Heavenly Foundation freestyle skiers compete on home snow
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A lack of snow and warm conditions didn’t keep Heavenly Mountain Resort from hosting its first Far West Freestyle event of the season last weekend. The races hosted by the Heavenly Ski and Snowboard Foundation freestyle team featured 45 participants — including 11 HSSF skiers.
“All the kids really liked the course — I can’t even believe that we got an event off in these conditions,” HSSF freestyle coach Erik Skinner said. “I can’t believe with Heavenly the way it is that the mountain was able to help us pull it off.”
The event featured two-run singles competition on Saturday with one-run singles and duals on Sunday — Sunday’s singles races served as seeding for the duals races later in the day. The turnout marked a high for a Far West Freestyle event at Heavenly over the past few years.
“Things went really well — there were no injuries whatsoever, which was awesome,” Skinner said. “We had a week to build the course and didn’t train on it at all.”
Three HSSF skiers delivered top-10 finishes in all three events — Zach Shearer, Gabbi Fisher and Mia Idzorek. On the boys side, Shearer took fourth (with a score of 65.12) in singles on Saturday, fourth in singles on Sunday (67.90) and third in duals — he lost to eventual champion Jack Kariotis of Olympic Valley in the semifinals.
In the girls races, Fisher was Heavenly’s top finisher each event. She took fifth (59.06) in the first round of singles, fourth in the second round of singles (62.80) and third in duals — she lost to champion S.J. Grundon in the semis.
Mia Idzorek also delivered top-10 finishes in each event over the weekend. Idzorek placed eighth in all three events.
“Our older skiers did pretty well,” Skinner said. “They tried a little harder since it was on their home course and a home event — that’s always pretty important. When they’re comfortable a little bit more they can push themselves a little bit more.”
Karli Anderson competed in all three events, finishing 15th in singles on both days and making it to the first round of duals. Hannah Lucas (18th, 4.60) and Michaela Thimot (19th, 1.17) each competed in singles on Saturday — it was Thimot’s first time racing at an event.
On the boys side, Range Chapman was Heavenly’s second-best finisher in two of the three events. Chapman took 11th (44.99) in the first round of singles, 12th (39.69) in the second round and advanced to the second round in duals.
Jimmy Roberts competed for Heavenly in singles on Saturday. He skied to a third-place finish with a score of 76.03.
First-time boys skiers Emerson Hansa-Beavers, Aaron Budnik and Andy Budnik raced in all three events for HSSF. All three had their best finishes in singles on Sunday — Hansa-Beavers placed 17th, Aaron Budnik took 19th and Andy Budnik finished 21st.
“They got down and I was very proud on their second runs that everybody pushed themselves, tried to do better and tried to push their own envelopes a little bit,” Skinner said.
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