BOSTON – U.S. Snowboarding rookie Julia Marino (Westport, Conn.) topped the women’s field at the Polartec Big Air at Fenway on Thursday night in front of a stellar Boston crowd in one of America’s most iconic sports venues. Marino, a New England native, wasn’t originally even scheduled to compete. She snuck in off the alternate list when her teammate Ty Walker (Stowe, Vt,) was forced to drop after being injured in practice.
It was a groundbreaking event for the U.S. Grand Prix and the FIS Snowboard World Cup – a 140-foot-tall scaffolding big air event situated in the center of Boston’s Fenway Park. Never before has the U.S. Grand Prix featured a big air-only event, and never before has snowboarding been presented in such a historic American venue.
Marino, who hadn’t competed on a scaffolding jump or in front of such an enormous crowd before, said that she was feeling the vibe of the Fenway spectators. “I’ve never snowboarded at a contest with a crowd this big – it’s amazing!” she said. “I thought it would make me more nervous but it actually made it way more fun. Every time I landed a trick it was so cool to hear the whole crowd going wild. There were so many people here – I didn’t think that this many people would show up for a snowboarding event; it’s amazing to see all these awesome fans out here supporting what we do.”
The Canadian women rounded out the podium with top qualifier Jenna Blasman in second and Brooke Voigt in third.
Chas Guldemond (Reno) led the U.S. men with a third-place podium finish. He was also pumped on the energy of the crowd, hyping everyone up with his best imitation of Babe Ruth.
“Fenway totally went off like we expected it to,” Guldemond said. “The crowd was really behind me which made my experience amazing and to land three runs and call my shot on the last one and send it to the bottom, that topped off my night.”
The men’s event was won by Max Parrot of Canada, who was the only athlete to throw a triple cork. Fellow Canadian Michael Ciccarelli was second.
Rounding up the American women, Jessika Jenson (Rigby, Idaho) was fifth and Karly Shorr (Milford, Mich.) was sixth. For the men, Eric Beauchemin (Grand Blanc, Mich.) seventh. Lyon Farrell (Haiku, Hawaii) eighth.