Podium of Life student, Teal Harle, silver in big air and bronze in slope style at the Junior National Freestyle Championships in Apex.

Podium of Life student, Teal Harle, silver in big air and bronze in slope style at the Junior National Freestyle Championships in Apex.

Jumping to nationals

Eight athletes from the Mount Washington Freestyle Club qualified for the Junior National Freestyle Championships held at Apex Mountain

Eight athletes from the Mount Washington Freestyle Club qualified for the Junior National Freestyle Championships held at Apex Mountain last weekend.

Skiers from all over the country turned up to see how well they measured up in four different competitions: slope style, moguls, big air, and dual moguls. Three Island athletes qualified for all four events: Teal Harle (Mt. Washington), Mei Pond (Nanaimo), and Todd Heard (Duncan).

Podium of Life student Harle, 16, stood on the podium a couple of times.

In the first event, slopestyle, Harle won a bronze medal amidst a strong field.

His run, which included sick tricks on rails combined with three big jumps where he spun hard, was enough to sneak by fourth place into third.

The second day of competition was moguls where Harleā€™s first run earned him ninth place; he wiped out on the second run.The third day of competition was very exciting, as athletes threw huge tricks off a massive jump. Harle stomped his first hit, switch bio nine grab. His second jump he over-spun a switch bio 1080. But his first jump was good enough to earn him a silver.

Erin Sketchley of Campbell River, another Podium of Life student, hit the big air jump with a huge double spread and finished seventh, just behind her teammate, Hannah Benischek. Layne Anvelt finished in the top 20 in both the big air and slope style competitions.

Peter Stubbs narrowly missed out on a podium finish in moguls. His fantastic run earned him a fourth place finish. Unfortunately, Todd Heard, one of the most dominant B.C. skiers, watched as he nursed an injury.

These skiers are off next week to Silverstar to compete in the last of the B.C. series.

Campbell River Mirror

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