Tahoe junior freeskiers fare well in Snowbird | SierraSun.com

Tahoe junior freeskiers fare well in Snowbird

Staff report

Junior freeskiers from the Lake Tahoe area represented the region well in the IFSA National Big Mountain Competition in Snowbird, Utah, from Jan. 17-19.

Competing for the Far West division, the local contingent earned four podium finishes, with Sugar Bowl skiers Sydney Gradeff and Xander Guldman claiming top spots in their respective classes, and Squaw Valley's Jane Nall and Elena Silverman placing second and third, respectively.

Tahoe athletes dominated the 12-14 female ski category, sweeping the top six spots on Snowbird's Silver Fox. Gradeff topped the podium with a two-run combined score of 65.47. Nall was second with a score of 64.23 and Silverman was third at 61.87.

They were followed by Chloe Nicolaou of Squaw Free in fourth, and Squaw Valley's Alle Whitney (fifth), Tarni Schott (sixth) and Rebecca Noy (eighth).

Guldman captured the win in a huge field of 90 athletes in the 15-18 male ski category, earning a high score of 66.73 between his two runs. Grifen Moller of the Rocky Mountain region was second with a score of 63.83.

Ross Tester of Squaw Valley placed sixth and Eric Bourke of Alpine Meadows was eighth, followed in the top 20 by local Far West competitors Cody Atwood (11th), McKay Richards (12th), Troy Kalange (13th), Louis Norris (14th) and Blake Lawton (16th).

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Turner Drummond of Alpine Meadows finished fifth in the 12-14 male ski category, receiving a score of 61.0. Hank Bates of the Altabird team took the win with a 65.88. Sugar Bowl skier Sam Beilman placed 10th in a field of 44 athletes. Other Far West skiers in the top 20 included Westan Lubin (11th), Ryland Lubin (12th), Zach Saito (13th), Trevor Silverman (16th) and Michael Dailey (17th).

In the 15-18 female ski group, which featured 31 athletes, Annika Winans of Squaw Valley finished sixth with a score of 60.83. Edie Mason of Altabird claimed the win with a 64.13. Squaw's Emma DesLauriers was seventh, Ella Barzel was ninth, Erica Backhus 10th and Mia Winans 19th.