Taos Salomon Extreme Freeridng Championship Goes Off

Taos Salomon Extreme Freeridng Championship Goes Off

With a qualifying round over and done with, a sold-out field hit Taos’ West Basin venue yesterday under a clear blue sky as the Taos Salomon Extreme Freeriding Championships kicked off.

With nearly 20 feet of snow on the year conditions were, to say the least, epic. A recent cold front had frosted the mountain with 10 inches of new snow and athletes took advantage of a venue in prime shape to put on one of the best shows ever seen here.

The event remains the largest and most important skiing competition in New Mexico and the field, with athletes from as far away as Japan and Sweden, ensured that the level of competition was in keeping with the event’s heavy hitter status.

The run of the day was posted by local skier Mark Binder. Binder scored a 38.5 on a challenging line that included gapping from one cliff band to another. Binder’s 38.5 was closely followed by Todd Ligare (35) and Joey Smallwood (34.875). The narrow margin between the top three is reflected in the scores for the top 10 contenders, with today’s final run on Kachina Peak a showdown where anyone can win.

Alaina Huestis leads the women, with a score of 32.5, followed by Colby Adams (30.625) and Andrea Krejci (30.25). Huesits took the lead with a highly technical line in the Heavy Timber section of the West Basin that included a mandatory straight-line exit.

For the Junior field, Xanthe Demas leads it for the women by a mere .25 points over Francesca Pavillard-Cain with Kelsey Lewis in third. Duncan Adams leads the JR. men followed by Kevin McJames and Michael Gardner. A mere one point separates first from third in this division, setting up a final day showdown on Kachina.

This event is being shown live via the internet. Log onto www.skitaos.org to catch all the action from the finals. Today’s championship round kicks off at 10:30.

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