After placing first 15 times in snowboarding competitions around the region this winter, a freshman at Lake Roosevelt High School has qualified to compete in national championships.
Michael Thomas is an athlete at LR, where last fall he played football. But during the winter Thomas is a competitive snowboarder traveling across the Northwest for meets.
This winter, he has qualified for the United States of America Snowboard Association National Championships at Copper, Colo., March 29 - April 10.
The USASA invites top competitors from the regional competitions from all across the country. Thomas competes in the Inland Northwest Region that held competitions at Loup Loup, Silver Mountain, Schweitzer, Ski Bluewood (outside Dayton, Wash.), Mount Spokane, 49 Degrees North, and White Pass.
Thomas placed fifth or higher in all of those competitions, with 15 first-place finishes. The placings at the regional competitions are tallied up by points, the totals from which the top 60 athletes across the country receive an invitation to the national competition.
Thomas indicated Monday he is excited to be reaching the summit of amateur snowboarding at this age, and he looks forward to competing at this level for several years to come.
He will be heading down early to Colorado to get in some early training and meet with potential sponsors.
The Thomas family will be footing the entire bill to travel to and from Copper. Those who might like to contribute to help make the trip possible, can contact Dale and Sabine Thomas at 633-8033, or P.O. Box 594 Grand Coulee, 99133.