Nehalem Manka impressed judges enough to earn an eighth place finish at the North American Freeride Championships at Snowbird, Utah. This season, Manka placed sixth overall in North America, while beating skiers who placed second and fourth in the 2018 world championships.

More success for Big Sky freeriders

The April 11-15 freeride competition in Snowbird, Utah, included fresh snow on the first venue and dangerous ice on the second, leading the competition organizers to take the first round results as the finals. 

     This was an invite-only event based on results from a season of competition and the Big Sky Freeride team sent Andrew Smith, Nehalem Manka and Luuk MacKenzie. Manka finished eighth and MacKenzie finished 27th. 

     Smith, unfortunately, “took a digger” during a training round, said coach and parent Peter Manka, and was unable to compete. 

     Manka said competition officials had to call off the second and final round of competition because the venue on Mount Baldy, “Was pretty much a sheet of ice. Asking athletes to push their limits and jump, do big features and difficult lines, it’s up to the organizers and everybody to decide what’s safe.”



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