The Mountain Times

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KMS’s Maggie Leon qualifies for the USASA Rail Jam Exhibition after taking first place in the USASA Southern Vermont Series Rail Jam at Stratton

Killington Mountain School's (KMS) Maggie Leon, 15, of Simsbury, Ct., has been on a roll since December, collecting wins including her first-place finish Jan. 5-6 at Stratton Mountain in the girls 14+ USASA Southern Vermont Series rail jam. The win qualifies her for the USASA rail jam exhibition, held during the XGames, at Aspen, Colorado, at the end of this month.

In late December, she won the women's open division at the K-Town Showdown Series rail jam at Killington. Her brother, Joey Leon, 13, took second in the groms division.

Maggie Leon also took first place the USASA Southern Vermont Series rail jam at Stratton with tricks including a front board to switch on the down rail and a boardslide 270 on the tube.

"Although the weather was less than ideal with 20-degree highs and wind gusts at up to 30 mph, a slew of riders and skiers turned out for the first of three K-Town Showdown rail jams of the season on Saturday, Dec. 22," said KC Gandee, KMS snowboard program director and head coach. "Leading the charge for the KSC/KMS Snowboard Team were sibling rivals Maggie and Joey Leon.

Maggie was matched up against some very talented riders like Lily 'Stitches to Riches' Calabrese, who recently won the Rails 2 Riches event at Killington. Maggie's consistency paid off with highlights like a frontside board slide on the down rail, 50-50 with a tail grab out over the close-out rail and a huge air over the entire donkey rail. Maggie's heroics earned her first place and a new Never Summer snowboard as well as a Bern helmet. Joey likewise had a great day with highlights including a front blunt-270-out on the down rail, 360 off the pole jam over the close out and a 50-50, 360-out on the donkey. Joey ended the day in second place."

Maggie Leon will continue to pursue her ultimate goal of qualifying for the XGames.

The Southern Vermont Series is one of the original grassroots snowboarding contest series. Many Olympians and top-name pros got it all rolling in the hills of Southern Vermont, riding with friends and getting together for these contests. Many new sports-drink- and manufacturer-driven "tours" are popping up, but SVSS still represents the development of young snowboarders by providing fair and fun, well-managed events.

Killington Mountain School is a fully approved Vermont independent school whose mission is to inspire students to pursue excellence in academics and athletics in a culture that promotes integrity, leadership, responsibility, and respect. To learn more about alpine, snowboard, freestyle, freeskiing, and cycling training and opportunities, visit www.killingtonmountainschool.org or call 802.422.KMS1.