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Local Athletes Qualify For National Competition

on March 13, 2019 - 4:25pm

The Pajarito Mountain Freeride Team poses with other competitors from the Southwest Freeride Series at the 2018 USASA National Championships. Courtesy/Angele Hill

By Angele Hill
Los Alamos

Members of the Pajarito Mountain Freeride Team are headed to Copper Mountain in Summit County, Colo., at the end of March, to compete at the 30th United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) National Championships.


Team members, who range in age from 8-years old to young adults, competed this winter in various snowboard and freeki events throughout the Southwest. Those who received invites to compete at Nationals get the chance to test their mettle on the biggest stage in the amateur arena. 


This year, the USASA National Championships begin March 29 and run through April 10. The first week of competitions is for snowboarders; week two, skiers will compete. The cost to register for just one event is $325. For each additional event, the price increases by $30. Team members must also cover their travel and lodging expenses. 


The community can help support the Freeride Team at Skiesta, Saturday, March 16, at Pajarito Mountain. The team is giving away several fun prizes in exchange for donations to help cover the cost to compete at Nationals. Stop by the team booth to learn more.


To earn an invitation to Nationals, team members honed their skills all winter, practicing and competing in the Southwest Freeride Series, the local chapter of the USASA. Team members competed in rail jam, slopestyle, boardercross, halfpipe, slalom and giant slalom events at ski hills across northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Those who qualified at local contests will compete against peers from across the country in the same events at the National Championships.


The Pajarito Mountain Freeride Team was founded in 2013 by Los Alamos native Tony Hinojosa and is a division of the Pajarito Mountain Ski School. Hinojosa, who grew up competing in the Southwest Freeride Series, started the Freeride Team to give the next generation, including his own children, the ability to train with others, and the opportunity to challenge and support one another. Hinojosa and his wife, Tiffany, coach the Freeride Team alongside Marshall Jansen.


For more information, check out the Pajarito Mountain Freeride Team on Facebook.