Liberty sweeps the podium for third CFA event at Snowflex
April 13, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
Though he placed second behind Liberty University teammate Isaac Gibson in Saturday's slopestyle event at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, Kevin Hoff clinched first place in the men's snowboarding division of the four-event Collegiate Freestyle Association series.
On the slopestyle course, riders executed tricks on their choice of two rails before taking a 20-foot jump and finishing with another rail, rather than the quarterpipe at the bottom of the slope. The skiers and women's snowboarders each got three runs with the best one counting. The men's snowboarders took two preliminary runs before the eight finalists made two additional runs.
"Everybody rode the course very well," Liberty head coach Will Scheren said. "It was different from the Big Air event in that you have to do multiple tricks in a row, so it requires riders to be very consistent. You have to put difficult enough tricks together, but you can't afford to have any falls or your run won't count."
Liberty competed against teams from Appalachian State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, which is proving to be the Flames' biggest challenger.
"It was a strong field," Scheren said. "Virginia Tech is definitely posing a threat as a team capable of beating Liberty very soon. The contest is going to be fun to watch over on www.collegiatefreestyleassociation.com. I'm excited that the level of competition is rising in every contest."
Gibson won the men's snowboarding event by executing 270-degree spins onto each rail.
"He did a frontside 270 on the handrail, a back flip over the jump, and a front-whip 270 out on the last rail," Scheren said.
Hoff now has 290 points in the series standings through three events, after winning the first two. He took second Saturday with Connor Echardt and Brendan Sullivan finishing fourth and seventh, respectively, for the Flames.
"Kevin was definitely putting down technical runs, not holding back at all," Scheren said. "You've got to give it everything you've got because the level of riding was pretty high."
Flames junior skier Tim Steltzer repeated his first-place finish from last Saturday's CFA Big Air competition, though Virginia Tech's Dominik Schwarz gave him an excellent challenge once again, with two points separating the two skiers, who left the other three competitors in their tracks.
"Tim has two wins now, but he did not compete in the first rail jam so Dominic's still in first place," Scheren said. "It'll be exciting to see what goes down next week (in the final CFA Big Air event). Tim and Dominic are pretty dominant riders in this league right now."
In the women's snowboarding event, Lady Flames rider Brandy Fronte finished first after her runner-up showing to Caitlyn Falk at last week's Big Air event. Falk took second Saturday followed by Liberty's Ashlee Alvarado in third.
With only 22 total riders participating, the field was the smallest of the three events to date, but Scheren expects a better turnout for next Saturday's series finale leading up to the fourth-annual Dew Games at Snowflex on April 27.
"It was a long haul for a lot of the schools and it's still a club sport," Scheren said. "We're asking teams to give up four Saturdays in a row. The kids who are coming are really excited to compete. They're all stoked on it. It's probably going to make for a more well-rounded field with a higher level of competition in the future."