Friday, December 21, 2007

Birthday blast: Farrington nabs X-Games berth

Express Staff Writer

If you think back on birthdays, it's pretty hard to remember what you did one year to the next, but Kaitlyn Farrington's 18th birthday on Tuesday will surely be burned on her memory for years to come.

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation snowboarder, who is also a member of the U.S. Halfpipe Rookie team, got a call from U.S. coach Mike Jankowski that day telling her she had been invited to compete at the Winter X-Games in Aspen, Colo., next month.

"It's really exciting, just turning 18 and finding out I made the X-Games," Farrington said. "I watch them on TV every year and always wondered if I would make it. I am so stoked."

So are her friends and teammates.

Sun Valley coach Andy Gilbert said people are fired up for the friendly Farrington and the fact that something she loves to do is taking her to new places and providing her with fresh challenges.

"Everyone is excited for her; Kaitlyn's teammates, coaches and friends. It's really exciting to see the kids get opportunities like this through their riding. (Coaches) AJ (Grabos) and Jacob (Tyler) really deserve a lot of the credit, doing so much traveling with her last year and getting her in this position."

Gilbert said Farrington's sixth-place finish in halfpipe at the Chevrolet U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Breckenridge Resort last week pushed her over the top for invite to the X-Games.

"It just makes sense for her to go to Aspen. The coaches are really enjoying her and she's riding really well," Gilbert said. "What a rad birthday gift."

The EXPN Winter X-Games are scheduled to take place January 21-27 in Aspen.

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