U.S. Paralympics Sno... Features Miller, Minor Secure...

Miller, Minor Secure Team Slalom World Title on Final Day of 2023 World Championships

By Annemarie Blanco | March 16, 2023, 11:59 a.m. (ET)

LA MOLINA, SPAIN – One day after each taking silver in the individual dual banked slalom event, Paralympians Zach Miller (Silverthorne, Colorado) and Mike Minor (Frisco, Colorado) raced their way to a world title in the men’s banked slalom team, leading Team USA’s three-medal haul day. Dennae Russell (Sturgis, South Dakota) and Peggy Martin (Golden, Colorado) snagged silver in the women’s banked slalom team while Americans Brenna Huckaby (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) and Rebecca Johnston (Hood River, Oregon) were just behind picking up bronze.


The title marks the first gold for both Miller and Minor in the banked slalom team event. Miller leaves La Molina with three medals including the slalom silver and bronze in the snowboardcross while Minor picks up his second podium appearance of the event. Team USA had two teams in the mix for the final day competition, but the Americans were pitted against one another in the first round of competition due to seeding from the previous day. The duo of Mike Schultz (St. Cloud, Minnesota) and Evan Strong (Haiku, Hawaii) end the team event with an eighth-place finish.


“We’re feeling so great,” said Minor. “Zach and I came up with an awesome plan that we stuck to, and it really panned out. We’re world champions and there’s no better feeling than that. Our strategy was to rely on whoever could get the differential and the second person would make up the time and get a good lead going.”


“It was all about matchups today,” said Miller. “Knowing who we were going up against and then being able to form the right plan to put us in the best opportunity for the second run. That was the key factor today, we worked it out and it all went according to plan.”


The two U.S. women’s teams were also forced to a face off in the first round with Martin and Russell edging out front in the second run. The silver is the first world championship medal for Russell and second for Martin who also finished second in the dual banked slalom. It is also a world championship debut for both athletes after a successful season on the circuit.


“I worked really hard this winter,” said Russell. “I trained full-time and uprooted my life to pursue better opportunities. It's nice to see the hard work and determination pay off.”


“I was out there to have fun and soak up every second.  Peggy was, too. We talked a little strategy but didn't put too much pressure on ourselves. I'm so thankful to have been able to be on a team with her.”


Rounding out the third podium for Team USA, Huckaby and Johnston eased their way to a win in the small final against Spain. Huckaby leaves the competition with a medal of each color bringing her total career world championship medals to nine. Johnston heads home with two bronze medals in her debut after also taking third in the snowboardcross team event last week.


“It was so fun,” said Huckaby. “I think the team event is such a great environment and vibe - girl power. I have such an awesome teammate, and this is the second time we’ve had enough females to do the team event and I’m super pumped to be able to participate for my first time.”


The U.S. leaves La Molina with a total of 16 medals - 3 gold, 8 silver, 5 bronze – to conclude the last international stop of the circuit. The U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding season will culminate for one final event at the U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding National Championships set to be held April 4-5 in Cooper, Colorado.


Live results from the competition may be viewed through the FIS site available here. Follow U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for daily updates.


Thursday, March 16 – Banked Slalom Team Results



Zach Miller, Mike Minor – men’s banked slalom team



Peggy Martin, Dennae Russell – women’s banked slalom team



Brenna Huckaby, Rebecca Johnston – women’s banked slalom team


For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Annemarie Blanco at Annemarie.blanco@usopc.org.