Kirkwood’s Garbiel takes second at Freeskiing Worlds |

Kirkwood’s Garbiel takes second at Freeskiing Worlds

Sun Staff and U.S. Freeskiing reports

Kirkwood Mountain Resort skier Craig Garbiel, considered one of the world’s best freeskiers, upheld his reputation this past weekend by finishing second in the 2008 Subaru Freeskiing World Championships at Alyeska, Alaska, on Saturday.

A Gardnerville resident, Garbiel finished with a score of 36.25 points, slightly lower than Kent Hyden, who won the event with a score of 36.63.

Squaw Valley skier Kevin O’Meara placed 19th with a score of 31.94, while Arne Backstrom, also of Squaw, was 30th (30.75) and Mike Vaughan of Alpine Meadows 57th (19), respectively.

Kirkwood skiers Jon Mullens and Josh Daiek placed 32nd and 59th. With the result, Daiek ended up winning the season-long U.S. Freeskiing Series title with 99 points. He finished with 10 more points than Canada’s Brett Crabtree.

In the women’s competition, Squaw Valley skier Jaclyn Paaso was the top Tahoe-area female, placing seventh with a score of 29.5 and finishing third overall on the season. Quincy Young of Squaw Valley placed ninth with a score of 29.

Whistler’s Crystal Rose-Lee won the women’s event with a score of 32.25, and Jennifer Ashton of Whistler, B.C., won the overall title for the third time.

The men’s event didn’t end without tragedy. John Nicoletta, a skier from Aspen, Colo., died while skiing Alyeska’s Headwall area on the first day of the competition last Friday. Nicoletta lost control after dropping a 20-foot cliff, then was carried into a exposed rocky area. He was 27.

For more information on the event, visit