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USASA Southeastern Series Heading into 3rd Season; Next Event at Beech on January 26

The Southeastern Series is heading into it’s third year with a full calendar of freeski and snowboard competitions.

“It’s been a bit of a nerve racking start to this year, we had to cancel this weekend’s event at Ober Gatlinburg, but it looks like winter is back in full force so it’s gonna be another great season!” says Series director, Andy McDaniel. “Last year was awesome despite the weather, we still had a lot of folks come out on contest days. We had a total of 78 athletes join USASA. That was up from our first year when we had 56 members, so we are steadily growing as a series.”

Throughout the season of 2018 events, over 30 local kids qualified for USASA National Championships in Copper Colorado. Of the list of qualifiers, 23 made the trip to Colorado last April.

“We definitely held our own”, McDaniel says, “18 top 10 finishers, 3 podiums, including a national champion! Not bad for the southeast!”

Not bad at all, in the first 2 seasons as a series, Southeastern Series riders brought home 3 National Championship titles: Kyle Orsburn 17’ 1st SBX Mens Senior, Andy McDaniel 17’ 1st SBX Mens Legend, and Jon Schmidt 18’ 1st Slopestyle, Mens Masters. Adding to that last year was an impressive performance from local ripper Brantley Mullins, who placed 3rd in Slopestyle Womens Junior last year. Getting a podium finish in such a competitive age group earned her invites to pro events, and helped get her sponsored by Recess Ride Shop and other brands.

“There are lots of talented riders here, they just need the chance to get out there and compete on the national level. That’s what we are here for as a series,” says McDaniel. “To help them get to the next level, realize their dreams, and of course, have a lot of fun doing it! It’s been great to have such support from the community too, every mountain has stepped up to make sure we have the dates we need. You can feel that the whole scene is evolving and elevating! We couldn’t do it without that support. It’s a win-win situation for everyone to have a successful, nationally sanctioned event series here. The ski industry brings so much to the area in terms of tourism dollars. We want to help preserve and grow the sports that showcase our region.”

The 2019 USASA Southeastern Series kicks of on January 26th at Beech Mtn. Resort with Slopestyle #1 for snowboard and freeski. To join the fun, follow the action, or get involved, check out usasa.org, southeastern series.com. Or follow the series on Facebook and Instagram.

Photos from past USASA Southeastern Series: