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BSSEF freeride athletes finish season strong



A pond skimmer executes a front flip after successfully navigating the pond skim course on the Ambush Headwall. PHOTO BY DOUG HARE

By Doug Hare EBS STAFF

Easter Sunday marked the end of the 2018-19 ski season for Big Sky Resort. It was a quiet end to a busy season, with a few skiers enjoying the last day of spring skiing and many bunny ears spotted from the chairlifts.

The day before was a livelier affair with throngs of revelers cheering on participants in the pond skim, held every year on the Ambush Headwall. Seventy-five pond skimmers entertained the raucous crowd with great runs, and some not-so-great runs, until lightning cut the party short. A video of sit skier Robert Enigl’s impressive run has drawn nation-wide attention.

While the lifts are not spinning until the mountain biking season begins, there is still activity at the base area as a complete renovation of the Mountain Mall has begun and is slated to be finished by next Thanksgiving.

From April 9-13, the BSSEF freeride team had many athletes travel to Golden, British Columbia to compete in the 2019 IFSA North American Junior Freeride Championships at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

“NorAms were a huge success for the Big Sky freeride team. We put down some really good runs as a team and the level of competition was very high,” said Coach Wallace Casper. “Just being invited to NorAms alone is a huge accomplishment for these athletes given that IFSA only invited the 150 best riders in all of North America to compete.”

Casper singled out Isaac Singer, Nehalem Manka, Duncan Gentry and Dawson Raden for their strong performances in Canada, noting that the 15-18 ski divisions were extremely competitive.

“I am stoked with my performance this past season, especially at NorAms, and I attribute much of my success to the support of my amazing coaches,” said Nehalem Manka. “I am also very proud of how the Big Sky team as a whole performed and am looking forward to next season and continuing to progress my skiing with the help of my coaches and teammates.”

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