Yukon boarder wins bronze at B.C. championships

Whitehorse's Reanna Newsome jumped and slid to bronze for a second year in a row at a B.C. championships.

Whitehorse’s Reanna Newsome jumped and slid to bronze for a second year in a row at a B.C. championships.

Newsome, who will compete at the Arctic Winter Games in a couple weeks, captured bronze in slopestyle at the B.C. Snowboard Championships at Big White in Kelowna over the weekend.

“That was super cool,” said the 15-year-old. “I placed the same at last year’s provincials in the younger age category.”

Newsome’s bronze run consisted of a tail-press on the down box, backside boardslide on the rail, a shifty on the first jump, indie on second and nose grab on the third.

At the championships all female riders were grouped into one category, meaning Newsome out-performed some older competitors in the seven-rider division.

She also placed fifth in snowboardcross on Sunday.

“I’ve been riding for a season and a half now and I started with the Women in Snowboarding (program) and it’s crazy how fast-tracked it’s been,” said Newsome. “Actually placing in events like the provincials is cool.”

Newsome was one of seven members of Snowboard Yukon’s Elite Team to compete in Kelowna.

Teammate Haylie Grant placed fifth in slopestyle. Had the division been split by age, she would have taken third.

On Sunday Grant advanced through three rounds to reach the final and take fourth in the snowboardcross.

Yukon’s male riders had a much larger field to contend with.

Esa Suominen led Yukon’s male riders both days at the championships. Suominen placed 27th overall out of 63 boarders in the slopestyle, finishing 15th in the 15-18 age category.

“I feel like I could have done better if the weather was better because the weather was really bad that weekend,” said Suominen. “It was overcast and the jumps were so slow that we couldn’t get speed for the jumps.”

“I didn’t get a chance to land my run, which is why I didn’t feel I did too good. It was supposed to be a backside rodeo to half-cab to a frontside 360, but I didn’t end up landing my run because I couldn’t get enough speed for my run.”

Suominen went on to place 18th out of 26 in Sunday’s boardercross. The 15-year-old, along with teammates Newsome, Adam Waddington and Robert Fualds, competed in the more competitive FIS (Federation Internationale de Ski) races at the championships to earn points towards higher level competitions.

“I was pretty happy with that because this was my first time ever doing a boardercross,” said Suominen. “I have never practised it, so I was happy with my performance.”

Ethan Davy, the youngest on the team, was competing at his first outside event over the weekend. The 12-year-old took 23rd in his 14-and-under age group and 55th overall in slopestyle.

Davy, who won the 12-and-under division in slopestyle and snowboardcross at last year’s Yukon championship, then reached the quarterfinals in snowboardcross in his age group, taking seventh in Kelowna.

“This was his first major event and he did well, I’m pretty happy with his finish,” said Yukon coach Katrina Couch.

Tim Schirmer placed 17th in the 15-18 age division and 29th overall in slopestyle. He then made the semifinal in snowcross, taking sixth.

“It was a really tight competition for Tim,” said Couch. “He was in a race for second and just before the last turn the person right behind him elbowed him in the face and knocked him out (of the race). So he ended sixth, with some injuries.”

Robert Faulds placed 21st in 15-18 – 34th overall – in slopestyle and 23rd in the boardercross.

Adam Waddington came 24th in 15-18 – 42nd overall – in slopestyle and 20th in the snowboardcross.

Faulds, Grant, Newsome, Schirmer, Suominen, Waddington and Rachel MacIntosh, who did not compete over the weekend, make up Yukon’s team for the Arctic Games this month in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Hopefully they won’t be so homesick in Fairbanks.

“Most years we come down to a competition and it’s getting away from (Whitehorse’s Mount) Sima, trying new things and being around the parks and conditions,” said Couch. “This year we were kind of disappointed because we have one of the best parks at the moment and we have (groomer) Tyler Nichol who gave us a great training facility this year and there was a little bit of whining this year.

“It was a good setup overall, but I think our kids have been a little spoiled this year because we had Tyler give us a really great training facility this year and a lot of the kids were saying they wished they were back home practising and training on our jumps again.”

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