Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy Freeride Team steamrolls into spring with impressive showing at Kirkwood
The Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy Freeride Team attended two events hosted by Kirkwood Mountain Resort, March 7-10.
The first event was the third stop of the Tahoe Junior Freeride Series, featuring athletes from all over California. The third and fourth days stepped up the freeride action showcasing athletes from all over the country for the International Freeskiers Association National event.
Sugar Bowl freeriders showed up in force for the first event, bringing more the 20 athletes from all categories to the steep and cliff riddled face of Vista.
Hayden McJunkin hucked her way to the bottom of the venue earning herself her fourth first-place finish of the season out of the girls’ 12-14 age group. Sam Martin showed his technical prowess with a third-place finish in the boys’ 12-14 age group. His peers Caelan Diermann (seventh), Bryer Chalstrom (ninth), Cole Davidson (11th), and Lucas Kern (25th) rounded out a stacked top 25.
In the girls’ 15-18 divison, Tallulah De Saint Phalle landed gracefully atop the podium with her first win of the year. Kailey Schantz nabbed a fourth-place finish followed by her teammates Lizzy Howard (seventh) and Momo Lloyd-Tucker (10th). The boys’ 15-18 field featured a very competitive group with Kris Roos flashing his way to fifth with big moves, paving the way for Miles Hardacre to style his way to ninth. Sugar Bowl Freeriders Peyton Worthington (31st), Travis Schaffer (34th), Jordy Guldman (37th) and Owen Manerud (40th) hung it out there with some of the biggest tricks, hucks and straight lines in the stacked field.
For the International Freeskiers & Snowboarders Association Kirkwood National event on March 9-10, the athletes were treated to new snow and the steep terrain of Kirkwood’s legendary Thunder Saddle. Qualifier day brought a clear morning turning to a very stormy afternoon of competition with the field of girls aged 15-18 persevering through difficult conditions to slash their way into finals day.
“The crew of Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy Freeriders all deserve a huge round of applause for their dedication to teamwork and sportsmanship, being the standout team to cheer the final nine girls into the finish corral in the raging blizzard,” a release from the Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Academy stated.
Finals day arrived with bluebird skies, and a huge field of excited athletes ready to charge. Howard put down a progressive run earning herself a second place finish in the girls’ 15-18 category, followed by Schantz in sixth, Lloyd-Tucker in eighth, and De Saint Phalle in ninth.
The older boys put on a show to remember with Roos (eigth), Hardacre (14th), and Jorde Guldman (19th) blasting massive airs into the finish and wowing the spectators. Travis Schaffer had a super technical run down a large double stage cliff and earned himself a 16th place finish.
The academys’ McJunkin added to her weekend haul with another first-place finish, followed by teammate Eliza Gould in third place.
In the boys’ 12-14 category Tyler “Dubs” Wolin led the charge with a flowy and creative run, scoring an 11th-place finish. Wolin was followed by teammates Diermann in 20th and Davidson in 29th.
“Thanks to all parents, athletes and supporters as the team excitedly prepares for a last chance to earn points to qualify for North American Championships at Kicking Horse, BC April 11-14, 2019,” said the academy in a release.
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