Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sun Valley riders shake things up at Revolution Tour

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation snowboarders heated up the frigid clime of the Iron Range with smoking hot performances at the Chevrolet Revolution Tour at Spirit Mountain, Minn. Jan. 11-13.

Kaitlyn Farrington, 18, qualified for the women's halfpipe finals as the #1 rider. She finished second overall behind Ellen Feldman of Avon, Colo. Feldman had a "breakthrough run," Sun Valley coach Andy Gilbert said.

Feldman was scored out at 25.8 to Farrington's 24.5.

"Kaitlyn had a sweet backside 540 to a frontside 540," Gilbert said. "She looked really comfortable in there with some good amplitude and nice combinations."

Heather Black finished 14th overall in the women's halfpipe with a score of 15.1.

"All our kids did exceptionally well," Gilbert said. "We had five of the seven make the finals and Heather was right there."

Scott Pike and Kenny Ballou recorded top-10 performances in men's halfpipe with Pike riding to sixth with a 26.1 and Ballou coming in ninth at 18.1.

"They were really good results. Making the finals at this level is huge," Gilbert said. "They are both learning how to pace themselves and I think they are both one trick away from the podium."

Scott Fairfax finished 49th.

Chase Josey pulled down stellar numbers across the board from the judges in a 30-point performance, which gave him first place in the junior jam class. Teammate Ryan Roemer rode to third place.

None of the Sun Valley riders qualified for the finals in Sunday's slopestyle event, but Black was right on the bubble with 10th in the women's class. Pike, in 14th, finished just out of the top 12 to advance. Ballou was 48th and Fairfax 52nd. Josey and Roemer were sixth and eighth in Junior division.

"In slopestyle we are where we were five years ago in pipe," Gilbert remarked. "We badly need a park at home for training. Slopestyle is not going to go away. The kids did ridiculously well for having no training. Heather is a 360 away from making the finals, and Scott is a 720 away."

Copper Mountain in Colorado hosts the next Revolution Tour, Jan. 20-22.

World Cup riders

In other snowboarding news, SVSEF alum Graham Watanabe, now racing out of Park City, finished 16th in a World Cup snowboardcross Sunday at Bad Gastein, Austria. Watanabe was the fourth overall American. Shaun Palmer of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., placed second.

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