March 22, 2006
JACKSON HOLE, WY — The first alpine freeskiing contest held at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in 10 seasons kicked off Wednesday. The Casper Bowl venue — amid the rugged Teton Range, 9,000-plus feet high — has a mix of everything, said forerunner and longtime local Rick "Sick Rick Armstrong. "I like the venue, he said. "It's really technical and there are a lot of options, and it is long enough to get people tired by the bottom.
With features like cliffs, rock bands and spines, a wide-open run-out, and a mogul field to finish, Wednesday's venue challenged some of the country's top freeskiers in the third stop on the Subaru U.S. Freeskiing Series.
"You've got to make your move and do it right, said Vail's Tyson Bolduc, the first place finisher in Wednesday's qualifier. He skied a technical top section, gap-jumped over an 80-foot cliff, and pointed his skis half way off an Alaska-style spine dropping 40 feet onto powder.
"There was no question at the end of the day who the best skiers were, said judge Charlotte Moats. "Tyson was head and shoulders above the field. Drew Tabke of Alta and Conor Horigan of Jackson Hole placed second and third respectively.
About 100 skiers — 70 men and 20 women — competed in the qualifying round. The field was cut by one third for today's championships. Athletes are vying for a $7,500 prize purse and a shot at the overall four-stop Subaru U.S. Freeskiing Series Title.
In the women's field, first-time competitor Crystal Wright from Jackson placed first by skiing fast and fluid, and staying on her feet. "This is like a dream come true today, Wright said. Jackson's Lynsey Dyer placed second and Carrie Jo Chernoff of Crested Butte is sitting in third place.
"Today was far more explosive than I thought it was going to be, said MSI event organizer and announcer John "Dak Williams. Williams said he looked forward to Thursday's event, however, where the terrain on the other side of the bowl offers more transitional features and the possibility for some high-speed skiing. Thursday's final field will be cut after the morning run. The top five women and top 10 men will compete in the super-finals to determine the inaugural Jackson Hole Freeskiing Open champion.
The four-stop 2006 Subaru U.S. Freeskiing series kicked off with the Subaru U.S. Freeskiing Nationals at Snowbird, UT, Subaru Telluride Freeskiing Open, and continues to the Subaru North American Freeskiing Championships in Kirkwood, CA.
Along with U.S. Freeskiing Series title sponsor Subaru of America and host mountain Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, strong support from tour partners Amstel Light, The North Face, Powder Magazine, Sportsinsurance.com, Nordica, and Smith Optics have allowed for a huge overall prize purse as well as expanded coverage of the competition. New for 2006, MSI is excited to present online, video-on-demand footage of all events, which will be uploaded weekly to www.usfreeskiing.com.
For registration, schedules, news, photos, videos, and other important event information, visit the newly re-designed www.usfreeskiing.com.
For a slideshow and videos of the Jackson Hole Freeskiing Open, click on the related articles below.
FINAL DAY RESULTS: CASPER BOWL, JACKSON HOLE
MARCH 23, 2006
1. Carrie Jo Chernoff (Crested Butte)
2. Lynsey Dyer (Sun Valley)
3. Jessica Baker (Jackson Hole)
4. Lynn Kennen (Alpine Meadows)
5. Suzanne Graham (Snowbird)
6. Alaina Huestis (Snowbird)
7. Kira Kitchens (Snowbird)
8. Tamara Guttman (Telluride)
9. Megan Weider (Alta/Snowbird)
10. Liz Marshall (Jackson Hole)
1. Tyson Bolduc (Vail)
2. Drew Tabke (Alta)
3. Jason Anthony (Blue Knob)
4. Craig Garbiel (Kirkwood)
4. Justin Modroo (Red Lodge)
6. Jesse Hall (Crested Butte)
7. Fred Mooney (Winter Park)
8. John Witherspoon (Jay Peak)
9. Griffin Post (Sun Valley)
>9. Conor Horigan (Jackson Hole)