Yukon boarders jump, race to third at provincial series

Two boarders, two disciplines, two days, two third-place finishes. Snowboard Yukon's Elite Team members Reanna Newsome and Haylie Grant each scored bronze medals at the B.C.

Two boarders, two disciplines, two days, two third-place finishes.

Snowboard Yukon’s Elite Team members Reanna Newsome and Haylie Grant each scored bronze medals at the B.C. Snowboard Provincial Series over the weekend at Big White Ski Resort outside Kelowna, B.C.

Newsome rode to third in slopestyle on Saturday and Grant raced to third in snowboard cross on Sunday.

Newsome placed third out of six in females 14-and-under and eighth out of 12 competitors in the open division on Saturday.

She hit an indy grab off the first jump, a shifty off the second and a mute grab off the final jump.

“She was pulling off tricks she had never done before, which is pretty crazy,” said Snowboard Yukon coach Katrina Couch.

“This was her first (slopestyle) competition ever. She just started snowboarding at the end of 2012 season, so she hasn’t even been riding for a year.”

Grant, who competed at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games, came fourth in females 15-18, and 11th overall, on Saturday.

“This was the first time she went out to compete against other Canadian riders,” said Couch. “We were not able to train on the features in the competition due to a whiteout, a fog, on Friday. We intended to get some practice runs under our belt.

“Both girls only had two practice runs before entering the competition and had never hit those size jumps before. But they did it.”

Grant then placed third out of four in females 15-18 in Sunday’s snowboard cross while Newsome tied for fifth in female 14-and-under out of eight riders.

While representing the Yukon at the Arctic Games last year in Whitehorse, Grant won silver in the banked slalom, slopestyle and snowboard cross in the juvenile female division. She also won a bronze in the halfpipe.

The fact that the Yukon was represented solely by two female boarders at the provincial series over the weekend reflects the growth of the sport among females in the territory, said Couch.

Numbers have increased in past years with the help of the Women in Snowboarding Program, sponsored by Canada Snowboard.

“They have been a great sponsor and a support to improving female riding and development in the Yukon,” said Couch.

The program has helped Snowboard Yukon hold Learn to Ride camps for women with 13 coming out this season, and eight participated in a Tips and Tricks camp for females.

“Each year we hold Women in Snowboarding camps,” said Couch. “Haylie and Reanna participated in all three Women in Snowboarding camps.”

Yukon’s Lara Bellon has been leading the way for competitive female snowboarding in the territory.

The 18-year-old placed third and fourth in back-to-back slopestyle competitions at the B.C. Snowboard Provincial Series in North Vancouver a couple weeks ago.

Bellon dominated the 2012 Arctic Games, winning all four available gold medals in the junior female division. She also won the open female division at last year’s Yukon championships in freestyle and snowboard cross.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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