The 16th annual Showcase Showdown came down to three women, three men and one run for all the marbles - the marbles being cash prizes, luggage from Dakine, helmets by Sandbox and zombie-themed trophies that featured a zombie arm holding up one, two or three fingers for first, second or third place.
The theme for this year's event was a "Night of the Living Shred" big air contest with zombie mannequins, ripped bibs and tombstone banners lining the course.
In the women's competition the win went to Breanna Stangeland, a member of the national team. She landed a backside 360 with a stale grab. It might seem like a simple trick but it was a tough jump and the female competitors had to go flat out just to make the transition.
"It was raining pretty bad (in the qualifier) but you could count on the jump being good," she said. "So it wasn't scary, you just needed to pick up speed for it, which was hard, and you had to wipe your goggles right before you hit it."
While Stangeland's park skills are World Cup level, this was her first contest since the world championships.
"I'm just coming off an injury so I was pretty nervous. I broke my vertebrae and my tailbone. I cased a jump at the world championships in Quebec... I'm glad to come back and win."
Stangeland had only been back on snow for four days before winning her first Showdown. She has finished second and third in the contest before, but has never won the event.
As the first place woman she earned $1,000, while Gillian Andrewshenko walked away with $500. Third place won sponsor prizes.
In the men's event, Marc-Andre Tremblay was the only superfinalist to land his trick, a switch frontside cab 900, to win $2,500 plus prizes.
Although you never want your competitors to get hurt, Tremblay said that you can't help but cheer for crashes.
"For me it was good to see people falling, even if we don't like to fall," he said. "In this type of contest when it's a battle like this it's kind of nice to see people fall."
Last year it was a different story, and Tremblay was the rider who crashed.
Tremblay gave the event crew high marks for all their work to keep the course buff in the challenging conditions. "It was pretty bad this morning (with the rain), but in the afternoon it was really good with the crews putting salt on the in-run, and the guys scraping the jump did a really good job to get us through to the final," he said.
Tremblay is not sponsored, but will head to the TTR Canadian Shield slopestyle event at Mount Seymour next week. His goal is to do well at that contest and earn an invite to the five-star TTR events being held in Whistler during the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.
Matt Belzile placed second in the contest after over-rotating his last trick, a backside 1080 that could have taken the top prize.
"All my friends are telling me I should have gone for a safe trick, but I went for the glory and got second," he said.
Belzile is more of a backcountry rider these days, and only decided to enter the contest the day before after seeing the jump.
Belzile earned $1,000 while Tremblay took home $2,500. Third place finisher Nathan Therriault won a sponsor prize pack.
Rounding out the top 12 were Jon Versteeg, Martin Juareguialzo, Chaise Baines, Jess Millen (double backflips), Jason Wexler, Logan Haubrich, Duncan Mainland, Aaron Santos and Andre Benoit.
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