Local youth to compete in Colorado snowboarding competition

7 mins read
Lorenzo and his father, Jonny Warren, build a snowboard together. Drew Ingoldsby photo.  

STRONG – At the end of this month, Lorenzo Warren, 11-year-old son of Selina and Jonny Warren, along with the eight other members of his team from Carrabassett Valley Academy’s Snowboard Weekend Program, will head to Copper Mountain in Colorado for the Annual United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association’s (USASA) National Championships.

Lorenzo will compete in both the snowboard cross and the giant slalom events. His father, who, with Lorenzo’s help, designed and built the board Lorenzo will use at nationals this year, (“He grows so fast,” Mom declared, “He needs a new board every year!”) will accompany him to the Copper Mountain competition, as both Dad and Coach.

For the boardercross event, time trials happen first. Racers go one at a time and then are seeded into groups of four for the following heats. The two boarders with the best times in each heat move on to the next round. This continues through the semifinal and final rounds. At past national competitions, there have been up to 40 competitors from all over the country for each age group. On the word “GO!”, all the boarders take off together, vying for position.

Lorenzo in the course. Waylon Wolfe photo.

“Snowboard cross is different from ski races,” Lorenzo explained. “We are all in the gate and on the course together instead of one at a time.”

“For a mother, that’s scary!” Selina declared. “Anything can happen. Someone else’s mistake becomes your mistake…That’s nerve-wracking!”

Emphasizing the importance of one’s position in the gate, Lorenzo added, “It can be a big advantage.”
He also agreed with his mom that “it is a little more dangerous”.

At nationals, four at a time will run the course until only four of the entire field are left to compete for the medals. Positions in the gate are determined prior to the race when boarders run the course individually in time trials. Qualifying rounds will be run in groups of four competitors at a time until the field is narrowed down. The four finalists will compete against one another for the podium and the top medals.

“Last year, I had a good chance to be on the podium again,” Lorenzo shared, “but another racer crashed into me in the semifinals.”

Lorenzo’s medals. Selina Warren photo.

Lorenzo, now age 11, has been snowboarding since he was 14 months old. His brother, Rocco, age 8, is also a snowboarder. Both have been participating in programs at Sugarloaf for most of their lives.

The boys’ father, a Sugarloafer since 1985, still works at “the Mountain”. He had Lorenzo on a board at age one, sliding him back and forth.

“I was faster than my mother by the time I was five!” Lorenzo declared.

Selina, who teaches Kindergarten in Kingfield, said, “Lorenzo has grown up in the Sugarloaf Village. He just eats, sleeps, and breathes snowboarding.”

Having worked full time at Sugarloaf in the childcare center and as a bartender from 2005 to 2010 while attending the University of Maine at Farmington, she, too, is a longtime Sugarloafer. She did take a hiatus from employment at Sugarloaf when she started teaching.

“However,” she added, “now that my boys are older and enrolled in programs and competitions, I work at Sugarloaf checking kids in at Ski School on weekends and vacation weeks to help offset the cost involved with supporting Lorenzo’s goals and passion for snowboarding.”

Selina Warren photo.

Another major influence in Lorenzo’s snowboarding enthusiasm is Seth Wescott, Lorenzo’s godfather and Jonny’s best friend. The two-time Olympic gold medal winner for Snowboard Cross (2006 and 2010) has also played a role in Lorenzo’s love for snowboarding. In fact, one of Lorenzo’s life goals is “to double all of Uncle Seth’s medals”.

Since age 6, Lorenzo has accumulated a total of 36 USASA medals—7 bronze, 7 silver, 21 gold, and one gold National Championship Medal—an extremely impressive start on the accomplishment of that goal!
Lorenzo’s goals also include attending Carrabassett Valley Academy (CVA), a private school located in Carrabassett Valley which offers “a balanced schedule between academics and athletics,” allowing students to focus equally on both. To do so he knows he has to continue to be successful both at Day Mountain Regional Middle School and on “the Mountain”.

“We’d love to be able to make [CVA] happen,” his mom added. “It has been his passion since he was little.”
And, by the way, CVA just happens to be Seth Wescott’s alma mater. According to the school’s website, Wescott “splits his time between the Valley and his home in British Columbia, and he remains active in the Sugarloaf and CVA community.”

Turns out, Lorenzo is not the only local boarder who will be participating in this year’s national competition. Paisley Fredette from Phillips, a 5th grade classmate of Lorenzo’s at Day Mountain Regional Middle School, will be traveling to Nationals this year as well. Fredette, whose mother also works at Sugarloaf, has been in Jonny’s program and on Lorenzo’s team for a couple of years. In February, at the Maine Mountain Series Boardercross Event at Sugarloaf, Lorenzo and Fredette both earned spots at the top of the podium and they were awarded male and female racers of the day.

“It was great to see two local kids have such great success!” Selina declared enthusiastically.

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