unable to compete in the Battle for Burlington due to schedule conflicts or injury, Bishop says. They look to recruit more students for next year.
The Ski and Snowboard Club is the largest club on campus and they are looking to have the cup placed in the Ross Sports Center trophy case to show their athletic talents, Bush says.
It was a fierce competition which was also taken very seriously, Hayes says.
“Vermont has a lot to offer in [terrain parks] and the backcountry,” Hayes says. “There is a good vibe and community to enjoy the environment here.”
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