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HISTORIC PODIUM – Ethan Davy, seen in this 2016 file photo, competed at the Speed Nation Nationals in Quebec last weekend. He won silver in the U15 snowboardcross, the Yukon’s first national podium in the event.

Ethan Davy earns historic silver at snowboardcross nationals

Last Sunday,

By Marissa Tiel on April 11, 2017

Last Sunday, Ethan Davy made snowboarding history as the first Yukoner to stand on the podium at a national championship.

The 15-year old won U15 snowboardcross silver at the Speed Nation Nationals in Mont Tremblant, Que. last Sunday.

“It’s pretty awesome,” he said on his lunch break today.

The Grade 9 F.H. Collins student was back in school today after a whirlwind trip to Quebec with his coach, Norm Curzon.

They had decided only a few weeks ago to take the trip east for nationals.

Davy’s first major success in boardercross came in 2015, during a competition at Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, B.C. The competition featured both a slopestyle – which Davy trains in with his team here in the Yukon – and a snowboardcross event. He placed well in the snowboardcross and hasn’t looked back since.

This season, Curzon connected him with the para snowboardcross team during pre-season training at Mt. Sima.

He kept rolling from there, winning two silvers at a competition at Big White in January and a gold in March.

He enjoys the “heads-up” racing in snowboardcross, which has four athletes competing for space down the same course at the same time. They manouvre corners, jumps and rollers to make it down the course cleanly and in the best position.

Davy’s competition ran Sunday, he first competed in qualifiers, then won both his quarter-final and semifinal before placing second in the final.

This season he and Curzon have been working on starts – getting away from the gate cleanly. This skill featured heavily in his race strategy at nationals.

Davy said he tries to get away fast so he has an open track and doesn’t have to worry about passing anyone.

“If you mess up in the start, you’re screwed,” he said. “It’s really hard to catch up.”

His final started to plan, with Davy getting ahead. But in the second corner, he was passed on the inside, getting pushed to the outside of the turn.

“You just want to push that much harder,” he said.

He “pumped hard” over a straightaway to retake the lead, but in the fifth corner was passed again. With only one corner and the finish jump remaining, he knew second was the best he could do, but not the worst.

“I was just trying to stay up,” he said. “There wasn’t anywhere to make up.” He crossed the finish line about a board-length behind first.

While he was disappointed in his finish, he said he was “pretty excited” to podium.

Davy’s background in slopestyle may help him with some features on the course.

His air awareness, from the many jumps in slopstyle, is an advantage for “being able to hit jumps and not fall,” he said.

The young snowboardcross star said he may travel down to Mt. Hood with his coach at the end of May. But he definitely plans on continuing to train in both boardercross and slopestyle in the future.

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