Angel Collinson and Drew Tabke Take Home Double Awards Both Winning the World Championship and the Coveted McConkey Cup
Silas Chickering-Ayers Wins the Backcountry.com Sick Bird Award, Spencer Brinson Wins The North Face Young Gun Award, and Willie Schneider Receives The Ryan Hawks Spirit Award
From the Freeskiing World Tour — SNOWBIRD, Utah (March 12) — Faced with low visibility and multiple weather delays, the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour Championships went off on North Baldy today with 10 women and 35 men throwing down; Angel Collinson placed first in the Championships on her home mountain, and took home the McConkey Cup for the second year in a row. The “Flyin' Hawaiian” Drew Tabke took first for the men and first overall for the 2011 season.
"These two athletes were consistent throughout the whole tour and to come out as champions, speaks highly of the athleticism, commitment and spirit they have for freeskiing competition," said Head Judge Jim Jack. "Their passion and love for skiing is ever-present and they represent it proudly."
Angel Collinson was solid both days with a combined score of 72.50, her final run included an air at the start, turns all the way down through fields of glory and a couple of small airs through blonde rocks and Burk's Bush. Jackson Hole's Crystal Wright followed in second place with a 70.93, and Canadian Nicole Derksen was in third with a 62.50. Collinson, who took first for the women in four out of six stops this season, rightfully took first overall with 484 points, Crystal Wright took second with 228 points, and Jay's Peak's Ashley Maxfield took third with 212 points.
"Knowing that I had already won the championships definitely removed the pressure and it was just nice to be able to ski; I did it for Ryan" said Angel Collinson. "I want to start working on my tricks and try to bring them into next season."
Drew Tabke, with a combined score of 86.23, aired right at the top, hit two jumps, aired into Burk's Bush and the Broom Closet; he was followed by film star Sage Cattabriga-Alosa in second with an 85.87, and Chile's Chopo Diaz in third with an 83.60. In overall points, Tabke took first with a total of 365 points after placing at every stop this season. With first place finishes in Revelstoke and Crested Butte, Lars Chickering-Ayers took second in overall tour points with 284, and Chopo Diaz, with top 3's in all three stops he competed in, took third with 242.
"I'm in shock, I was confident in the overall victory but it was a bonus to win the stop," said Drew Tabke. "I tied in 2007 and said I would come back and win by myself. It's been a long journey, and seven years of hard work have paid off."
Silas Chickering-Ayers, in his first year on the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour, took home the final backcountry.com Sick Bird award of the year, as well as a fifth place at the Championships. "It's amazing, I've been watching these guys and to finally get to compete against them is unreal," said Silas Chickering-Ayers. "I'm going to wear my buckle during the off season and keep the spirit and energy of the tour alive."
The North Face Young Gun Award went to Spencer Brinson for the Championships, as well as overall; Brinson will receive sponsorship by The North Face for the 2012 season.
In honor of competitor and friend Ryan Hawks, the Ryan Hawks Spirit Award was created to celebrate an athlete who reflects the passion and leadership that Ryan brought to the sport, and emulates the qualities for which Ryan was so well known, loved and respected including exemplary sportsmanship, his authentic humility, genuine compassion for all, and capacity to find fun in all situations. Willie Schneider was selected to receive this award, and will receive pre-qualified status and complimentary entry for the 2012 season.
"I'm super grateful to receive this award because Ryan was such an amazing person and a great athlete," said Willie Schneider. "I was very emotional when his father came up and gave me a hug. I can't express it in words."