LA MOLINA, SPAIN – The Americans continued to make their way onto the podium at the 2023 FIS World Para Snowboard Championships grabbing silver and bronze in the men’s and women’s snowboardcross team events respectively. Paralympians Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah) and Noah Elliott (Steamboat Springs, Colorado) added silver to their list of accolades while Rebecca Johnston (Hood River, Oregon) and Darian Haynes (Muncie, Indiana) picked up bronze in the women’s event. Team USA now holds seven medals including three silver and four bronze.
It was a smooth quarterfinal and semifinal round for the U.S. men in a field of nine nations up for a shot at the team podium. In the finale, a crash by Gabel cost the Americans time but an impressive run by Elliott secured the second-place finish. The medal marks Gabel’s first at the 2023 world championships and a second silver for Elliott who won his first in yesterday’s individual snowboardcross competition.
“I’m just happy to be in one piece,” said Gabel. “We played the strategy really well. There are a few different things that go into the team event, so we strategized how to make our runs the most efficient to get us through the rounds. The final round we had to make moves here and there to just stand up the run. I crashed but then Noah came in ripping and was able to save the day a little bit.”
“It was a total team effort all day,” said Elliott. “It was very challenging conditions and challenging course today. To be able to come away with a podium for Team USA and with my partner Gabel is amazing. It’s our first time partnering together in a team event, and it shows that obviously we did really well at it.”
In their international debuts, Johnston and Haynes were able to grab a third-place finish in the women’s snowboardcross team event. Johnston secured her first medal at the world championship medal while Haynes picked her second bronze of the event.
“Today was awesome,” said Johnston. “It was just a really cool experience to be able to do a team event in boardercross for the first time and another opportunity to get on the course after yesterday and show what we got.”
The team will enjoy two days off from competition to rest and train on the course before competition resumes on Wednesday, March 15 with qualification rounds for the dual banked slalom. Live results from the competition may be viewed through the FIS site available here. Follow U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for daily updates from La Molina.
Sunday, March 12 – Snowboardcross Team Results
Noah Elliott and Keith Gabel, men’s team
Darian Hayne and Rebecca Johnston, women’s team
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