Slopestyle event get serious 

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The Telus Park Rider Sessions (TPRS) have always been a casual, recreational event, more about participation and enjoying the progression than a serious competition.

That's changed a little this year, with official status as an AFP (Association of Freeskiing Professionals) bronze level event. The three TPRS events taking place under that banner this year — the slopestyle on Jan. 8, as well as the slopestyle on Feb. 19 and halfpipe on Mar. 11) — will be marked out of 100 per judge by four judges, as per AFP standards. The top athletes will have a chance to earn points to compete in other AFP events such as the AFP World Championships taking place in Whistler during the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival.

The slopestyle last Sunday took place on Whistler Mountain with a mix of jumps and rail features.

In the Snowboard Female 17-Plus contest, Molly Milligan was first with a score of 270 points, just six points ahead of Yuka Kasukawa.

In Snowboard Men 17-Plus it was Andrew Matthews on top with a combined score of 350 on his third of three runs. Ryan Livingstone was second with a 313 and Toshi Shiono third with 255.

In Snowboard Male 14 to 16, Darcy Sharpe — the reigning Showcase Showdown champion — finished first with a score of 366. Zac Dolesky improved with every run, and was second with a 278. Keaton Gibson was third with a 272.

In Snowboard Male 13 and Under, Devon Stroud was the top jumper and jibber with a 119, followed by Willem Stroud with a 112 and Jaydyn Chomlack with a 97.

In Ski Female 17-Plus it was Emmanuelle Blanchet who finished on top with 272 points. Emma Whitman was first after the second round, and posted a top score of 220.

In Ski Men 17-Plus, Sebastian Eaves posted the highest score of the competition with a 373 on his second run. He also received an award as the day's Top Performer, posting the highest score of any skier or rider in any category. Kieran Nikula came closest to Eaves with a 345, with Conrad Lucas placing third out of 12 competitors with a 320.

In Ski Female 13 and Under, freestyle skier Sofiane Gagnon finished first with a 124, followed by Mackenzie Wilson with a 188 and Daria Rivera with a 201.

In Ski Male 14 to 16, the lone competitor was Braden Metza. Metza had three solid runs and finished with a score of 262.

In Ski Male 13 and Under, Chase Ujejski took the win with a score of 278, just six points ahead of Luke Smart. Charles Armstrong was third out of the 14 athletes in the field with a 255.

Registration for the Feb. 19 slopestyle and Mar. 11 halfpipe contest is already available online or at Guest Relations. The price is $29 in advance, going up to $35 on the day of the competition.

All ages are welcome. Participants are eligible for post-race refreshments and a chance to win draw prizes from sponsors at Telus, Nintendo, Atomic, Can-Ski and Showcase.

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