Junior Freeride athletes show off at Sugar Bowl | SierraSun.com

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Junior Freeride athletes show off at Sugar Bowl

Tahoe Junior Freeride Series

Stop 2 — Sugar Bowl, March 8-9

Females, 11-14

1. Mia Winans — Squaw Free — 73.767 

2. Carly Gradeff — Sugar Bowl Freeride — 72.300

3. Ava Seelenfreund — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 70.700 

4. Sydney Gradeff — Sugar Bowl Freeride — 70.000 

5. Alle Whitney — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 69.667 

6. Britta Winans — Squaw Free — 68.533

7. Maren Guy — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 65.567 

8. Tarni Schott — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 62.333 

9. Chloe Nicolaou — Squaw Free — 62.300 

10. Andrea Avillez — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 60.333 

Males, 11-14

1. Ross Tester — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 77.967 

2. Eric Bourke — Alpine Big Mountain — 75.200 

3. Cole Harrity — Squaw Free — 73.800

4. Louis Norris — Sugar Bowl Freeride — 72.833 

5. Ryan Zellers — Squaw Free — 71.567 

6. Cooper Davis — Sugar Bowl Freeride — 1.333 

7. Turner Drummond — Alpine Big Mountain — 71.167 

8. Cody Atwood — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 70.700 

9. Connor Siri — Squaw Free — 70.633 

10. Jordy Guldman — Sugar Bowl Freeride — 69.333 

Females, 15-18

1. Erika Klenk — Sugar Bowl Freeride — 75.600 

2. Annika Winans — Squaw Free — 74.267 

3. Alexandra Lawton — Sugar Bowl Freeride — 70.600 

4. Emma DesLauriers — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 68.933

5. Cassie May — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 67.533 

6. Erica Backhus — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 67.433 

7. Kami Abi-Nader — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 67.200 

8. Shasta Longo — Mount Rose Freestyle — 64.267 

9. Nicole Shacter — Squaw Free — 62.833 

10. Cora Villa-Beckwith — Alpine Big Mountain — 58.267 

Males, 15-18

1. Wildon Deslauriers — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 80.733 

2. Chanc’ Deschamps-Prescott — Squaw Free — 79.367 

3. Chase Whitney — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 78.400 

4. Xander Guldman — Sugar Bowl Freeride — 78.300 

5. Blake Lawton — Sugar Bowl Freeride — 77.500 

6. Lucas Earley — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 75.000 

7. Liam Forsyth — Squaw Free — 75.000 

8. Ethan Faye — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 72.933 

9. Bennett Drummond — Alpine Big Mountain — 72.800 

10. Tyler Olk — Squaw Valley Big Mountain Team — 72.267 

Snowboard, 11-18

1. Andrew Kraatz —Alpine Snowboard Team — 62.500 

2 Jesse Aves — Sugar Bowl Snowboard — 60.000 

3 Dylan Zellers — Squaw Valley Snowboard Team — 58.033 

4 Corey Walewski — Squaw Valley Snowboard Team — 57.933

5 Jackson Skaff — Alpine Snowboard Team — 55.767

The Tahoe Junior Freeride Series hosted its second stop of 2014 at Sugar Bowl this past weekend, with spectacular big-mountain skiing and snowboarding executed by some of Northern California’s finest youth freeriders.

The athletes, many of whom also compete on a National Tour (called IFSA), spur each other on with exciting displays of bravado and technique in the regional series. For each freeride competition run, an athlete and a coach inspect the competition venue, and compose a high-scoring line to be skied fast and fluidly during the run.  

This past weekend saw the juniors ski down Avalanche on Saturday and the Nose of Disney on Sunday for a two-run cumulative score.  

Freeride competitions are judged based on a five-category system, whereby the first and most valuable category assigns a value to the degree of difficulty of the line choice itself. A route that runs over areas of exposure, such as cliffs, rocks, chutes and steep pitches, increase the line score.

The other four categories are then weighted according to the line score, so that ideally the best skier skiing the hardest line wins. Those categories break down as follows: control, fluidity, technique, and overall impression.  

The winning runs generally incorporate a variety of terrain features, arcing turns down the face, at times approaching pitches over 50 degrees, and looking stylish as they throw grabs and 360s off 30-foot jumps, with fast, controlled turns between.  

Tahoe’s local 11-18-year-olds are as good as they come, with this past weekend’s Tahoe Junior Freeride Series podium winners indicating many top contenders for this year’s national title.  

The three-stop series culminates this weekend at Squaw Valley, where 130 skiers ages 18 and under will compete, and overall series champions will be awarded. Venue selections are weather-dependent, but may include Enchanted Forest, Cornice II Bowl and Granite Chief Peak.

The Tahoe Junior Freeride Series is part of the IFSA National Tour, with placeholders receiving points for both regional and national events. Following an invite-only National Championships in April — to be held this year at Snowbird, Utah — overall finishers are ranked, and North Tahoe teams are on pace to represent the area with particularly strong results.  

For more information, visit TJFS.info and freeskiers.org, or contact a local team for membership and entry.