Gorgone nabs 2nd-place

— Lowell Whiteman senior Michelle Gorgone ended her season on a high note last weekend at the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix Finale in Sunday River, Maine.

The local snowboarder placed second to Rosie Fletcher in the parallel giant slalom race at the United States Skiing Association's national finals Friday. It was the final major national event of the season.

"It was definitely a very good day," Gorgone said from her parents' home. "It was a nice way to end the season."

Gorgone will graduate from the Lowell-Whiteman School here in Steamboat Springs this spring, but she said she is about 99 percent sure she will stay in the Yampa Valley next year and train, at least until she gets a better offer with the U.S. Ski Team, with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Gorgone fell in the first run against Fletcher in the finals of the Parallel Giant Slalom but was able to get back up and finish the run; however, the mistake left her 2.5 seconds back headed into the final head-to-head run. In that run, the local favorite stayed close with Fletcher but was unable to make up the time deficit.

The 17-year-old will now have to wait and see if the top finish at Nationals will help her earn a spot on the U.S. Snowboarding Team. Gorgone has posted several top finishes this year in national and international level events.

"I'm not really sure when they will make an announcement like that," Gorgone said. "I've never really been in a position like this before."

Steamboat Springs coach Mike Mallon left for Italy and another major snowboarding event at the end of the national final events and was not available for comment.

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