The second event in the Eaglecrest Ski Area’s Great Alaskan Terrain Park Series featured the Slopestyle competitions and athletes did not disappoint.
“I thought it was pretty rad,” event announcer Sam Buck said. “It was a step up from the Jib-Jam we did earlier. There were a few places with room for improvement but it looked like everybody was having a good time.”
Jirra Kirby topped the Grom (younger athletes) Division with Nettle Fraley-Hart finishing second and Camdyn Landvik third. Other finalists were Ayah Fraley-Hart, and Forrest Davis. Tim Degener and Cayden Brennen were noted.
“Jirra is pretty intense,” Buck said. “In the sense that he is, like, three-feet tall and hitting the table that all the big kids are hitting. All the Groms were going for it.”
Max McVay won the Teen Division with Adrienne Audet second and Noah Spengler third. Other finalists were Brysen Mitchell and John Williams. Cian Fraley-Hart and Kaelin Deitrick were noted.
“Max did that double front flip off the roller,” Buck said. “That was just ridiculous. I don’t know why he would think that doing a front flip off the roller would be better than off the jump, much less a double, but that was rad. He was doing front flips off the bottom pole too. That is intense doing a flip off a single pipe rail.”
Barclay Weyhrauch won the Men’s Ski Division with Julien Minne second and Liam Crossett third. Other finalists were Jack Withington and Jesse West. Luke Heppnen and Will Pollard were noted.
“Barclay was getting really off-access with his 720’s,” Buck said. “In skier terminology that would be calling it ‘really corked.’ or ‘corked out.’ That was pretty sweet.”
Lennon Weller was the top Men’s Snowboard entrant with Chauncey Sorenson second and Evan Breen third. Garrett Hemmer just missed the podium.
“Lennon was doing the big backside 540 corked down the table,” Buck said. “That was really cool. Lennon is one of the old guys. He has been around forever, it was sick. Chauncey was getting seven’s and a lot of different grabs. He was getting a lot of speed out of the rail side and was still able to hit the jumps.”
The Women’s Snowboard final had just three finishers with Peyton Millay topping the list, Jessie Herman-Haywood second and Esther Bower third.
“Payton was doing big backside 360’s,” Buck said. “It sounds like a really chill trick but there are no girls in town that do that kind of stuff. That was super rad, doing three’s on the table.”
Herman-Haywood was noted for fast movement through the Jib line.
“All the girls deserve a shout out,” Buck said. “They all brought it to the table.”
A Mini Grom run was held with Rise Fraley-Hart, Riley Fick, Nate Fick, Bridger Lillard, Odin Kirby and Johnny Lamantia on the course, among others.
Race judges were Jake Liska, Devyn and Jason.
“I think one of the things people aren’t really ready for in Juneau is that everyone here seems to be under the impression that they are all winners,” Buck said. “It was hard to deal with parents that couldn’t understand the competition factor. If your kid didn’t make the finals he is still a winner for trying, but you have to lose to have winners. I never made finals until I turned 20. Competing is scary, and hard and different. It is a cruel reality that you are being judged and you are being judged against everyone else up there with you. I feel like the Terrain Park Series up here this year has been super awesome and I am so excited that Eaglecrest is putting forth that effort and taking the initiative for the free riding. And everybody is killing it up there too. All the little kids seem to be having a great time.”
The next event was scheduled to be the Banked Slalom on April 6 but insufficient snow has resulted in other options being considered. Eaglecrest will announce the final race soon.