Something was different in a good way about the Sun Valley home freestyle snowboard event last weekend. Regional boarders actually respected Baldy's halfpipe as a legitimate venue, for the first time.
"Some of the Park City kids said it was the best pipe of the Intermountain series," said Andrew Gilbert, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Snowboard Team program director.
Gilbert singled out his coaching staff in enabling the program to put on such a large event on Baldy. Over 100 boarders from Utah and Wyoming joined Saturday's Rail Jam on Roundhouse Slope and Sunday's halfpipe event in the Warm Springs arena.
The coaches pitched in, and it wasn't a bad effort from team riders either. Bellevue's Kaitlyn Farrington won her Junior Women's division (16-17) on the rails and in the pipe.
"She's been killing it all season and is only getting better," said Gilbert. On the rails, Farrington is challenging her male counterparts by stepping onto the same rails they hit.
Her teammate Katie Fiaschetti of Ketchum was right behind Farrington in second in both events. Heather Black took care of winning her Youth Women for the team as well.
For the guys, Sidney Parkhill was the king of the younger pipe riders, winning the Junior Men's class. "He had the run of his life," said Gilbert. "Smooth and big, with landings that were on the money."
In the men's Open class, Austen Butler took first with impressive amplitude—ten feet above the lip, Gilbert estimated. Butler, fresh from a trip to Korea for Junior World Championships, needed a big day on Baldy because his frequent traveling has limited the points he needs for a berth in the national championships.
On Sunday, Butler delivered with consecutive tricks—a huge 900, a difficult backside 540 and a final corked 720 that gave him the easy win.
On the rails, Scott Pike was the best Junior Man. "The kid lives, eats and breathes snowboarding. He's obsessed," and that obsession paid off on the rails this weekend, said Gilbert.
Several other local riders placed high in both events. For more photos of the event, check the March 15 Local Life paper.
Rail Jam—Open Men: 2—Jens Peterson. 3—Jeremy Black. Ruggie Boys (7 and under): 1—Bryce Gillespie. Grommet Boys (8-9): 1—Roger Figge. Menehune Boys (10-11): 3—Jon Paris. 4—Chase Josey. 8—Riley Sibbach. 10—Parker Morris. 11—Jesse Forgeon. 14—Calder Zarkos. Breaker Boys (12-13): 3—Mattias Fostvedt. 5—Ross Bird. 6—Colton Jones. 7—Mal Prior. 8—Hayden Burdge. 9—Reed Burdge. 10—Gavin Admire. 12—Sam Strong. 13—Nick Howard. 14—Cody Swenke. Youth Men (14-15): 2—Scott Fairfax. 8—Wyatt Bunce. 9—Cary Reinemann. 11—Kenny Ballou. 12—John Martin. 16—Peter Driscoll. 17—Rusty Williams. Junior Men (16-17): 1—Scott Pike. 9—Mike Kunz. 11—Sidney Parkhill. Men's Jams (18-22): 5—Milton Allen.
Menehune Girls: 1—Taylor Figge. Breaker Girls: 3—Josephine Bunce. 4—Bria Gillespie. Youth Women: 2—Heather Black. Junior Women: 1—Farrington. 2—Fiaschetti. 5—Katarina Demovicova.
Halfpipe—Open Men: 1—Butler. 3—Peterson. 4—Black. 5—Spencer Cordovano. 6—Cory Smith. Ruggie Boys: 1—Gillespie. Grommet Boys: 1—Figge. Menehune Boys: 2—Josey. 6—Andy Mallea. 8—Morris. 9—Forgeon. 10—Zarkos. 11—Jackson Long. 12—Riley Sibbach. 13—Cole Caminetti. Breaker Boys: 2—Jones. 3—Prior. 6—Bird. 8—Hayden Burdge. 9—Admire. 10—Fostvedt. 11—Reed Burdge. 12—Strong. 13—Howard. Youth Men: 4—Martin. 5—Ballou. 9—Fairfax. 10—Bunce. 11—Reinemann. 12—Austin Cruz. 15—Driscoll. 16—Quinn Baser. 18—Fynn Jako Funke-Riehle. 19—Bill Rheinschild. 20—Williams. 21—Britton Stevenson. Junior Men: 1—Parkhill. 2—Pike. 8—Kunz. 10—Dickey. 12—Shutz. Men's Jam's: 2—Allen. Senior Men: 1—Colin Carroll. 3—Ben Verge. Menehune Girls: 1—Noelani Garing. 2—Taylor Figge. 3—Kelly Collins. Breaker Girls: 3—Josephine Bunce. 4—Gillespie. Youth Women: 1—Heather Black. Junior Women: 1—Farrington. 2—Fiaschetti. 3—Demovicova. 6—Cecilia Lico.