Competitor Jeremy Gardner dropping a cliff in the U19 Big Mountain Competitor Jeremy Gardner dropping a cliff in the U19 Big Mountain CREDIT: Alpine images
BoysU19SBX BoysU19SBX CREDIT: Andy Woods

Junior skiers and snowboarders full of energy for day two of the Junior Nationals

Thursday 1 October 2009, 8:38AM
By Snow Sports New Zealand


Competitors and families returned to Cardrona Alpine Resort today for day two of the 2009 Snowboard and Freeski Junior Nationals.

Temperament weather conditions didn’t trouble the devoted competitors, who pushed through the K2 Big Mountain Ski, the Bonfire Snowboard Gravity Cross and the K2 Freeski/Salomon Snowboard Slopestyle.

Taking charge of the K2 Big Mountain in the U19’s male division was Matt Johnston, of Queenstown, who executed an original line including a 180 degree spin off a double cliff drop. Wanaka’s Mikey Austin won the U19 females, which took place yesterday.

The Bonfire Snowboard Gravity Cross U19 division saw Benji Sutherland continue his winning streak scooping the number-one spot in the males, while Rebecca Sinclair, of Wanaka, took out the females.

“It’s great to win at the Junior Nats again,” said Sinclair, who is originally from Taupo. “I’ve competed in this for a few years now and it’s getting bigger and bigger every year. It’s awesome to see so many young kids coming from all over New Zealand to compete and have fun.”

The slopestyle for freeski and snowboard also kicked off today with top male competitors qualifying to the next round tomorrow, while the females completed the event today.

In the K2 Freeski Slopestyle, Austin, who also won the K2 Big Mountain, took out the U19 Females, while Hugo Miler, of Christchurch, qualified first in the U19s males.

The female Salomon Snowboard Slopestyle was taken out by Sinclair, who dominated the women’s field all day, while Jake Benjamin Mills, of Hamilton, qualified first in the male U19’s.

The top male slopestyle riders today, including Mills and Miller, will meet the pre-qualified competitors on Thursday for the final round of the men’s Slopestyle.

With only a few days left of festivities, and Cardrona will host the final round of the Male Slopestyle, the snowboard and Freeski Halfpipe and the Parallel Giant slalom events through Thursday and Friday.

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