The Yukon Freestyle Ski Team was a little short on practice before taking on the best in the country. Not a great combination.
Four member of the Yukon squad faced the best at the Canadian Open last week in Whistler, B.C.
“The national team was at this event,” said Yukon coach Steven Harlow. “These guys are really good. So we knew going into it it was going to be a pretty tough competition. Obviously the results didn’t pan out as much as we would have liked, but still, I’m pretty happy with how they did overall.”
The Yukon team competed in slopestyle in an open division.
Kyran Allen took in the best results with 41st in the field of 65 skiers. Skiing with a thumb injury, teammate Dylan Reed finished one spot back of Allen. “He couldn’t even grab his skis,” said Harlow. “He was just doing as much as he could down the hill.”
Yukon’s Niko Rodden took 46th and Etienne Geoffroy 58th.
Whistler was the first competition of the season for the Yukon team that has had so much success on the national stage in recent years. The team usually gets the season going with a railjam at home at Whitehorse’s Mount Sima, but it was cancelled this year. The team also hasn’t yet been able to set up its huge air bag - like those used by Hollywood stuntmen - to practice big jumps with.
“They’ve been lacking a lot in the training department,” said Harlow. “So coming into this we didn’t have incredibly high expectations, but I still think they did awesome for how little training they’ve done.”
“We still have a lot of competitions coming up, but this was a good one to start of on,” he added. “It was a high-level competition and really shows where they have to shoot for if they want to get to that national level. It’s eye-opening, but a great experience.”
Allen won a silver medal in big air for males 18-and-under at the Canadian Junior Freestyle Ski Nationals last April in Vernon, B.C. Reed won gold in big air and silver in slopestyle for males 20-and-under at the nationals.
Allen also claimed fourth in big air at the Canada Winter Games last February - a record result for Yukon at the Games in freestyle skiing.
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