Team USA wins eight snowboard podiums in head-to-head races

By Beth Bourgeois | Jan. 13, 2015, 11:50 p.m. (ET)


Mike Shea won the first head-to-head snowboard cross world cup title in Aspen

ASPEN, Colorado – Eight U.S. athletes were crowned with the very first head-to-head medals in today’s competition at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing Snowboard World Cup in Aspen. Head-to-head racing is a new format that pits two races against each other on the course.

U.S. Paralympian Mike Shea (Castaic, California) won gold in the men’s SB-LL1 head-to-head event, marking his second medal of the competition. Newcomer to the sport and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Dustin Fleming (Baytown, Texas) won silver, while U.S. Paralympian Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah) won bronze in the event, his second medal of the competition.

“Racing in the first ever head-to-head race was exhilarating to say the least” said Shea. “It brought a whole new level of excitement to the sport, and I am so pleased to be a part of history today.”

Former motocross and snocross standout Mike Schultz (Saint Cloud, Minnesota) won gold in the men’s SB-LL2 competition, going two-for-two in events during the two-day competition.

Jay Gaines (Copper, Colorado), a newcomer to Paralympic snowboard, was the sole U.S. athlete to medal in the men’s upper limb impairment class, earning bronze. The 17-year-old recently moved from Kentucky to Copper Mountain to train with Adaptive Action Sports, the non-profit sport organization created and run by U.S. Paralympian Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale.

U.S. women added an additional three medals in today’s head-to-head races. Heidi Jo Duce (Ouray, Colorado) won bronze in the women’s SB-LL1 race. She was preceded by Bibian Mentel-Spee from The Netherlands and Joany Badenhorst of Australia, who won gold and silver, respectively.

In the women’s SB-LL2 races, Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon of France won gold, while U.S. teammates Nicole Roundy (Bountiful, Utah) and Brenna Huckaby (Sandy Utah) captured silver and bronze. Both Roundy’s and Huckaby’s wins marked their second medal each of the competition.

U.S. athletes finished the two-day IPC Alpine Skiing Snowboard World Cup with a total of 15 medals. Complete results can be found at http://www.paralympic.org/snowboard/calendar.

This 2015 Alpine Skiing Snowboard World Cup competition is supported by The Hartford.

The season is headlined by the 2015 IPC Para-Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain, from 23-28 February. Approximately 80 riders from 20 countries are expected to compete in banked slalom and snowboard-cross in the newly separated men’s and women’s lower-limb impairment classifications of SB-LL1 and SB-LL2, and the upper-limb impairment category.