By Amanda Eggert EBS Staff Writer
ALTA, Wyo. – Five of 15 athletes from the Big Sky Freeride team podiumed at the Grand Targhee Junior Freeskiing Inter-Mountain Cup on Feb. 6 and 7, which drew approximately 100 skiers and snowboarders 10 to 18 years old.
“We put a ton of kids in the top 10,” said BSF coach Cooper Raasch. “We did incredible.”
BSF athletes compete at International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association events throughout the Rockies, from Kicking Horse, British Columbia to Taos, N.M. And BSF has had a strong season so far. “This year has been a banner year for Big Sky Freeride,” Raasch said. “We’ve podiumed at every event we’ve gone to so far.”
Athletes are scored on each of two runs, which are then added to determine their total score. There are five categories to guide competition judges in their scoring: line, technique, control, fluidity, and style and energy.
A BSF athlete finished in the top six in each of the age groups at Grand Targhee, Raasch said. Snowboarder Holden Samuels was given the coveted “sick bird” award. “It means you were above and beyond what everybody else that you competed against did,” Raasch said. Samuels earned nearly double the points of the second place finisher.
The Big Sky Freeride team will compete on their home turf at the Headwaters Spring Runoff March 11-13. All of the competitors will ski terrain off the Lone Tree chair, and finalists will take on the cliffs, chutes and gullies of the Headwaters terrain during the finals.