Lazzareschi and Irwin Win Snowboarding, Pavillard-Cain and Forrest Jillson win Skiing at Big Sky Resort

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Subaru Freeride Series 4-star provides last chance to earn 2014 Freeride World Qualifier points

Women’s Snowboard:
1. Iris Lazzareschi, Squaw Valley, 155.67
2. Camila Brown, Snowbird, 150.33
3. Galen Bridgewater, Big Sky, 140.33

Women’s Ski:
1. Francesca Pavillard-Cain, Crested Butte, 148.00
2. Hazel Birnbaum, Kirkwood, 147.33
3. Ashley Bembenek, Crested Butte, 144.00

Men’s Snowboard:
1. Andrew Irwin, Squaw Valley, 166.00
2. Christopher Galvin, Squaw Valley, 165.33
3. Jonathan Penfield, Whistler, 157.00

Men’s Ski:
1. Forrest Jillson, Jackson Hole, 176.33
2. Kyle Taylor, Bridger Bowl, 164.67
3. George Rodney, Alta/Snowbird, 164.33

FULL RESULTS CLICK HERE

BIG SKY, MONTANA (April 5, 2014)— The hopes of aspiring 2015 Freeride World Tour athletes hung on The Headwaters venue today at Big Sky Resort, Montana. The event marked the final stop of the 2014 Subaru Freeride Series (SFS) and Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) season with athletes eager to earn valuable points necessary to advance to the sport’s elite competition level, the Freeride World Tour (FWT). Athletes from both the Europe and Americas regions were present representing the United States, Canada, France, Russia, Austria and Andorra.

Snow and low hanging clouds created visibility challenges throughout the day, but intermittent sun made competition possible on the steep face. Athletes received a combined score from two days of competition to determine the leaders. At the end of the day, Squaw Valley, CA locals Iris Lazzareschi and Andrew Irwin both took top honors in snowboarding. In the skiing competitions, 2014 Freeride World Tour rider Francesca-Pavillard Cain of Crested Butte, CO and Forrest Jillson of Jackson Hole, WY landed the top podium positions.

The webcast, which was originally scheduled to air live, had been delayed in an effort to make the competition as efficient as possible despite weather holds. A replay of the competition will be available for viewing Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 1PM MDT on SubaruFreerideSeries.com. Both fans and athletes will be able to relive the event and watch their favorite riders at that time.

The competition began with women’s snowboarding. Iris Lazzareschi rode Jack Creek top to bottom fast and fluid pleasing the judges with her technique. She earned first place and a top combined score of 155.67.

“It’s definitely a big confidence booster for myself with the run that I had. It wouldn’t have mattered if I would have lost because it was a lot of fun no matter what,” remarked Lazzareschi. “I think the highlighting moment was to find out how good the snow really was when I got into the couloirs. Taking the win today means that I will live another day of being a pro snowboarder.”

In second place, Camilla Brown, who also won the 2-star event earlier in the week, placed second with a score of 150.33. Big Sky local Galen Bridgewater pleased the hometown crowd with a third place finish. Despite a few technical mishaps on the second competition day, her high day one score carried her to third place.

Next, were the female skiers. 2014 Freeride World Tour skier Francesca Pavillard-Cain started the competition with a commanding lead after day one. On day two, Pavillard-Cain executed a high-speed straightline double cliff drop through Hell’s Half Acre. Pavillard-Cain received a combined score of 148.00.

“The competition was awesome! The snow was great and it seemed everyone was competing on a really high level. It is wonderful to witness the constant progression of this sport,” explained Pavillard-Cain. “I love the atmosphere on the Subaru Freeride Series. This past season on the Freeride World Tour was a great experience, coming off of a recent injury it was nice to compete in a more familiar environment.”

In second place, Hazel Birnbaum had a similar run to Pavillard-Cain also with a high-speed double but had a lower day one score resulting in a total score of 147.33. Rounding out the podium in third place, Ashley Bembenek charged down Rock Chute and hit the left side of the Tetris Cliff landing in the Rock Creek Amphitheatre. She finished her run with a sizeable air and a score of 140.33.

In men’s snowboarding, Andrew Irwin took the lead with a combined score of 166.00. Irwin rode down the looker’s left side to Hell’s Half Acre showing style and finesse. He finished his run with a high-speed straightline through the chute referred to as Nun’s.

“The highlighting moment of my run was the creamy face shot at the top of the hill,” said Irwin. “I felt my run was pretty conservative, but I chose a line where no one else would go. The next step for me in my freeride career is to hopefully get a wildcard into the FWT. If not, I plan on participating in the SFS again next year.”

Christopher Galvin landed second place by hitting three airs riding down Jack Creek and finishing with a backside 360. Galvin’s combined score was narrowly behind Irwin at 166.00. Jonathan Penfield was pleased with his third place finish and combined score of 157.00. His podium position, however, may have been overshadowed by the honor of the Backcountry.com Sickbird for the snowboard category.

Finally, the men’s ski competition stood in the starting gate for their season ending contest. Forrest Jillson laid down two days of high-speed runs through Rock Chute leading into a sizeable air off Tetris rock. He then skied into the Rock Creek Amphitheater where he throttled into the Rock Star double. Jillson’s consistently aggressive performances earned him the top competition score of 176.33.

“This is almost the seven-year anniversary of an accident that shattered my femur. I was told I would never ski again,” recalled Jillson. “Having this win is pretty amazing. Honestly, coming into the corral is pretty sweet. My future in freeriding depends heavily on whether I make it to the FWT. If not I will be here again next year. I just hope to be as consistent this next year as I was this year.”

Winner of the Subaru Freeride Series in Crested Butte, Kyle Taylor took second place with a combined score of 164.67. Taylor picked a unique line down Jack Creek with much fluidity for his day two run. George Rodney, who led after day one and is known for his big air antics, skied a very smart and competitive line, which protected his top day one score and landed him in third place overall. Rodney’s score was 164.33.

The day was full with achievements and honors among them was the coveted Backcountry.com Sick Bird Award. The award is highly revered by the big mountain freeride community and is granted to the top skier and snowboarder who challenge not only themselves, but also the sport through their athletic performance. Coming off a super hot competition weekend with first place in the 2-star event and third in the 4-star, Jonathan Penfield received the Backcountry.com Sick Bird for snowboarding. Penfield flew through a chute at the top of The Headwaters and stomped a massive cliff drop at the bottom. For skiing, Tristan Brown skied fast fluidly through a snow field called the Dance Floor and hit a diving board cliff perfectly executing a sizeable backflip into Hell Roaring in both of his runs. He finished out his second run with a high speed straightline down the zone called Nun’s.

The Subaru Freeride Series continues tomorrow with the Junior Freeride World Championship finals also on The Headwaters. The competition is scheduled to begin at 9:30AM but will not be webcast live. A tape delayed broadcast of the show will air on SubaruFreerideSeries.com and JuniorFreerideTour.com Tues., April 8 at 6PM MDT. Top Junior Athletes from around the world will compete side by side in this truly inspiring event.

For more information and updated about the Subaru Freeride Series and the Subaru Winter Fest, please visit www.msiwebdev.com/fwt

For athlete information visit the new Freeride Series page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FreerideSeriesFWQ), follow the Subaru Freeride Series on Twitter at twitter.com/FreerideSeries, or contact Andrea Logan, MSI athlete relations manager, atalogan@mtsports.com or (207) 475-6419.

For media or general information contact Jessica Kunzer, MSI marketing and communications director, at jkunzer@mtsports.com or (801) 349-4612.