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    March 10, 2023 Mammoth Lakes, Calif. RSS |

    Blizzard-like snowfall this past weekend and blustery conditions during the week prompted schedule delays for the first two days of the USCSA National Championships at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

    Freshman Owen Gratto drops in for his Slopestyle run on Thursday.

    But Liberty University’s men’s and women’s ski & snowboard teams made the best of the conditions, getting some extra practice runs in on Monday and Tuesday before hitting the slopes flying on Wednesday and Thursday, when the Flames’ and Lady Flames’ snowboard teams placed third in their respective Boardercross races.

    The men’s snowboarders then raised the bar for Thursday’s Slopestyle competition and landed a second-place podium showing, totaling 26 points to place behind only the University of Nevada-Reno (6) and ahead of the University of Virginia (56) and Rutgers (57) in the 16-team field. The Flames were led by sophomore Tate Gardner’s seventh-place 71.0-point run and senior Jesse Mast’s eighth-place finish (59.33). Sophomore Jayden Horrocks (54.67) and freshmen Owen Gratto (54.0) and Curren Cook (53.33) landed 11th-, 12th-, and 13th-place showings, respectively.

    Liberty’s men’s snowboarders placed third as a team in Wednesday’s Boardercross.

    In the Boardercross events, Liberty’s men were paced by Gratto (eighth-place time of 1:11.22), Mast (12th, 1:11.63), and Gardner (14th, 1:12.0) who contributed to a third-place team time of 214.92, behind only Sierra Nevada (2:11.35) and Lees-McRae (N.C.) College (2:14.08).

    Meanwhile, the Lady Flames trailed only Loyola Marymount (3:34.36) and Nevada-Reno (3:45.65) with their third-place time of 3:50.35, blazed by 12th- and 13th-place individual finishes from freshman Hannah Walder (1:15.17) and senior Emory Orlando (1:15.62), respectively, and sophomore Emmaus Rich’s 18th-place time of 1:19.56.

    On Friday, the women’s and men’s ski and snowboard Rail Jam competitions are scheduled, with additional snowfall projected for this weekend likely canceling the women’s ski and snowboard Slopestyle events that had been moved from Wednesday. The final awards banquet is set for Saturday night.

    Complete results as well as an updated schedule are available online.

    Snow towers above the road as the team makes its way to Canyon Lodge at Mammoth Mountain.