Jackson Hole, WY, March 16, 2008
--After two days of weather delays, patience finally paid off for competitors at the Subaru Jackson Hole Freeskiing Open, as blue skies cracked the visibility wide open. A chosen few athletes who made it though the first round of competition took turns showcasing their best skills on Jackson Hole's tricky 'Third Tower' final and super final venue.
Emily Teague of Aspen, CO, put forth a technically consistent run this morning, which landed her in the coveted first position going into the super final rounds. She sealed her spot atop the podium with a solid and well-mapped run, which earned her an outstanding 95.01 points.
"Today was just awesome," glowed Teague. "These conditions were just amazing, the best I could imagine. Really, I just got out there and had fun!"
Teague's performance was enough to hold off runner-up Katherine Lange of Squaw Valley, CA, who finished in second place with 87.63 points. Michelle Manning of Alta, UT, skied consistently throughout the event, and rounded out the podium with 86.51 points.
The Men's final and super final runs today showcased the deep field of gifted international athletes. Mark Welgos of Aspen, CO, who lead the field at the end of yesterday's competition, skied technical lines throughout the final and super final rounds which won him the title with a total of 107.51 points. Second place went to Lars Chickering-Ayers of Mad River Glen, VT, and Rob La Pier of Whiteface Mtn, NY, finished third with 104.13 points.
"Today was a blast. I got off to a bit of a tough start after getting snagged by a surprise tree branch on my first run, but I managed to hang on for the lead going into the super final," said Welgos. "And the super final run went exactly as I planned…my line was exactly as I had planned."
This outstanding competition saw more than the anticipated share of antics but it was Lars Chickering-Ayers who won the coveted Tobias Lee Sickbird Award due in part to his consistency throughout the tour so far, and the fact that he had the highest scoring run of the day. The North Face Young Gun Award went to 23 year-old Vail, CO native Claudia Bouvier, who is normally found on the park-and-pipe contest circuit. This award recognizes young talent.
"These are just simply the best big mountain competition skiing conditions you could ask for," said competition judge Dion Newport. "The level of skiing at Jackson Hole this weekend has been phenomenal. I can't even recall the numbers of huge laid-out back flips I saw…I lost count after a while!"
The Subaru U.S. Freeskiing Tour continues at Snowbird, UT, March 18-23, 2008. Don't miss the live webcast of the final and super final rounds on
beginning 10am MST Friday, March 21 and re-broadcast at 6pm Friday and Saturday.
For more information, photos, video highlights and tour information log on to
2008 Subaru U.S. Freeskiing Series & Freeskiing World Tour Schedule
• Subaru Telluride Freeskiing Open, Telluride CO, February 7-10
• Subaru Squaw Valley Freeskiing Open, Squaw Valley, CA, February 13-16
• Subaru U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships, Crested Butte, CO, February 19-23 (World Tour #1)
• Subaru Jackson Hole Freeskiing Open, Jackson Hole, WY, March 13-16
• Subaru U.S. Freeskiing Nationals, Snowbird, UT, March 18-23 (World Tour #2)
• Subaru Freeskiing World Championships and Subaru U.S. Freeskiing Series Finals, Alyeska, AK, April 9-13 (World Tour #3)