Crystal Wright and Julien Lopez Win U.S. Freeskiing Nationals at Snowbird

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 15, 2009 12:00 pm


Crystal Wright of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Julien Lopez of La Plagne, France claimed the 2009 U.S. Freeskiing National Championship titles at Snowbird, Utah for the first time in their respective careers. Both athletes are veterans of the World Freeskiing Tour, and tackled the North Baldy face with aplomb. The venue featured a 1,700-vertical-foot drop with a sustained pitch of 40-degrees, which reached 60-degrees in certain spots.

Crystal Wright smoked both of her runs, performed an explosive air and held her line through the rocks. Emily Teague of Telluride, Colorado, took the silver medal, and Leah Evans of Red Mountain, British Columbia, th bronze.‭ ‬“I’ve been so close, so many times and it’s just so emotional and exciting to finally win,” Wright said of her feat. “Words can’t describe it.” 
On the men’s side, Lopez’s fluidity and two huge back flips notched him the win. “It’s my first time winning a World Tour event,” said Lopez. “It means so much to me because this is a big comp. I won this for my friend Adrien Coirier.”
Kenjiro Matsuo of Japan probably took the ‘balls’ award if there was such a thing, as he was the only competitor to launch himself off Femur Rock—a 60-foot drop. However it was Drew Stoecklein of Alta, Utah who took the men’s silver medal with Dex Mills of Crested Butte, Colorado grabbing the bronze.
The FWT tour continues with the Subaru North American Freeskiing Championships, March 18-22, at Kirkwood Mountain Resort, in California.