The opening day of the Cardrona Snow Sports NZ Freestyle Nationals 2020 saw over 100 ski competitors going head to head down the Gravity Cross course at Cardrona. The athletes have come from all over New Zealand and range from five years old to seventeen years old. The Salomon Snowboard Freeride competition was scheduled to be held today, but due to unfavourable snow conditions it has been moved to Friday 9 October.
The NZ Junior Nationals have been running for over a decade. As well as being a fun competition to finish off the season, they are an important stepping stone on the competitive pathway for Kiwi snow sports athletes. The Skier-cross discipline involves each athlete taking an individual timed run down the course to seed them into heats, in which they race head to head in a knockout format until a winner is crowned.
Hazel Hardman, U8 Girls winner, had a good day, her favourite part about the day was the racing and she explained that “it was really fun racing with my friends”.
Zora Legnavsky, U12 Girls winner had a great day. “I had fun skiing with my friends and going fast”. The U12 Girls division was heavily contested with 14 girls competing for the top spot.
The U14 Boys division was tightly fought, with Kezik Magill coming out on top. “I felt pretty good, it was a hard competition, but I managed to stay on top”.
Luke Hetzel, Snow Sports NZ Park & Pipe High Performance Athlete Development Manager, explains “The Junior Nationals is so important because it gives the snow community an opportunity to come together at the end of the season and compete in multiple disciplines”. He further explains that this means athletes who have a background in a specific discipline can give other disciplines a go and see how they stack up overall against competitors from all over the country.
The competition continues at Cardrona tomorrow (Tuesday 6 October) with the Smith Snowboard Boarder-Cross and the K2 Ski Freeride. The Cardrona Snow Sports NZ Junior Freestyle Nationals run from the 5th to the 9th of October 2020.
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