Andrea Byrne represented Fernie at the International Freeski Association North America Junior Championships in Utah, finishing in second place.
The competition was the cherry on top of a busy and successful season for Byrne. Earlier in the year she placed first at the Jeep Junior Freeski tour stop in Kimberley and second at the tour’s stop in Fernie. Byrne also came in third at the GoPro Junior Freeski Challenge in Whistler and is this year’s recipient of the Travis Steeger award.
After a two day drive, Byrne found herself in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 9 getting ready to ski Snowbird Ski Resort for the first time.
“It was really insane,” remarked Byrne. “When I got there it was more than what I expected and the venue was a freeski world tour venue so it was definitely a harder venue than I ‘m used to. It was so cool to meet all the new people because it was kids from all over North America, so it opened up the playing field a bit too.”
Byrne’s qualifying run didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was enough to get her to the finals.
“My qualifying result was sixth place, which was not what I was hoping for so I was pretty bummed, but I was only .20 behind second place,” she explained.
Byrne’s run in the finals was the winning run of the day, giving her a second place finish in the competition and moving her up from fourth place in the overall standings to second place in North America.
“It was awesome. It was a big improvement for me from last season because last season I finished seventh in my category,” said Byrne. “It was cool to move up and just achieve my goal to even make it to the final. Getting second, I still haven’t quite realized what that means, but it’s really great.”
She went on to say, “I want to thank the Emily Brydon Foundation for giving me money towards [the competition] and RCR, as well as all of the ski hosts and my mom and dad.”
Byrne is still working out her plans for next year, but one thing is for certain, she will continue to compete.