Local sports briefs

Posted: Friday, April 02, 2004

Call ties for sixth in O'Neill Xtreme Freeride Contest

Juneau snowboarder Ashley Call finished in a 10-way tie for sixth place at the O'Neill Xtreme Freeride Contest held Sunday near Verbier, Switzerland.

The event, commonly called Verbier, took place on a peak called Bec des Rosses in the Alps and is considered one of the top extreme snowboarding events in the world. This year's event was supposed to take place on March 19-20, but poor weather delayed it more than a week.

Steve Klassen of Mammoth Mountain, Calif., won his second straight men's title and fifth overall. Klassen, 39, won 3,000 Euros for his victory. The other winners were American Julie Larsen for the women snowboarders and Swiss skier Jean-Yves Michellod, who won the first ski title awarded in the 9-year-old event.

Call, 24, won this event in 2000 and took fourth place in 2002. This was his fifth time competing in the event, where snowboarders take 40-foot jumps off cliffs and are judged on how difficult their lines are down the mountain and how well they attack them.

Tompkins fifth in downhill at U.S. Disabled Championships

Juneau's Joe Tompkins took fifth place overall and fourth among monoskiers in the downhill race at the U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Championships held March 3-7 in Vail, Colo.

Tompkins just signed the paperwork this week for his promotion to the U.S. Disabled Ski Team's A Team, after five years on its C Team.

In the downhill race on March 3, Tompkins posted a raw time of 59.02 seconds and an adjusted time of 48.78 seconds. Monoskier Kevin Bramble of Truckee, Calif., won the race with a raw time of 54.94 seconds and an adjusted time of 46.09. Blind skier Bart Bunting of Australia took second place overall.

Tompkins was a DNF in the Super-G race held on March 4. Bunting won the Super-G, while Chris Devlin-Young of Campton, N.H., was the top monoskier and second overall.

In the giant slalom race held March 6, Tompkins was 15th overall and sixth among monoskiers with a two-run raw time of 2:11.71 and an adjusted time of 1:50.53. Standing skier Michael Milton of Australia won the race with an adjusted time of 1:36.56, while Tyler Walker was the top monoskier in sixth place with an adjusted time of 1:41.75.

In the slalom race held March 7, Tompkins finished 16th overall and fifth among monoskiers with a two-run raw time of 2:22.97 and an adjusted time of 1:47.52. Devlin-Young won the race with an adjusted time of 1:27.11.

While his U.S. Disabled Ski Team teammates headed to Italy for the final Disabled World Cup races of the year, Tompkins chose to compete in the USSA Disabled Eastern Regional Championships held March 15-17 in Waterville Valley, N.H. Since his son, Donald, was competing in the Class 3A state basketball tournament for Metlakatla High School later that week, Tompkins said he wanted to stay stateside so he could later make the trip to Anchorage to watch his son play ball.

In the Super-G race held March 15, Tompkins tied for seventh overall in raw time (adjusted times weren't available) and he was the top disabled skier in the race. Several top junior and masters racers were in the event.

Tompkins also was the third-fastest monoskier in both the giant slalom on March 16 and slalom races on March 17, trailing only Carl Burnett and Nick Catanzarite in both races. Tompkins was ninth overall in the giant slalom and 16th overall in the slalom races.

Lee is second in U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships

Juneau's Elijah Lee, who lists his hometown as Eaglecrest, Alaska, broke up a Colorado sweep of the top-five positions to claim second place in the 13th Annual U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships held Feb. 28-29 at Crested Butte, Colo.

Lee, who turned 30 on the first day of the competition, posted a combined score of 124.6 points for his two runs down The Hourglass, which is normally closed to skiers at Crested Butte. The only other time The Hourglass has been used for competition was for the 1997 event. The Hourglass features 57-degree rock outcroppings along the sides of the run and heavily wooded cliffs.

Gary Hicks, 34, of Crested Butte won the men's competition with a combined score of 128.1 points, while Kiffor Berg of Aspen, Colo., took third with 118.1 and defending champion Jack Hannan of Crested Butte was fourth with 117.3.

Laura Ogden, 25, of Tacoma, Wash., won the women's title with a score of 100.5.

Beedle takes third, fourth at U.S. Telemark Championships

Matt Beedle, a Juneau resident who is attending graduate school at the University of Colorado, took third place in the classic race and fourth place in the sprint classic at the U.S. Telemark Ski Championships held Feb. 26-29 at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Beedle, who also took 13th place in the slalom and 15th in the giant slalom races, is a member of the U.S. Telemark Ski Team and was invited to join the national team last month for World Cup races in Norway. But Beedle chose to return to school instead.

"I am working 24/7 in my grad program and skiing has been on the back burner lately. So, nationals will be my only results for the year," Beedle wrote in an e-mail. "But, I'm psyched at how I did considering a near absence of training."

In the classic race - which is a longer, single-run race with giant slalom gates, distance jumping, cross-country skating and a 360-degree reipjlekke (loop of rope) turn - Beedle actually had the second-fastest time. But he was penalized on one gate and one jump, and that dropped him into third place behind Chris Rice of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Reid Sabin of Whitefish, Mont.

In the sprint classic race - a shorter, two-run version of the classic - Beedle took fourth place behind Sabin, Rice and Peter McMahon of Whitefish, Mont. Beedle was penalized two jumps on his first run and three gates on his second run.

In the slalom race - similar to an alpine two-run slalom race - Beedle had the second-fastest time in the first run, but he missed a gate in the second run and had to double back to get it. Rice won the race.

In the giant slalom race - also similar to an alpine giant slalom event but with the addition of a jump - Beedle was fourth after the first run, but again missed a gate in the second run. Sabin won the race.

While he's at school working on his masters in geography with an emphasis in climatology research, Beedle has been training with the University of Colorado's triathlon team. He competed in a couple of winter triathlons - where nordic skiing replaces swimming - and plans to compete in the Collegiate National Triathlon Championships at the end of April.

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