Young Tahoe-area skiers and snowboarders more than held their own at the North American Junior Freeskiing and Snowboarding Championships at Snowbird, Utah, last week.
The big-mountain event, held on the world-class Silver Fox venue, featured 231 junior athletes between the ages of 12 to 18 from 26 U.S. and Canadian freeride teams.
Among the highlight performances from Tahoe athletes, Mia Winans of Squaw Free placed first in the 12-14 female ski division, Sugar Bowl’s Jesse Aves placed first in the 12-14 male snowboard division, and Cooper Davis of the Sugar Bowl Freeride Team was awarded the Flyin’ Ryan Hawks Foundation Scholarship.
Xander Guldman of the Sugar Bowl Freeride Team finished second in the 15-18 male ski division, and Dylan Zellers and Corey Walewski of the Squaw Alpine Snowboard Team were second and fourth, respectively, in the 15-18 male snowboard division. Sydney Gradeff of the Sugar Bowl Freeride Team also was fourth in the 12-14 female ski division.
Wildon DesLauriers (15-18 male ski) of the Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team and Eric Bourke (12-14 male ski) of Alpine Meadows Freeride recorded fifth-place finishes.
In the overall season rankings, Zellers earned the title in his 15-18 male snowboard division, and Squaw Alpine teammate Andrew Kraatz was awarded the title in the 12-14 male snowboard division.
The event concluded Saturday night when the athletes, parents, coaches and judges gathered at the Cliff Lodge for an awards ceremony, where Stohke Productions provided $2,000 in scholarships to the winners in each overall category, and nine additional sponsors provided prizes for the top five finishers.