Skier lands another NorAm win
Valentine’s Day provided Andi Naude with a sweet victory.
The Okanagan Falls resident won her second straight Nor Am gold in the dual moguls at Apex Mountain. On Monday, she captured a single mogul win with a score of 24.90. Americans Ali Kariotis and Sophia Schwartz were second and third behind Naude. The 16-year-old former Apex Freestyle member faced Schwartz in the final, and while the American crossed the finish line first, Naude was given the nod as she scored better on turns and air.
“I just feel so good, so happy,” said Naude, shortly after winning. “It was super awesome. The competition out there is so great. It was just really tough but really good.”
Naude, who won two silver medals in Telluride, Col., Feb. 8 and 9, didn’t have an answer for her success. She is just putting things in perspective. Full of adrenaline from her win, Naude said she can’t get too excited, “otherwise that’s just not good.”
Naude’s coach with the Whistler Academy team, Bobby Aldighieri, only told her to keep doing what she’s doing. Naude found the conditions on both days to be good.
“She’s performed super well,” said Aldighieri. “The placing speaks to that. We’re always just looking for the performance. Whether she finishes first or fifth, we are always just working on the process and the technique, and that alleviates the pressure of winning.”
Other AFC alumni who competed were Jake Little, Josh Kober, Connor Spence (17th in finals) Jordan Cario and Mason Barzilay. The lone AFC member who competed was Jordan Kober. His coach Kenni Kuroda said Kober performed well against the best freestyle skiers in North America.
“Placing halfway in that field is impressive,” said Kuroda.
The only goal entering the NorAm was for Kober to set a new personal best. Kuroda said this was the first NorAm he had seen this season and found the field to be strong.
“The calibre was unbelievable for men and women,” he said. “The event went extremely well thanks to Apex volunteers who came out. We had strong volunteer turnout despite it being on a weekday.”
Tuesdays winner on the men’s side was American Shane Cordeau, who returned from an injury. Cordeau said he felt good after placing 12th on day one after going into the jump with too much speed. He chalked that up to a learning experience.