Canadian Freestyle National Champions crowned
The 2014 Sport Chek Air Nation took place this past week at Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park. Athletes from across the country came to compete for the coveted national championship titles.
In the halfpipe event, Olympians Brad Martin and Alexandra Duckworth were named the national champions for 2014.
While Martin said he always feels pressure do his best each time he competes, the results worked in his favour. Brad’s combination of a backside 540, frontside 900 to a straight air and frontside 1080 helped to surpass last year’s winner and teammate Derek Livingston for the win.
Joining Martin on the podium in second place was Korath Wright of the Bahamas and Trevor Niblett of Toronto, Ontario in third.
Joining Duckworth on the ladies halfpipe podium was Katie Tsuyuki of Squamish, BC who finished second followed by Calynn Irwin of Toronto, Ontario in third.
Irwin said, “I am happy to be at Canada Olympic Park today to support halfpipe snowboarding within Canada. It was great to see so many young girls landing successful runs”.
In the Slopestyle event Molly Milligan of Yellowknife, NT and Jon Versteeg of Vernon, BC were named the 2014 slopestyle national champions.
Molly Milligan had the most technical run of the day in the ladies field and was the only competitor to land a frontside 540.
Milligan noted, “I feel really good and am happy to be back on the podium.” Samm Denena put down her signature move a backside rodeo to capture second place. Hometown favourite Breanna Stanegland rounded out the podium with a backside 360 followed by a frontside 360. Many of the female competitors attempted 540’s and 720’s but had trouble with the landing due to the icy conditions.
Jon Versteeg executed the most impressive run of the day, which included a backside 1080 followed by a switch backside 900 to take the win. As the top qualifying athlete in the finals and the 2012 slopestyle national champion, Versteeg was last to drop on his second run and knew that he if landed he the tricks he wanted he would be able to take the lead.
Rounding out the rest of the podium was David Kinskofer in second, who said “I am excited on the podium.” Third place went to Michel Gregoire who was the 2013 junior slopestyle national champion.
The junior national halfpipe and slopestyle events took place earlier in the week. Both events showcased a strong field of promising young athletes. The top three results from each category are as follows.
WOMEN JUNIOR HALFPIPE:
1 Kira Lengkeek – Airdrie, AB
2 Elizabeth Hoskings – Longueil, QC
3 Kennedi Deck – Grande Prairie, AB
MEN JUNIOR HALFPIPE:
1 Justin De Castris – Châteauguay, QC
2 Gregor Zed – Halifax, NS
3 Colton Conway – Barrie, ON
WOMEN OPEN HALFPIPE:
1 Alex Duckworth – Kingsbury, NS
2 Katie Tsuyuki – Squamish, BC
3 Calynn Irwin – Toronto, ON
MEN OPEN HALFPIPE:
1 Brad Martin – Ancaster, ON
2 Korath Wright – Bahamas
3 Trevor Niblett – Toronto, ON
WOMEN JUNIOR SLOPESTYLE:
1 Christina Retson – Bedford, NS
2 Océan Fillion – Saguenay, QC
3 Baily MacDonald – Minesing, ON
MEN JUNIOR SLOPESTYLE:
1 Francis Jobin – Lac Beauport, QC
2 Jasper Westbury – Bragg Creek, AB
3 Jack Lawrence – Carstairs, AB
WOMEN OPEN SLOPESTYLE:
1 Molly Milligan – Yellowknife, NWT
2 Samm Denena – Orillia, ON
3 Breanna Stangeland – Calgary, AB
MEN OPEN SLOPESTYLE:
1 Jon Versteeg – Vernon, BC
2 David Kinskofer – Quathiaski Cove, BC
3 Michel Gregoire – Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC
Full event results are available online.