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Judges pick six for Snow Search

Pehota, Hamilton, Alexander going to Keystone next week



At just 10 years old Logan Pehota will be the veteran on the team of four Whistler kids heading to this year’s Sports Illustrated For Kids Next Snow Search finals in Killington, Vermont March 3-4.

He will join Kerry-Anne Hamilton and Brin Alexander, another Next Snow vet, at the Next Snow Search All-Stars Event at Keystone, Colorado next week. Pehota qualified for his spot last year as one of just three nine year olds to make the 2005 SI Kids Next Snow Team.

Over 80 kids between the ages of 9 and 13 in 2005 competed in three Next Snow Search qualifier events on Blackcomb this past Sunday: a big mountain freeride event, a slopestyle and a snowcross, as well as a halfpipe session that was not judged. There was also supposed to be a big air contest before the weekly Fire and Ice show, but it was cancelled because of the lack of snow at the base of the mountain.

The kids could ski, ride or use any other snow device, and were judged based on their skills, style, attitude and sportsmanship.

"I had a really good run in the slopestyle and in the big mountain, but I was kind of slow in the skier cross for some reason," said Logan.

According to Logan, he did the top rail in the slopestyle, followed up with a 360 over the box, and then landed a 540 on the bottom air. According to his father, big mountain legend Eric Pehota, Logan has only been in the park a few times this year, and only learned the 540 about an hour before the start of the contest.

In the big mountain contest, which took place on Jersey Cream Wall, Logan stomped a 10-foot drop at the top and just skied as fast as he could to the bottom.

With two Next Snow contests ahead of him, Logan is looking to get in as much training as he can. He plans to take a few days off his J4 program with Whistler-Blackcomb to get in as much park riding as possible.

"I haven’t been riding the park hardly at all since it’s been so good with all the snow," he said. With his brother and father, he put in 17 days in a row on the mountain over the Christmas holidays.

"I’m trying to work on my grabs, and my grabs with spins and tucks."

He may also enter a few more competitions, like local rail jams, to get in some more training for slopestyle events.

The other three kids that qualified for the Next Snow Search finals are Cameron Schuster (skier, age 12), Devin White (skier, age 13) and Max Ripper (snowboarder, age 13).

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