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Local skiers catch big air

Apex Freestyle Club skiers gained experience competing against athletes one level below the world cup in the NorAm

Five members of the Apex Freestyle Club got exactly what they wanted from the NorAm Cup held at Apex Mountain Feb. 15-16 — experience.

“They skied very well,” said AFC coach Kenni Kuroda. “They held their own against a much tougher group of competitors. The calibre was extremely high.”

Kuroda was impressed by the women’s side, which raised the bar considerably since last year’s event at Apex. They were faster and completing bigger tricks.

“They all look like they should have been at the Olympics,” laughed Kuroda. “They were that good.”

AFC was represented by Mackenzie Schwinghamer, Madison Parker and Kassidy Todd. In moguls, Todd finished highest at 39th, while Schwinghamer placed the highest in dual moguls scoring 16.34 to place 33rd.

Kuroda was equally impressed with the men’s side, saying they went down the course quick, noting the fastest time was 21 seconds. American Troy Tully, who scored 25.08 in moguls to win, clocked in at 21.59 seconds. AFC had Koleton Phipps and Joe Durham competing.

Phipps placed the highest amongst he and Durham in moguls at 52nd, scoring 16.42. Durham finished the highest in double moguls at 50th scoring 17.44.

“It’s amazing how fast they can come down,” he said.

Along with their speed, the skiers took massive jumps and also completed big tricks.

“There were some D spin 1080s, double full twists, which are comparable to what they are doing at the Olympics,” he said.

AFC had alumni competing. In moguls, Mason Barzilay of the B.C. Freestyle team placed 38th and then she placed 35th in double moguls. On the men’s side for moguls, Connor Spence of B.C. Freestyle was 19th, scoring 21.77, Josh Kober of the Canadian Sport Institute team was 36th after scoring 19.75, Kyle Parker of Port Moody finished 39th after scoring 19.47, while Jordan Kober of CSI was 42nd after scoring 19.10.

In double moguls, won by American Thomas Rowley, Connor Spence finished 24th after scoring 21.75. Jordan Kober was 40th, scoring 20.44, Josh Kober was 54th scoring 15.98 and Parker was 55th, scoring 10.81. Fifty-six athletes completed the course.