The 2009 Snowboard and Freeski Junior Nationals got underway today at Cardrona Alpine Resort with the K2 Big Mountain Ski qualifiers, the Sessions Skier Cross and Smith Snowboard Giant Slalom (GS).
Fantastic weather conditions opened up in the morning allowing competitors to battle it out for national champion titles and podium positions in their respective age group categories.
The Girls U19’s Smith Snowboard GS was taken out by Hannah Orchard, of Taupo, while Benji Sutherland, of Wanaka, won the boys.
Competitors Sam Lee, of Wanaka, and Arianna Tricomi, of Italy, took out the U19 Sessions Skier Cross.
Mikey Austin, of Wanaka, who placed second to Tricomi, was the top placing U19 female kiwi, making her the U19’s New Zealand Champion.
The K2 Big Mountain ski saw Austin winning the girls U19 division, while Lee, who was on top of his game all day, qualified first in the men’s K2 Big Mountain.
The top 39 male big mountain skiers, including Lee, will meet the 15 pre-qualified competitors on Wednesday for the K2 Big Mountain.
Competitors are looking forward to tomorrow with the K2 Big Mountain ski, the Bonfire Snowboard GravityX and the K2 Freeski/ Salomon Snowboard Slopestyle qualifications.
Junior Nationals have gained a reputation as a traditional end-of-season event that brings out the country’s top junior riders. Competitors must have been born in 1990 or later to enter.
Snow Sports New Zealand is the official governing body and National Sports Organisation representing all snow sports in New Zealand. The NZ Freeski Association and NZ Snowboard Union New Zealand are members of Snow Sports New Zealand.
For full results go to www.snowsports.co.nz