By Cary Shuman
Being the national champion in a particular sport is a monumental achievement and that’s the mountaintop upon which 11-year-old Lynn resident Amy Hatfield now reigns.
Amy, a student at Our Lady of Assumption in Lynnfield, claimed the prestigious title at the USASA Snowboard Nationals held at Copper Mountain in Colorado earlier this month.
Riding a Winterstick snowboard handcrafted in Maine, Amy won gold in slalom, silver in giant slalom, and came in fourth place in boardercross while competing in the Menehune age group for girls 10 and 11.
What’s it like to take home multiple medals from a national championship where there were more than 40 of the best snowboarders from California to Colorado to Maine to Canada?
“It was pretty exciting,” said Amy, who was competing in her second USASA Nationals. “It’s pretty nice.”
The daughter of Lynn firefighter Erik Hatfield and Nancy Hatfield, Amy attends Carrabassett Valley Academy’s Weekend Program at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine. She earned her spot at the Nationals by winning a number of USASA competitions in the Maine Mountain Series throughout the season.
“Amy had a great season leading up to the Championships,” said CVA’s snowboard program director Michael Mallon. “First, second, and fourth-place finishes are a great showing in this very competitive age group.”
Amy began skiing at the age of 3 and after becoming very good at it, the young athlete transitioned to snowboarding at the age of 6. Amy credits her coaches, Meghan Price of the CVA Weekend Program and X Games medalist and U.S. Olympian Alex Tuttle, for their excellent training. She had the opportunity to meet Seth Westcott, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding.
Amy’s older sister, Mia, 13, is also an inspiration and a role model. Mia excels as an alpine skiing racer.
Amy travels pretty fast on the snowboard, reaching speeds between 30-40 miles per hour. It’s a fast-paced sport where you need to exhibit great balance, coordination, and athleticism.
And you have to love cold weather, of course.
“Amy competed in a race this year on a day when it was 50-below zero,” said her mother, Nancy.
The 5-foot-tall champion extends her talents beyond the ski slopes and snowboarding trails. She has participated in the Lynn Youth Soccer program and started water skiing last summer.
An honor roll student, Amy is grateful to her parents for their support. “They’re at all my competitions. “I really like snowboarding and I hope to continue doing it,” said Amy.
“It’s pretty impressive what Amy has accomplished,” said Nancy Hatfield. “We’ve been fortunate to have been going up to Sugarloaf since she was a baby and for some reason, she always wanted to snowboard. But she’s really very ambitious and really dedicated and works really hard. Both girls put so much into it and they love to do it. It’s been a great family adventure.”