Jack Severson, 12, from Park City, Utah was one of 17 local participants at the North Face Junior Jam where they had a chance to show their shredding skills. (Nick Cunkleman)
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 11) — When your qualifying rounds feature triple pole spins and bunny ear maneuvers, it can only mean one thing: freeskiing progression at the North Face Junior Jam. With a rail, box, and "globe bonk" set up at the bottom of Doc's Run at Canyons Resort — and 17 local shredders strutting their stuff — creativity and steeze flowed as the day's high-speed Sprint U.S. Grand Prix action merged into the afternoon's high-stoke youth session.
"It's pretty sweet to win something this big," said Jon Jon Drain (Park City, UT) 12, the boys' champ. "I'm just super stoked. I'm at a loss for words right now. Probably the most exciting thing was the intensity of the crowd."
Drain, along with skiers from Park City's own Axis Freeride and PC Freestyle teams, certainly channeled that excitement. Indeed, with seventy or so spectators on hand at the base and beats playing over the PA, all jammers made sure to not only hit the rails but throw their poles, hug the globe bonk, and at the end of the Jam, dance in front of the podium.
"I was a little nervous today, I didn't know how to approach this," said Emmiekate Leishman (Park City, UT), 9, the girls' champ. I was so stoked when I found out I could do these rails. I can't express how happy I am."
Leishman took home a backpack and T-shirt from The North Face while Drain notched a Grand Prix jersey signed by U.S. Snowboarding's snowboardcross team. Second-place finishers Jack Severson (Park City, UT), 12, and Rell Harwood (Park City, UT), 10, grabbed hoodies from The North Face and third-place finishers Colby Smith (Park City, UT), 12, and Alyssa Gorsch (Park City, UT), 8, snagged t-shirts. Severson's younger brother Zane, who had perfected his 720 on-the-box slide by the end of qualifiers, took home the Stoke Award for most stoked skier, and his style might as well have summed up the energy of the afternoon. Just as could be heard over the loudspeaker during most of 9-year-old's runs, he was "spinning like a top."