Squaw Valley US Freeskiing Open Results
Competitive big mountain freeskiers pushed the limits Friday at the Subaru Squaw Valley USA Freeskiing Open while crowds of sun-drenched spectators indulged in the top-shelf performance. Athletes took turns negotiating The Headwall’s ominous vertical playground of wind-buffed stashes, cliffs, and chimney-wide chutes for what became a tit-for-tat showdown that lasted through the entire day’s final rounds.
Elyse Saugstad of Alyeska, Alaska, won the women’s title with a total of 97.51 points, with Squaw Valley’s Allie Donovan taking second with 92.26 points, and Crested Butte, Colorado’s Tanya Christensen claiming third place with 89.14 points.
The men’s competition was an explosive line-up of powerhouse skiing, unexpected backflips, and plenty of crowd-pleasing air time as skiers sent themselves into flight over 80-foot rock faces.
Kirkwood, California’s Craig Garbiel claimed victory, sticking several extremely technical line choices and blowing the judges away with a series of perfectly executed multi-hit cliff drops, garnering 115.01 points. On his heels were Mt. Bachelor, Oregon’s Jesse Bryan with 110.76 points and Bryce Newcomb of Sun Valley, ID, who put in a hard-charging performance to earn third place, with 110.63 total points.
“Squaw Valley is always a great stop on the tour, the new talent just pours out of the woodwork here,” said Dak Williams, event MC and MSI’s Director of Winter Sports Group. “Today was an exceptional event, with everyone pushing each other to the max.”
The women’s Finals round started the day on a high note, as Squaw Valley’s big mountain female legend Jamie Burge unleashed her toolbox of skills, airplane-turning down the upper section, and sweeping into the corner pocket of JT’s face before perfectly negotiating a dodgy double-cliff drop line. Her impressive performance failed to intimidate her competitors, as one after another, the women ripped arcs down The Headwall’s face and cleared gaping elevator drops.
“It was pretty unnerving standing up at the top and seeing just how much everyone was going for it,” said event champion Saugstad, “As it came down to it, I just took a deep breath and did what I knew I was capable of. I wanted to ski an aggressive line, but to also ski smart. It worked out to stick to my game plan.”
Griffin Post, winner of last week’s Subaru Telluride Freeskiing Open, laid it all on the line with unique, technical line choices and soaring airs in finals to win the coveted Tobias Lee Memorial Sick Bird Award.
“After I ran into some trouble with my first run, I had nothing to lose going into today,” explained Post. “Sitting in 13th spot, I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to climb back up the ladder, so I just put it all on the line.”
MSI will be post comprehensive same-day video coverage of the final rounds on the newly redesigned and recently launched www.usfreeskiing.com, which features state of the art video and photo player technology. The daily uploads of video, photos, news and results of each day’s competition action will be available after each day concludes.
STAY TUNED AS THE SUBARU U.S. FREESKIING SERIES TRAVELS TO CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO, NEXT WEEK FOR THE LONGEST RUNNING EXTREME FREESKIING CONTEST IN THE SPORT’S HISTORY.
DON’T MISS LIVE SAME-DAY COVERAGE OF THE FINAL ROUNDS ON WWW.USFREESKIING.COM