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Freeride skiers Gessner, Lantz shine on Alyeska’s South Face

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: January 31, 2018
  • Published January 31, 2018

Soren Gessner jumps off a cliff on Alyeska’s South Face on his way to victory in Sunday’s Alyeska Junior Freeride Classic. (Photo by Luke Bredar)

Soren Gessner and Clara Lantz posted the highest scores at the inaugural Alyeska Junior Freeride Classic regional competition held on the South Face of Alyeska on Sunday.

Both competed in the 15-18 age group.

Gessner skied one of the two most difficult lines and executed a cliff jump midway through his run to score 33 points. That was enough to beat two other boys who cracked the 30-point barrier — Glenn Steer (31.6) and Simon Keffalos (30.3).

Lantz skied a clean line to earn 22.77 and claim the girls victory over Raquelle Melchert, who scored 15.33.

In the 12-14 age group, Kai Hegan topped the boys with 29.17 points and Brenna Gessner led the girls with 20.4.

In the U-12 division, Henry Lantz put down a run worth 21.17 points to edge Carson Hawes, who scored 20.17.

In freeride skiing, competitors pick a line to ski on natural, ungroomed terrain that includes deep powder, steep areas and cliffs. In freestyle skiing, a groomed course featuring man-made obstacles like rails is used.

Sunday's competition drew 36 skiers who were judged in five categories — difficulty of their line, technique, style and energy (including tricks), being in control on their skis and the ability to ski fluidly with few stops or slow-downs.

The event was sanctioned by the International Freeskiers & Snowboarders Association.

Top 5

15-18 boys — 1) Soren Gessner 33.0; 2) Glenn Steer 31.6; 3) Simon Keffalos 30.3; 4) Miles Hancock 27.83; 5) Carter Newell 27.1.

15-18 girls — 1) Clara Lantz 22.77; 2) Raquelle Melchert 15.33.

12-14 boys — 1) Kai Hegna 29.17; 2) Paul Melchert 28.33; 3) Aven Elsberg 27.5; 4) Kemp Descutner 26.83; 5) Jasper Rygh 26.4.

12-14 girls — 1) Brenna Gessner 20.4; 2) Kikken Schleusner 16.0.

Under 12 boys — 1) Henry Lantz 21.17; 2) Carson Hawes 20.17; 3) Mason Newell 18.33.

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