Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Valley boys challenge at big mountain finals

North Parker takes junior season title

Community School junior North Parker, 17, amassed enough points to win the IFSA Junior Freeskiing season championship after the season-ending races for 11-17 year olds Saturday at Silver King Peak, Crystal Mountain, Wash.

Parker and Wood River High School freshman Andrew McKean, 15, were in the field of about 50 of the top junior big mountain skiers in North America during the Silver King Junior Freeskiing Championships April 2-4 at Crystal.

In his first big mountain contest, McKean was second in Thursday's qualifications and made it all the way to Saturday's top-12 finals. His coach, Jan Hegewald, said McKean made a spectacular run down Pinball's rock-strewn, 800 vertical foot, 45-degree pitch. McKean finished 11th overall.

Parker took a similar line in Saturday's first run and accomplished a 360 early in the course, only to hook up his skis on a 10-foot cliff and take an amazing 30-foot fall off the cliff. He emerged unscathed and didn't qualify for a second heat.

Nevertheless Parker's season-long point total gave the Sun Valley boy a season title after the full seven events.

"The level of skiing these Sun Valley kids showed was pretty amazing to see," said McKean's coach Hegewald.

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