Pitman strikes gold at snowboard cross nationals

Warfield’s Tommy Pitman finished off another successful snowboard cross (SBX) season with a gold at the junior nationals.

Warfield’s Tommy Pitman finished off another successful snowboard cross (SBX) season with a gold at the junior nationals at the Nakiska Ski Resort on the weekend.

Pitman flew down the SBX run at the Canada-Snowboard Speed Nationals in 47.64 seconds almost three seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. The win caps off a challenging season for both Tommy and brother Mitch, who suffered a concussion at the world chamionships in Spain, and was forced to sit out the final races at the nationals.

The weather was sunny and warm on the first day of races at the nationals in Nakiska, just outside of Calgary and Tommy sailed through the heats finishing with a 50-60 foot lead on each of his competitors including the final.

However, on the second day the weather turned nasty, as cold and windy conditions froze the rutted track solid. The steep and narrow course made it even more difficult for four riders to negotiate the track. Following a few training runs, the B.C. Team coach pulled all his athletes out of the competition due to concern over potential injuries.

Track officials later agreed, and cancelled the Senior portion of the national competition much to the disappointment of the junior gold medalist.

“Tommy was really disappointed as he wanted to compete with the Seniors, (The cancellation is) not a common occurrence, but I guess they didn’t want to take a chance. There had been quite a few injuries already over the couple of days,” added Valerie.

The brothers competed in the World Junior Snowboard Cross Championships in Spain at the end of March with Tommy racing to a 17th place finish and Mitch 22nd.

“They were hoping for a bit better, but these results are an improvement on the last two years of the Junior World competitions for them,” said the Pitman’s mother Valerie.