Nick DiDonato doing a back-X in the single mogul event.
Nick DiDonato doing a back-X in the single mogul event.

By Stan Pawlik 

The competition season has now begun for the freestyle team at Holiday Valley.

This past weekend, HoliMont hosted an Eastern Championship Series event.

Both a mogul and dual mogul event were held, which saw teams from HoliMont, Seven Springs, and Holiday Valley. Also making the trip to compete were the Ontario Mogul Team and the Southern Ontario Regional Mogul Team.

Challenging, rainy conditions made for a long day on the hill.

Holiday Valley’s team had a great day with four girls and three boys finishing in the top 10 of the single mogul event.

This was highlighted by second place results from Macy Putman and Brayden Pawlik. Both also took second place in the dual mogul event in the afternoon.

The women’s event was won by Berkley Brown of the Ontario Mogul Team with Putman finishing second.

Also finishing in the top 10 for Holiday Valley were Emily Hutchings (5th), Ashlee Schuman (8th) and Sage Rifkin (10th).

In the men’s event, HoliMont’s Robbie Andison took home the win with Brayden Pawlik finishing second. Also in the top 10 were Matt DiDonato (5th) and Connor O’Leary (7th).

The dual mogul event in the afternoon proved to be exciting with several close duals. Skiers competed head-to-head against each other with the winner advancing to the next round.

Sage Rifkin took a big top jump and had a hard crash, and was unable to finish her run.

In the second dual for the women, Emily Pawlik and Emily Hutchings (both from Holiday Valley) were paired against each other. It was a close match that had Hutchings advance to the round of eight where she then won to advance to the semi-finals.

Schuman of Holiday Valley also advanced to the round of eight and faced Putman. Schuman crashed and Putman advance to the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals, Putman defeated Maggie Ryan of HoliMont and Brown advanced to the finals after winning her dual against Hutchings.

The dual for third  place saw Ryan take the win, leaving Hutchings in fourth. In the finals, Brown took the victory over Putman.

For the men, Matt DiDonato defeated Quinn Rifkin (both of Holiday Valley) to advance to the round of eight which lead to a dual against his brother Nick. This fight for bragging rights saw Nick come out with the victory and eventually take third place.

Pawlik had solid runs through each round and advanced to the finals against Andison.

This proved to be the most exciting dual of the day. Both skiers crossed the finish line almost even. When all was done, Andison took the win with Pawlik in second.

The Eastern Championship Series continues this weekend with mogul and dual mogul competitions at Lake Placid, while the Eastern Qualifying Series gets started at Bristol Mountain with mogul events on both Saturday and Sunday.