Prep Profile: Snowboarder extraordinaire
Marco Maynard has found a way to combine both of his passions – music and snowboarding – into some prime performances.
Maynard, a 17-year-old Nevada Union High School junior, is one of more than 1,200 snowboarders competing in the USA Snowboarding Association’s National Championships at Northstar at Tahoe, which began Monday and ends April 10.
And, he says, how he stacks up against the competition will have a lot to do with his ability to keep the beat on the course.
An accomplished Celtic fiddler and burgeoning rap artist, Maynard says he makes the most of his rhythm by relating his music to the course he’s racing. He even lays down mixed tracks to coincide with the beat at which he flies by each gate.
“I read the course as if it’s like musical notes,” Maynard said. “Each gate represents a note of the beat. You know, I’ll be playing music and all of sudden I’ll hit an accent note. But I’ve got to keep the beat through it. Otherwise I get off course, which is just like racing.”
Maynard already has had quite a snowboard season, earning the top-ranking in giant slalom and the No. 3 ranking for slalom for Nevada Union in the Central 2 Division of the California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation. From there, Maynard – the team’s captain – went on to post a seventh place finish among 150 competitors in the CNISSF’s state championships at Mount Shasta. Nevada Union finished fourth among the state finals competition.
But the Miners aren’t the only team for which Maynard is racing. He’s also a member of the Squaw Valley USA team, which has also involved three to four days of training per week and at least one competition each week.
He plans to move to Squaw Valley next year, spending his senior year in serious pursuit of his snowboarding career on a full-time basis.
“I have a ton of friends that I’ll miss, but snowboarding is way more important to me than anything right now,” Maynard said. “I’m so busy racing right now that I don’t have much time to mess around. And most of the time I’m hanging out with them, it’s on the hill.”
“It’s been hard to think about,” said Charlene McLaughlin, Maynard’s mother, said of the move to the Sierra. “His dad and I are both graduates from Nevada Union, so it’s hard for him not to graduate from Nevada Union.
“But the only way he’s going to excel at this is to live there.”
McLaughlin knows a thing or two about life on the slopes. She and Maynard’s stepfather, Eric McLaughlin, formerly worked as patrollers at Boreal Mountain Resort. That meant Maynard was on the hill at a very early age.
“He has been skiing since he was three and racing on a snowboard since he was six,” Charlene said.
He also has been riding boards of all sorts ever since, whether carving turns on a skateboard on the streets of Morgan Ranch or slicing through the slalom water ski gates at Lake Wildwood with his father, Byron Maynard, behind the wheel.
“Even when I was pregnant we were out on the boat,” Charlene said. “He didn’t have a chance at not racing.”
Maynard said several snowboarders have had an impact on his skills, including NU coach Samson Smith, Squaw Valley coach Mort Nuyberg and former NU and current Squaw Valley teammate Doug Potter.
While racing at the USASA nationals last year, also at Northstar at Tahoe, Maynard placed 19th in the 16-17 Junior Men Division of the slalom and 23rd in the giant slalom.
“My goals, honestly, vary from year to year,” Maynard said. “Last year was my first year, so I didn’t know what to expect. And I fell two times in each event.
“I’m not expecting to do great things, but I would like to be at least in the top 10.”
To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4240.
In addition to Nevada Union senior Marco Maynard, these elite western Nevada County snowboarders will also be competing at the USA Snowboarding Association’s National Championships (www.usasa.org) at Northstar at Tahoe, which began Monday and ends April 10:
Doug Potter, 19 years old – A three-time all-state honoree, Potter is one of the two winningest snowboarders at Nevada Union – along with Nolan Hale.
Potter has been a Squaw Valley Team member for the past three seasons, where he earned a scholarship the past two.
In the 2006 nationals, Potter finished second to Vermont’s Bryan Messler in the Overall Alpine results.
In the 18-22 year-old division, he is currently ranked second nationally in boardercross, second in giant slalom and third in slalom.
Potter finished among the top 32 in the USSA Grand Prix and also reached the boardercross finals of the Chevrolet Revolution Tour in 2005. He also finished among the top 16 in the Chevy event the past two seasons.
Matthew Ettl, 25 – Ettl is currently ranked 12th nationally in the Men’s Open Halfpipe division.
Ettl took first place in the 2006 slopestyle event among the Senior Men (23-29) division and finished fifth in the halfpipe, which earned him the overall freestyle championship at Northstar.
Chris Potter, 20 – A 2005 Nevada Union graduate, Potter earned all-state honors as a member of the high school snowboard team.
Potter, who works full time for Hardcore Construction, competes on weekends and has earned a No. 10 ranking in boardercross and is ranked 11th in slalom in the Men’s 18-22 year-old division.
– The Union staff
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