Over 150 athletes road the lift to the top of Link’s Line on Granite Mt. last week to compete in the 2015 Canadian Open Freeskiing championships.

Freeskiers take flight at Red Mountain

Rossland freeskiers soared to top placings at the 2015 Canadian Open Freeskiing championship at Red Mountain on the weekend.

Rossland freeskiers soared to top placings at the 2015 Canadian Open Freeskiing championship at Red Mountain on the weekend.

About 160 participants competed in the three-day competition that began Thursday with the Male and Female ages 7-11 and 12-14 dropping down Links’ Line for their first runs on Granite Mountain.

In freeskiing competition, skiers are scored on a combined total of two runs that are judged on a competitor’s creativity in selecting natural terrain features and aggressive lines. The point system is based on five categories where judges give credit for line choice, control, fluidity, technique and aggression.

In the Female 7-11 category Rossland’s Erin Flood led the whole way scoring 33.7 on her first run and 31.5 on her second go to capture gold with a 65.2 total. Meadwo Webber meanwhile rocketed from fourth place after her opening run to count 27.5 in her second run and finish in second with a 53.6 total.

Audry Hall of Rossland took fourth place.

In Male 7-11, the Rossland freeskiers sat 1,2,3 after the opening heat, with Xander Bankes leading with  a 31.6 effort, Bodi Kuhn right behind him at 30.8 and Toby Hillis in third with a 29.9 run. An unfortunate fall would put Hillis out of the medals in seventh, but Bankes and Kuhn would finish first and second with final scores of 64.4 and 62.6 respectively. Blaise Swain of Rossland finished fourth, while Simon Impey took sixth spot.

In female 12-14 Rossland’s Samara Kuhn had a strong second run with a tally of 27.4, that moved her from fourth into second place, 4.3 points behind gold medalist Anna Thompson of Seattle who finished with 58.8. Simon Hillis of Rossland led the Male 12-14 category after the first run with a 30.9 score, but trouble on the second go-around dropped him out of contention, dropping him to 15th place.

Leif Mumma of Palmer, Wash. won the event with a 62.23, while Josh Gold of Tahoe City placed second and Troy Rozsypalek third. Bohdi Ellis-Kusy had an excellent second run scoring 31.5, and lifting him from 23rd into ninth place overall.

The 15-18-year-old freeskiers laid down their first runs on Friday, and Rossland’s Jessie Fuller trailed Nelson’s Savannah Leishman by just 0.4 points after scoring a 30.1 in the opening run. However, Fuller stumbled in the second heat dropping her from second to ninth place, while Vancouver’s Carlene Coughlin had a tremendous final run of 32.5 and a combined 61.8 for the gold. Andrea Byrne of Fernie claimed silver with 59.9 while Leishman settled for bronze with a combined score of 59.70.

In Male 15-18 Nelson freeskier Jona Caney laid down a brilliant effort in his first plunge down Links’ scoring a 32.0 to take first place after the opening run, but Caney would get disqualified in his final heat, to put him out of the running. Tom Peiffer of West Vancouver scored the highest run of the day laying down a 35.4 on his way to gold with a 66.27 total. Whistler freeskiers Jackson and Cooper Bathgate captured second and third with scores of 64.7 and 64.53, while Rossland skier Sean Hogarth placed ninth with a combined point total of 61.37.

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