Freeskiers Lars Ellingson, Tanner Coulter and Brian Kish Top the First Podiums of the 2011 Gatorade Free Flow Tour Season
Trio Moves on to Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals, Feb. 12-13 in Utah
From the Gatorade Free Flow Tour — Burr Ridge, Ill. – January 18, 2011 – In its first weekend of the 2011 season, the Gatorade Free Flow Tour returned to Mountain High in California and Vail Ski Resort in Colorado for freeski slopestyle and superpipe contests. The Mt. High event in Wrightwood, Calif., saw Lars Ellingson take the slopestyle win. With a full field of competitors, Vail winners Tanner Coulter (slopestyle) and Brian Kish (superpipe) had to fight for their spot on the top of the podium.
Under sunny skies at Mt. High, twenty-year-old Ellingson earned the victory over a field of 20 amateurs, stomping a run that included a switch rodeo 540, a 900, and a switch cork 900. The California native fended off tough competition from runner up Clint Kasten and third place finisher Robby Franco.
"Oh man, I can't believe I won," Ellingson said. "Thank you so much! Today was super fun and the event was great."
Over in Vail, the skiers were in abundance as they took to the park, the first contest in the Tour's history that sold out in pre-registration. Repeating his 2009 victory, Vail local Coulter won Saturday's slope event on his home mountain. Coming in second place was Noah Wallace, with Mark Nowakiwski rounding out the podium in third.
Sunday's pipe contest was an impressive showdown, with Kish's left five mute, right five late mute, left cork 9 into an alley-oop cork 7 and switch down the pipe nine earning him the top spot. Coming in second place was Aaron Blunck, and in third place was Alex Ferriera.
Said Kish of his win, "I'm super stoked about it! I can't wait to get to the Finals in Snowbasin, to try my hardest and hopefully get a spot in the Winter Dew Tour, and just have a really good time."
With their wins, the three earn automatic bids into the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals that will take place at the Winter Dew Tour's Toyota Championship, Feb. 10-13, 2011 at Snowbasin Resort in Utah.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
1. Lars Ellingson, Mount Baldy, Calif. 2. Clint Kasten, Mammoth Lakes, Calif. 3. Robby Franco, Truckee, Calif. 4. Jason Arens, South Lake Tahoe, Calif. 5. Tim George, Park City, Calif.
Saturday and Sunday, January 15-16, 2011
1. Tanner Coulter, Eagle, Colo. 2. Noah Wallace, Spokeane, Wash. 3. Mark Nowakiwski, Breckenridge, Colo. 4. Erik Lukkari, Spring Lake, Mich. 5. James Machon, England
1. Brian Kish, Pittsburg, Pa. 2. Aaron Blunck, Crested Butte, Colo. 3. Alex Ferreira, Aspen, Colo. 4. James Machon, England 5. Matt Evans, Crested Butte, Colo.
The winners in each of the 54 contests (30 slopestyle and 24 superpipe) will be flown to the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals, taking place in conjunction with the Winter Dew Tour's Toyota Championship, Feb. 12-13 at Snowbasin Resort in Utah. Encompassing the "Flow to Pro" theme that is the cornerstone of the Gatorade Free Flow Tour, the two overall snowboard superpipe and slopestyle champions and the overall freeski superpipe and slopestyle champions will earn a spot to compete against the pros at the first stop of the 2011-12 Winter Dew Tour the following season.
All competitions are open to both male and female amateur competitors 21 and younger for all freeski and snowboard disciplines. There is a $20 entry fee, and all participants under the age of 18 must bring a parent or guardian to the event to sign a liability waiver. Contest registration forms, waivers and detailed information are available ahead of time at www.gatoradefreeflowtour.com.