Five of the Red Mountain Freeski team members competed in the latest IFSA national big mountain event in Golden from Feb. 19 to 22.
Originally the competition was sanctioned to take place in Fernie but due to very poor snow and weather conditions the event was moved to Kicking Horse. Academy team members and Rossland locals Logan Merringer and Orion Humpherys started off on Friday, competing in the 12 to 14 girls and boys’ qualification.
Merringer skied a strong and fluid line down the venue qualifying 13th and Humpherys demonstrated strong skiing and nice airs to qualify in third place just 0.40 points off the top spot. The other three Academy skiers, Barclay Desjardins, Jackson Stewart and Jacob Tooke started off their qualification on Saturday in the 15-18 girls and boys’ qualification.
Desjardins skied a unique line but unfortunately hit his bottom air and had a fall on the landing taking him out of the finals. Jackson demonstrated strong skiing in all five of the judging categories qualifying in 13th.
Tooke skied very similar to Stewart and qualified in 11th place. The four skiers who made the cutline skied in the finals on Sunday. In the morning, the 12 to 14 boys compteted. Merringer skied a challenging line, had a fall in the landing and took a tumble but was all right and skied out.
Humpherys skied a similar line to Merringer and stayed on his feet to finish in a promising fourth place. Tooke and Stewart both skied very technical lines in the more difficult area of the venue — both skiing very similar. The results were tight, Stewart placed ninth, only 0.13 points behind Tooke who landed in eighth place.
Overall, the academy skiers that stayed on two skis racked up a lot of points towards the North American Championships in Squaw Valley California in April.