This year’s Canadian Junior Freestyle Ski Championships was a brief affair for the Yukon team.
Two members of the Yukon Freestyle Ski Team withdrew with injuries in the days leading up to the nationals, held last week in Kimberly, Ont., leaving only one to compete.
Then crummy weather forced the cancelation of the aerials and big air competitions.
With Yukon not entered in the mogul events, the territory was represented by just one skier in one event – slopestyle.
“The weather has not been cooperating … It’s been raining, it’s been melting like crazy, the jumps have been deteriorating,” said Yukon coach Steven Harlow. “They couldn’t fix the jumps properly because they couldn’t bring the Cat on the jumps or on the landings to do it. They had to do it by hand.”
Whitehorse’s Kyran Allen placed 15th out of 23 skiers in the male U-18 division on March 17.
Allen, who placed eighth in slopestyle at last year’s junior nationals, did a switch right-side 540, followed by a 540 with a Japan grab, and a switch 720 with a mute grab on the jumps in his best run. He capped it with a frontside 270 off the cannon rail.
The previous week he performed much bigger jumps – a corked 900 with tail grab, switch bio 900 – at a Canadian Open Tour event in Stoneham, Que., taking 36th out of over 60 competitors in the open division.
Last week marked the end of three straight junior nationals that saw one or more Yukon skiers on the podium. Last year the Yukon team collected three medals.
The cancelation of big air – an event the Yukon team tends to excel in – didn’t help. Allen won a silver in big air at last year’s junior nationals. He also placed fourth in big air at the 2015 Canada Winter Games – a record result for Yukon at the Games in freestyle skiing.
Yukon’s Milan Lapres and Evyn Dinn withdrew from the junior nationals with a wrist injury and rib injury, respectively.
“That was the first day, so that was awesome,” said Harlow with obvious sarcasm. “We were there four days early and it wasn’t even official training. It was just getting used to the jumps, just on our own time.”
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