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Holland wins national championship

Sun., Feb. 12, 2012, 10:58 p.m.

PARK CITY, Utah — Sandpoint native Nate Holland was awarded U.S. National Championship’s green jacket following the U.S. Grand Prix snowboardcross event at Canyons Resort on Sunday.

With a winter storm carrying heavy snow and limiting visibility, Holland fought through the brackets, being the only American to advance to the finals.

Austria’s Markus Schairer and teammate Alessandro Haemmerle finished 1-2 in the finals, while 16-year-old Jarryd Hughes of Australia was third.

Holland crashed after tangling with Hughes in the finals yet still claimed the national title as the top American male.

“Sitting one off the podium is a bittersweet spot; I remember this from the Olympics,” said Holland, a six-time Winter X Games champion who finished fourth at the 2010 Olympics.

“I’m a little disappointed about the last heat, but excited about being national champion.”

Hughes arced directly into Holland on the top of one feature, and Holland’s board ended up on top of Hughes’ board.

“When he rides away, it’s just like the carpet gets pulled right out from underneath you,” Holland said.

“I got up, knocked the snow off my goggles and all you can do is wonder if there’s a pileup down below and there wasn’t.”

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