IFSA News

2017 Kirkwood North American Championship Recap

175 IFSA Athletes traveled to Kirkwood Mountain Resort for the 2017 Junior NorAm Championship last week. These talented rippers were awarded The Cirque, a permanently closed zone littered with playful terrain and steeps. This venue had never been used before in junior competition, and we were eager to see the creative lines thrown down by our junior athletes.

Wednesday started out fine, with a beautiful, breezy day of inspection. Athletes were given the afternoon to craft their lines and take a closer look at the forbidden terrain of The Cirque.

Kirkwood inspection

And then came the snow...3 days of snow. With howling, gale force winds atop the peak, we were forced to grapple with weather delays, avalanche control, and lift closures. The athletes were distracted by beacon clinics, a screening of TGR's latest film, Tight Loose, and a seminar on how to prevent concussions.

And still, the storm raged on...

We attempted to run the competition on Saturday afternoon, but due to deteriorating visibility and high winds, we were forced to cancel. Again. Sunday dawned crystal clear and cold, and as Ski Patrol had been working hard on The Cirque all week, we were ready to begin a 1-run competition for all athletes and divisions on Sunday. 

Kirkwood Weather

To pull this off, we considered a very creative approach to the competition. For the first time in IFSA history, we ran a dual competition side by side on the steep flanks of The Cirque. 

Additional judges were pulled in to accomplish this feat and the 12-14 division ran next to the 15-18 divisions simultaneously. The vibe was high in the start gates and the spectators enjoyed the madness of two athletes descending at once and completing their run in one of our two finish corrals.

Kirkwood Finish

Having spent most of the week cooped up inside, the Champs athletes were eager to throw down and show our two judging panels their most creative lines. It was a long day to pack four days of freeride into one, but with everyone pitching in we pulled it off! For a week we'll never forget, thanks to all the coaches, athletes, parents, and the staff of Kirkwood for persisting despite the extremely challenging conditions.

Kirkwood Athlete

For and IFSA Facebook Photo Gallery: Click Here
For photos from Chris Saito: Click Here

2017 Kirkwood Noram Champions

For complete results: Click Here

Ski Champions

12-14 Female

1st: Lily Bradley
2nd: Avery Bernholtz
3rd: Ellie Snow Armstrong
4th: Scout Mattison
5th: Britta Winans

12-14 Male

1st: Wei Tien Ho
2nd: Joey Leonardo
3rd: Simon Hillis
4th: Holden Bradford
5th: William Shacter

15-18 Female

1st: Olivia McNeill
2nd: Anna Yamauchi
3rd: Mia Winans
4th: Ava Seelenfreund
5th: Micah Morris

15-18 Male

1st: Jon Patterson
2nd: Jesse Howden
3rd: Ross Tester
4th: Justin Carpenter
5th: Leif Mumma

Snowboard Champions

12-14 Female

1st: Bryce Manning
2nd: Mia Farley
3rd: Hayley Houston

12-14 Male

1st: Dagan Schwartz
2nd: Tilden Wooley
3rd: Soren Kraus
4th: Heath Springman
5th: Tavo Sadeg

15-18 Female

1st: Stacy Gaskill
2nd: Heidi Farmer

15-18 Male

1st: Holden Samuels
2nd: Andrew Kraatz
3rd: Jesse Aves
4th: Hank Kennedy
5th: Will Mercer

2017 IFSA North American Champions

  • Backcountry Access
  • IOA Insurance Services
  • SASS Global Travel
  • Never Summer
  • Stohke
  • Flyin Ryan Hawks
  • PromoShop
  • Big B's
  • The Avalanche Project
  • WebEZ.net