By Andrew Mitchell
Pemberton’s Logan Pehota, a K1 skier with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, finished second overall at the Sports Illustrated For Kids Next Snow Search Finals in Killington, Vermont this past weekend, ahead of almost 115 other kids — many of whom were two and three years older.
The resort was just hit with more than 45 centimetres of snow before the contest, creating epic conditions for the big mountain event, but more challenging jumping contests in the park.
Logan, 12, finished first out of 63 skiers in the big mountain event, moguls event and carving and turning event to finish first overall after the first day of competition. On the second day Miles Honens of California pulled ahead with better results in the dual race, big air, slopestyle and superpipe, beating Pehota by nine points out of a possible 1,000 points.
The top skiers, aged 9 to 14, were pulling out 1260 spins in the big air contest, and Pehota held in there with a switch 900 — not bad for someone who spends their Saturdays in ski racing.
As a result of finishing second, Pehota was promoted to the 25-member Sports Illustrated All Star team.
Other Whistler kids in the contest also did well. Hunter Visser, who rides out of Apex but represented Whistler, placed 11 th overall to make the top-25, as did Whistler Valley Snowboard Club standout Max Ripper, who placed eighth out of 27 snowboarders. Ripper’s best results were in big mountain, moguls, the dual race and the big air.
Brin Alexander, also with the snowboard club, just missed the top-25 qualification, but finished on top of the dual race, and third in the big air.
Kerry-Anne Hamilton, who made the team last year, was fourth in the girls’ ski category, placing third in the lower part of the big mountain contest, and tying for second in moguls.
The Whistler skiers and boarders qualified at the Next Snow Search Super Qualifier in Whistler in January. Both Logan Pehota and Kerry-Anne Hamilton competed in that event.
SI for Kids Next Snow Search has evolved into a kind of junior X-Games, but with emphasis put on attitude and sportsmanship as well as ability.
For more information on the contest visit www.nextsnow.com.