While still a fairly new sport here at Dublin, snowboarding has become an important part of winter life at the school. Our newly opened Norm "Pro" Wight Ski Area is open to boarders to use throughout the season, and with the alpine ski team, the group regularly practices at nearby Crotched Mountain in Francestown, New Hampshire.
As our program has evolved, we've been able to send more athletes to Lakes Region League Snowboard Series competitions throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. These events are open to a range of talent levels, from beginner to expert, with races held in the Giant Slalom, Slopestyle, and Boardercross. In 2015, we won the Lakes Region Boys Slopestyle Championship For the first time.
Our favorite race, though, happens right in our backyard, when snowboarders from competing schools descend on Crotched in January for the mountain's annual snowboard competition. It's a fun, relaxed environment where athletes can race against one another and strike up friendships with snowboarders from competing schools.
Recent Slopestyle Competitions at Crotched Mountain
In locating the new Slopeside Dormitory, we had to remove the old Arts Building which served in recent years as our Outing Club. The Outing Club was home to our Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding programs. We originally intended to put the new Outing Club into the basement of the Slopeside Dormitory but thought better due to the impact on the height of the building and the potential for fumes and fire from ski waxing.
The Snowboarding team took to the lovely Ragged Mountain on Wednesday for the last slopestyle competition of the season. The course, by far the longest of the season, offered a few unique challenges to our riders: a cannon rail to start, two down flat down options--one rail and one box--and two sizable jumps. The stakes were set high after Proctor's number-one rider pulled a 360 off of the cannon rail.
Yifu Zhang (Beijing, China) and Jack Pearce (Milford, NJ) took big risks that paid off: while both have been riding boxes comfortably during the season, they each rode the cannon rail, marking the first time that either of them had ridden any kind of rail feature. Alissa Muise (Blue Hill, ME) and Imogen VonMertens (Hancock, NH) hit impressive ollies off of each knuckle, and Lucy Martin (New Canaan, CT) smoothly took down the box feature on both rides. Emil Hristache (Peterborough, NH) landed a frontside 270 off of the rail cannon and a smooth method off of the second jump. Arthur Garcia (Union City, NJ) took down the box in style, and Garret Autera (Roswell, GA) continued his characteristic frontside 180s. Alexander “AJ” Simpson's (New York, NY) classic freestyle moves were also at home in this park; he continues to work toward a frontside 540. We have faith in you, AJ! All in all, it was a mellow and fun day for all.
On February 1 the Dublin School Snowboard Team traveled to Okemo Mtn in Ludlow, Vermont. The Lakes Region Slopestyle competition took place on the most demanding Park of the Series this year. Senior Captain Emil Hristache (Peterborough, NH) took 1st Place overall and showed the League he is back after missing his Junior Year to injury. With new tricks and classic style he showed the crowd how to throw it down!
His team mates continued to improve and showed their willingness to challenge themselves with Garret Autera (Roswell, GA) and Arthur Garcia (Union City, NJ) meeting that standard.
Alissa Muise (Blue Hill, ME) showed nerve and poise as she opened the competition with her first run. It's important to note that she had never run a course this difficult or ever competed in Slopestyle. Alissa had an amazing 6th place finish to lead the Girls Team to a 3rd place Team bronze for the day.
Coach Graves and Coach Rabb are thrilled with the progress of the Team and the recent results as they represent the Dublin Wildcats.
The Dublin School Snowboard Team traveled to Gunstock Mountain Resort to compete in a Giant Slalom competition. It was a dominating performance by both the Girls and Boys teams.
Senior Captain Lucy Martin (New Canaan, CT) lead her team with support from Junior Alissa Muise (Blue Hill, ME) and Freshman Imogen VonMertens (Hancock, NH) to a season best 2nd place finish as a team.
On the Boys side, it was also a team effort led by Alexander “AJ” Simpson (New York, NY) blasting down the course with Team Captain Emil Hristache (Peterborough, NH) close on his heels with Top 5 performances! Captain Joe DuPont-Roche (Peterborough, NH) supported by a breakout run by Yifu Zhang (Beijing, China) enabled the Team to capture First Place in their division.
Snowboarding competed in a giant slalom race at Gunstock on Wednesday.
Boys team finished 5th out of 10 teams competing. Top four finishers for Dublin were: Alexander “AJ” Simpson 9th (New York, NY), Garret Autera 18th (Roswell, GA), Emil Hristache 22nd (Peterborough, NH), and Miles Morgan 27th (Hollis, NH). Joe DuPont-Roche (Peterborough, NH) had a very good first run finishing 7th but couldn't complete his second run.
Girls team finished an infentesimally second to Vermont Academy (284-283). In a trick of mathematics, Imogen VonMertens (Hancock, NH) finished 3rd in both races but missed the podium finishing 4th overall. Lucy Martin (New Canaan, CT) reversed that by finishing 8th in both races but finishing 7th overall. Alissa Muise (Blue Hill, ME) finished 9th to close out the scoring for Dublin.
Dublin School Snowboard Team competed on Wednesday in the Lakes Region Championship at Bretton Woods Ski Resort in the White Mountains. Conditions couldn't have been better as snow fell consistently throughout the day. The team competed in two events back to back: first in the GS followed by Slopestyle.
Captains A.J. Simpson and Emil Hristache stepped up despite their injuries to lead the team to a second place finish out of the 8 teams competing in the GS. A.J. Simpson finished in second place overall and Joe Dupont-Roche finished 5th while Emil Hristache and Chris Brodie rounded out our top finishers.
In the Slopestyle event, Emil Hristachetook a 4th overall finish, A.J. Simpson was 9th, and Lucy Martin placed 6th for the girls. Seniors Chris Brodie, Baxter Glaude and Harrison Glaude performed admirably for their final winter season at Dublin. Coach Graves and Scalfano could not be more proud of their team! Every rider stepped up, improved immensely, and represented the Dublin School Snowboarding Team with pride.
Paul Graves is one of the originals, his involvement in snowboarding as old as the sport itself. He was the first professional and sponsored rider — for Snurfer early in his career and later for Rossignol Snowboards — thanks to his surface 360’s and flip dismount, which paved the way for freestyle riding and won Paul the National Freestyle Championship in 1979. The first television commercial to feature snowboarding starred Paul carving down the Canadian Rockies on behalf of Labatt’s Blue. But most notably, Paul founded the first national snowboarding championship in 1982 at Suicide Six in Woodstock, Vermont. He later passed the event on to his friend Jake Burton, and the U.S. Open became the pinnacle competition of the season.
Paul, who Time Magazine called “a snowboarding pioneer,” has appeared on NBC, CBS, ESPN, Snowboard Life, The Discovery Channel, Eastern Edge, MTV Sports, Vermont Life and more, speaking to the history and advancement of snowboarding over the past 51 years. He also consulted for ESPN during the first Winter XGames and for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games, the first time snowboarding was ever included. Given that Paul’s efforts have always been purely for the advancement of the sport, Paul was named an Ambassador to the State of Vermont in 1996.
Today, Paul stays connected to the industry from his home in Dublin, NH where he lives with his wife, and occasionally, a visiting daughter, son-in-law or grandchild.