The column returns after a hiatus from prep spring sports state tournament coverage with some familiar news regarding eastern Idaho’s 2014 Olympic snowboarder. Look for the local events portion of the column to be bigger in the coming weeks as summer activities get into full swing.
The Medal Stand: Fifth U.S. nomination in a row for Jenson
Halfway between Winter Olympic years and Rigby’s Jessika Jenson appears bound for more adventures with the U.S. team.
U.S. Snowboarding released its nominations for the 2016-17 halfpipe, snowboardcross and slopestyle pro and rookie teams Monday, and Jenson’s name was on the women’s slopestyle pro team list for the fifth consecutive year. Nominations are extended to athletes who met qualification standards during the 2015-16 season. Should athletes choose to accept their nomination, they have access to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Center of Excellence, coaches and athletic trainers. The official finalized roster will be released in the fall.
Several other familiar names — Jenson’s Olympic teammates Jamie Anderson, Karly Shorr, Ty Walker, Chas Guldemond, Ryan Stassel — were also nominated to the slopestyle pro team as was 15-year-old Hailey Langland, who made her pro team debut this past winter. A 2014 Olympian, Jenson finished this past season ranked fourth in the FIS women’s slopestyle snowboard World Cup standings despite missing three months recovering from knee surgery.
Coming up locally
Memorial Day weekend is upon us, meaning the local schedule will pick up from here on out with summer activities.
The second annual Cardinal Color Rush novelty run takes place Saturday in Soda Springs. It is a fundraiser for the Soda Springs High School physical education department.
The sixth annual Redfish Lake Lodge Memorial Run is scheduled for Saturday in Stanley. Start times are as follows: 10 a.m. for the half marathon, 10:30 a.m. for the 10k and 10:45 a.m. for 5k. The half marathon and 10k courses have been modified from previous years.
Team USA update
The countdown to Rio 2016 reaches 71 days today, and several Olympians and prospective Olympians are competing this weekend at the annual Prefontaine Classic at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The meet, which is part of the International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League calendar, traditionally takes place in late May close to the anniversary of Oregon legend Steve Prefontaine’s death on May 30. Rocky Mountain High School’s Michael Slagowski, who swept the 5A boys distance state titles over the weekend in Boise and became the ninth high schooler to break 4 minutes for the mile on April 29, is one of three high school athletes scheduled to participate. A Penn State signee, Slagowki will compete in the National Mile scheduled for 12:42 p.m. (Pacific) Saturday along with fellow high school senior Austin Tamagno (Brea Olinda, Calif.) in a race that features Olympians. Drew Hunter, an Oregon commit from Loudoun Valley, Va., who ran sub-four for the mile at two indoor meets in February, will compete in the Bowerman Mile, the last event of the meet. The event, named for late Oregon track and field coaching legend Bill Bowerman, features athletes from seven nations including world champion Matt Centrowitz and 2012 Olympian Evan Jager.