The North Face Park and Pipe Series presented by Nissan made its final stop at Heavenly last week and Julia Krass of New Hampshire, who represented the U.S. in the inaugural slopestyle competition at the Olympic Games in Sochi, had the highest scores of the day for both men and women.
Kirkwood skier Kathryn Alexander, the first to drop in for Sunday’s finals, ended the day with a sixth-place finish. The 19-year-old was one of eight female and 12 male competitors to qualify for the finals at Ante Up Terrain Park.
On the men’s side, Scott Nelson from Connecticut took the top spot on the podium by scoring a 92.00 on his first run with a switch left tail 270 and pretzel to forward on the down rail, a right double underflip 900 rev-mute and a switch left 900 mute grab. He added a blind 810 out of the canon rail and switch right tail 270 into the second down of the quad kink on the bottom rail section. His second run scored an 89.67.
Second and third place were separated by only one point as Carson LeHouillier, from Incline Village, scored an 89.33 and Utah’s Jonah Williams earned an 88.33.
The lineup consisted of up-and-coming athletes from across the country with constantly expanding resumes, Each competitor had two runs to show their best tricks on the slopestyle course.
On her first run, Krass came out with a score of 91.33 and sealed her first-place win by scoring a 94.00 on her second run with a lipside on the downrail, two 720’s, a blind 270 off the cannon rail and a front swap on the down box.
Pennsylvania’s Jackie Kling placed second with her best score of the day an 86.33 on her first run, and in third place was Nadia Gonzales from New Mexico with an 80.00 in her second run.
Alexander made the first run down the five-feature course under bluebird skies and spring conditions. “I tried to keep it simple because I’ve been injured,” Alexander said after throwing down some impressive left side 3’s and rail slides.
Alexander also said she was thrilled with the chance to compete close to home.
“It’s awesome that Heavenly got the last stop because I really wanted to do it, but all the other stops were too far away,” she said. “The park staff did a really good job setting it up last minute.”
She and others from last week’s competition will travel to Italy at the end of March for the Junior Worlds.
“It’s great meeting a group of kids who are just there to have fun,” Alexander said. “It’s a really fun event and I can’t wait to do it next year.”
This was the fourth stop of the series that give amateurs the opportunity to compete against the pros. Other stops included Stratton Mountain, N.H., Whistler Blackcomb, B.C., and Copper Mountain, Colo.