KILLINGTON/LUDLOW - Long Trail School snowboarder Felicia Blanchard finished in 3rd place overall ath the Vermont State Championships earlier this month.

Blanchard's finish came after two days of competition in three events - halfpipe, giant slalom and slopestyle.

Blanchard - a junior - reached the podium after missing her sophomore year due to a broken pelvis.

She skied until the age of 10, but said that she "could barely go down the hill." Blanchard's parents encouraged her to try snowboarding. After her first lesson she was hooked and has been riding for the past six years.

"I like getting outside and being active," she said. "There's nothing better than riding with my friends and doing something that I love.

Long Trail School snowboarder Felicia Blanchard catches some air off a jump earlier this year. Blanchard took third place overall at the State
Long Trail School snowboarder Felicia Blanchard catches some air off a jump earlier this year. Blanchard took third place overall at the State Championships earlier this month. (Courtesy photo)
All my worries and troubles disappear on the slopes."

Blanchard stays motivated by competing informally with her peers as they practice. She gets to the mountain twice a week through her schedule at Long Trail and also during the weekends.

The only snowboarder at Long Trail, Blanchard said she is lucky to have a coach who models different tricks and pushes her beyond her perceived limits. Luke Krauss, LTS '12, gives Blanchard the confidence and faith that she needs to go a little bit harder at her performances.

"It's a challenge to be solo in terms of team spirit, but one positive is that all the coach's time is mine," Blanchard admits.

Director of Athletics Scott Magrath could not be happier for her or more proud to have her represent LTS.

"To miss a year of competition and then earn third place overall speaks volumes about not just her snowboarding ability but her drive and will to succeed," said Magrath. "There were high expectations for Felicia and she exceeded them. It will be tough to beat third overall, but I know she is going to give it her best next winter. Long Trail is proud to be able to offer competitive opportunities for her and for all of its students. "