San Juan Freestyle Team celebrates

Mark Daley rides to national title

Joe Reed of the San Juan Freestyle Team executes a backside rodeo in the superpipe at Copper Mountain last week. Reed finished 11th in the USASA national superpipe competition in his age category. Enlarge photo

Courtesy photo

Joe Reed of the San Juan Freestyle Team executes a backside rodeo in the superpipe at Copper Mountain last week. Reed finished 11th in the USASA national superpipe competition in his age category.

The Durango-based San Juan Freestyle snowboard team is celebrating.

The local riders are celebrating a national championship.

Mark Daley of San Juan Freestyle won a national title a week ago at the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain in Summit County.

He won for his combined showings in the “Legends” category.

Joe Reed of the San Juan team, competing in boys 15-16, rode to an 11th place in superpipe and a 42nd in slopestyle at the nationals, sanctioned by the USA Snowbaord Association.

Thomas Tacca (Boys 13-14) also competed for the San Juan team. Tacca was 18th in superpipe and 24th in slopestyle.

Other San Juan team riders who competed at nationals included Silas Hatch, Heather Baroody, Joe Mango, Dan Waltermire and Matty Kirchgasler.

The team is coached by Josh Lingelbach, known as Josh Muzzy.

A three-time Dew Tour finalist and four-time U.S. Open snowboarding competitior, Muzzy has coached in the Durango area for a deade.

He’s coached two national champions, including Daley.

“These kids have made the team what it is,” Muzzy said.

In addition to local sponsor support, Muzzy said the key to the team’s success was supportive parents.

“Mostly, we have to thank all the parents because without them, this all would not be possible,” Muzzy said.

He said another training aspect paid off for the San Juan team this season.

“What really helped this year is that we all got Epic Passes in Summit County, and we trained at Breckenridge and Keystone primarily,” Muzzy said.

He said the world-class halfpipes and slopestyle layouts helped the local boarders prepare for their competitions.

“They have the biggest jumps and the biggest superpipes around ... besides Park City,” Muzzy said.

“That’s where we trained almost every weekend. Breck and Keystone are world renowned (for snowboard training),” Muzzy said.

“Training there made all my riders top level.”

He said Daley’s passion for snowboarding provided a foundation for his success.

Daley “worked at Inferno (snowboard shop) for as long as I can remember,” Muzzy said.

But young riders like Joe Reed helped push Daley to the top, Muzzy said.

“The younger guys really made an impact on him. Joe Reed’s the one who actually pushed Daley,” Muzzy said.

He said the combination of riders also boosted the San Juan squad.

“This team is full spectrum. We have two of the best 19-year-olds in the business. And my 20-year-olds are in the big leagues,” Muzzy said, adding that the team also has several top 13-year-olds.

Several team members are planning summer camp trips to Mount Hood, Ore.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com

Mark Daley of the San Juan Freestyle Team stood atop the podium as a national champion last week at Copper Mountain. Enlarge photo

Courtesy photo

Mark Daley of the San Juan Freestyle Team stood atop the podium as a national champion last week at Copper Mountain.

National champion Mark Daley, left, stood with coach Josh Muzzy and teammates Joe Reed and Thomas Tacca last week at Copper Mountain. Enlarge photo

Courtesy photo

National champion Mark Daley, left, stood with coach Josh Muzzy and teammates Joe Reed and Thomas Tacca last week at Copper Mountain.