Friday, February 8, 2008

Farrington locks up berth at Junior Worlds

Big-name riders ready for Tamarack


By JODY ZARKOS
Express Staff Writer

Wood River High School senior Kaitlyn Farrington, 18, has been invited to compete in the 2008 FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships at Khanty Mansisk, Russia, March 24-31.

Getting the bid was a roll of the dice for Farrington but things worked out for the best.

A member of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation's snowboard team, Farrington chose to compete in January's Winter X Games rather than going to the third stop of the Chevrolet Revolution Tour, which was the third qualifier for Junior Worlds.

"For an 18-year-old to be invited to the X Games--well, you can't turn that down," coach Andy Gilbert said. "She was a little on the bubble (for the Junior Worlds berth), and she finished fourth in the standings, but a younger girl declined her invitation."

In two Revolution Tour halfpipe competitions, Farrington finished second and fifth. The Next Chevy event is at Mt. Hood, Ore., Feb. 22-24.

Gilbert added that it is terrific that Farrington gets to go to Worlds, as last year's event, which she qualified for, was canceled. Farrington will compete in the halfpipe and big air contests on her Russia trip.

"This was on Kaitlyn's radar and it's great she's getting to go. It's good for every young rider to see what is out there."

Coming up this weekend, Farrington and three Sun Valley teammates, Heather Black, Scott Pike and Kenny Ballou, travel to Tamarack Resort near Donnelly for the Chevrolet Snowboarding Grand Prix. The course features a legendary superpipe with 22-foot walls, which is the Olympic standard for the 2010 Vancouver Games.

"Tamarack put on an amazing event last year and this year will be very competitive with riders positioning themselves for the next Olympic run," Gilbert said.

The halfpipe competition will showcase a number of U.S. snowboarding athletes, including Olympic silver medalist and 2008 X Games gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler and 2007 Grand Prix champion Tommy Czeschin.

The snowboardcross competition promises to be heated with three-time X Games champion Nate Holland, Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott and the legendary Shaun Palmer, who was just named to the U.S. team. Reigning snowboarding icon and two-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis will also compete.

"The Chevy Grand Prix is probably the longest-running snowboard series in the country and the world. So we show up to ride and be successful and to make sure our U.S. riders are filling up those podium spots," U.S. coach Mike Jankowski said.

New this year is a live Webcast of the event: check it out on WCSN.com.




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