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New Canaan Third-Grader Sailing To Snowboard Nationals

Sumner Orr earned 3rd place at a recent Half Pipe Competition. From left: Brayden Fetzer, Valentino Guseli, Sumner Orr. Photo Credit: Contributed
Sumner doing a front side indie grab in the Half Pipe at Okemo Mountain. Photo Credit: Christopher Landon

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Sumner R. Orr, an 8-year-old third-grader at East School in New Canaan, has qualified to compete in the 2015 United States of America Snowboard and Free Ski Association Nationals.

Sumner will be competing in four events: Grommet Boys (ages 8-9) Half Pipe, Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Boarder Cross.

His favorite discipline is Half Pipe because, as Sumner says, "I love riding fast and doing tricks in the pipe."

He rides for the Okemo Mountain School, in Ludlow, Vt.

Sumner started skiing at the age of 4, and last winter asked his parents, Shawn and Michelle, if he could trade-in his skis for a snowboard.

He has lived in New Canaan his whole life and is the youngest child in a family of three boys. Sumner is currently sponsored by Principal Protection Advisors.

With just one season of snowboarding under his belt, Sumner tried out for and earned a spot on the Okemo Mountain School Snowboard team. With the OMS team, he started competing in the Southern Vermont region of USASA. The Southern Vermont region is considered the most competitive of the 30 regions within USASA. Since December, Sumner has competed almost every weekend against some of the top snowboarders in the country.

When he is not competing, he trains at Okemo mountain with his teammates and coach, Betsy Gritman.

There are five types of competitions in snowboarding which include Boarder Cross, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Slopestyle, and Half Pipe.

His hard work and dedication earned him invitations in four events based on his performance throughout the season and his national ranking.

The 2015 USASA Snowboard Nationals will take place March 28 to April 3 at the Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado.

Competitors at the 25th USASA National Championships range in age 7 to 70 and hail from 30 Regional Series.

The USASA is the first organization exclusively focused on competitive grassroots snowboarding.

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