Kristi Leskien’s “HOMECOMING” was one for the ages!
“So now we have something to look forward to every year!” was Grete Eliassen’s sentiments this morning when recounting her weekend at Seven Springs resort in Pennsylvania last weekend.
Professional female ski and snowboard athletes from across the globe converged this past weekend due to an invitation from Kristi Leskinen to attend the first ever all-women’s slopestyle invitational. With a course constructed by Snow PArk Technologies and meticulously maintained by the crew at Seven Springs, the competition took place on Saturday. A jam-style format allowed the girls to take as many runs as they could in a 45-minute heat and be judged by a panel of their peers; in this case, Sarah Burke and Ashley Battersby along with help from the other riders not competing in that heat.
But we’ll get to the contest later. Prior to putting on the competitor homecoming sash, Kristi had a few other activities in place for the ladies starting with clay pigeon shooting on Friday night. We got to take golf carts through the Western Pennsylvanian backwoods and Lloyd, our esteemed coach, showed us how to use a 20-guage and put those neon clay pigeons to rest. Meg Olenick was so excited at this prospect that she couldn’t take her foot off the gas pedal of her cart and rammed it full speed into the back of Keri Herman and Hana Beaman’s car. Oops. No damage done; however, and we were off to the ranges. I wouldn’t be surprised if gun sales among 20-25 year old women shot up this week as everyone was hooked instantly. Head to http://www.greteeliassen.com for a live action video.
After shooting was a gourmet-worthy dinner followed by bowling and beers. Nothing too crazy though, as competition was the following day.
The sun wouldn’t cooperate, and grey skies were the order of the day for the contest, but that didn’t stop the girls from throwing down and lighting it up for the fans. The Seven Springs parking lot looked a lot like a tailgate party before a Steelers game complete with grills and horseshoes to keep folks occupied between heats.
For anyone wondering, Kaya Turski is completely healthy and throwing DOWN. Bigger zero spins from girls I have never seen. Not only that, but her winning run on the jumps of a seven, five, to switch nine, all with grabs, were pretty banger. Grete took second with a flat-rail 540 out, lip slide down rail, right three, left three, seven. All with different grabs and Grete style. Kristi took third with her super smooth switch one, three, seven.
The level of competition was really high, and everyone was happy with the course as Kristi worked really hard with the Seven Springs staff to make sure everything was completely dialed and tweaked specifically to the girls’ liking.
The snowboard girls held their own as well. Highlights include Sylvia Mittermuellers switch-back five and Chanelle Sladic’s super smooth seven. Chanelle took home the crown with Sylvia as part of team silver and Mary Beth Swinton grabbing the bronze.
The environment of ski and snowboard athletes hanging out together, hitting the same jumps, and partying like it was 1999 was something special to behold. Great friendships were established and strengthened throughout the weekend between ladies from the two disciplines.
From there, awards were handed out at the Foggy Goggle at the base of the mountain. Champagne was sprayed and autographs were signed. The highlight of the weekend from a apres perspective was the Monster Party that absolutely went OFF at the Matterhorn, yet another facility at the behemoth compound that is Seven Springs. Free monster vodkas flowed like water and the girls rounded up as many friends as possible, many of whom were on Spring Break from the likes of the University of Delaware, and brought them into the mix. DJ VTech was incredible and what was quite possibly the dopest dance party of the season went down.
The next day, after a late breakfast and some serious recovering, local kids got to shred with the pros and compete in an amateur rail jam that the Seven Springs crew had set up right at the base of the mountain at the Foggy Goggle. Around 80 kids participated and were unbelievably stoked to hang out with all the pro girls and take home tons of Oakley and Monster product.
All in all, the event was the highlight of the season for the girls and everyone is looking forward to Homecoming (aka Spring Break) 2010.
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