Mischa Thomas (15, Auckland) has claimed the gold medal at today’s international FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Slopestyle competition, the first event of the 2023 Cardrona NZ Freestyle Nationals.
Madeleine Disbrowe (15, Queenstown) joined Thomas on the podium in bronze medal position, showing the depth and breadth of the women’s freeski talent in New Zealand.
Thomas, who came into today’s event off the back of a 3rd place finish at the FIS Freeski Slopestyle Junior World Championships, was the first athlete to drop into the world class Big Bucks slopestyle course at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
The fifteen-year-old athlete managed her nerves incredibly well, and laced together a quality run, with a technical rail section and a clean jump section. The judges were impressed and rewarded Thomas with a 83.67, which was the top score of the competition by a significant margin.
Thomas explained, “I am really hyped to take the win today, coming into today after finishing on the podium at Junior World Champs, both gave me extra confidence but also meant I felt a bit more pressure to do well.”
“The conditions were challenging so I toned it back on the jumps a bit, but on the rails, I did a ‘Britney’ which is a back swap, front 270 off on the first rail and a switch 270 to switch on the second rail.” – Thomas.
Disbrowe, who finished just off the podium at the FIS Freeski Slopestyle Junior World Championships in fourth place last month, was stoked to secure a podium finish today.
Disbrowe was pleased with her performance, explaining; “The biggest thing for me today was dialing up my rail game, I did a disaster 270 onto the down rail which is a new trick for me. I am pleased because today was the first time I have landed it in competition and it’s been a big goal for me to spin onto the rails!”
The snowboard women also competed today on the same course, with Ava Beer (14, Te Anau) representing New Zealand. She put down a solid run and finished just off the podium in 4th place.
Beer said, “It’s a little bit tough to finish so close to the podium, but I am stoked to put down a run. I was happy to land a switch back, blunt 270 on the rails and a cab 540 on the jumps. This result gives me confidence going into the upcoming Northern Hemisphere season.”
The Cardrona NZ Freestyle Nationals are made up of the Freeski and Snowboard FIS ANC Slopestyle event, before moving into the age division competitions, from which we crown the overall NZ National Champions.
The action continues tomorrow with the FIS ANC Men’s Freeski and Snowboard event.
Women’s Freeski Finals – https://liveheats.com/events/169172/divisions/322918
Women’s Snowboard Finals – https://liveheats.com/events/169172/divisions/322916