Natalie Segal and Josh Daiek Take First at the Subaru North American Freeskiing Championships Qualifier

From the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour— KIRKWOOD, Calif. (Feb. 24) — Today qualifier competitors mingled amongst pre-qualified athletes and tour veterans as they registered for the Subaru North American Freeskiing Championships. “In Kirkwood, we have some of the toughest competition we’ve ever seen on the world tour with competitors from Chile, Sweden, France, New Zealand, Canada and the US,” said Frankie Alisuag, announcer for the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour.

As the winds picked up and the snow began to dump, 74 qualifier athletes competed on Lookout Vista, including several wait-listed athletes who were psyched to hear they’d been added to the start list. With the forecast predicting quite a significant storm, and five feet of fresh expected by Friday night, Day One—originally slated for tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 25)—has been postponed. The competition is scheduled to resume on Saturday on The Cirque, looker’s left.

For the men, local boy Josh Daiek came in first with a score of 35.27, Broc Sheue of Sun Valley took second (32.67) and Squaw Valley’s Kevin O’Meara came in third (32.50). On the women’s side, Australian Natalie Segal took first, followed by Stowe’s Sasha Dingle and Vanessa Aadland of Snowbird.

Following a deep cut, 20 athletes made it through from the Qualifier to Day One. With 100 competitors scheduled to run Saturday, including a heavy list of 80 prequalified athletes, it’s anybody’s game.

“We had to make an incredibly deep cut, probably the deepest cut we’ve had,” said Head Judge Jim Jack. “We have the best athletes in the world here; this is going to be a fierce competition.”

Big name judges at this stop include ’94 Olympian Jeremy Nobis, former Subaru Freeskiing World Tour champ Laura Ogden, and Omar Otte, fresh off judging The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series.