Changing up the scenery from the previous US Nikita Chickita contests, Utah’s Brighton Resort played host to the all girls event this past Saturday. This contest in particular is a blast, and the high-energy atmosphere lets competitors know that from the get-go. The girls were welcomed at the registration with free entry, a free lift ticket, and free breakfast to really get ‘em going. From there it was practice, practice, practice on the custom course built by Brighton’s enthusiastic park crew.
Mother Nature seemed be having a some difficulty making up her mind, as the morning’s practice session and qualifiers saw blue skies, and warm sun with falling snowflakes sprinkled throughout. Competitors registered in either the Pro or Am division, but competed together in a jam format logging as many runs as possible in the qualifiers where best runs were counted towards finals selections.
Judges scored on four individual categories: Style, Amplitude, Technicality, and Landing. This unique system, combined with the fun and mellow atmosphere pushed the girls to up the ante in pursuit of the top prizes: a one year contract with Nikita for the Ams, and a thousand bucks to the top Pro lady.
The course consisted of the option of a signature Brighton down tube or a down to flat kink, followed by choice of a couple of quirky boxes onto an easy stylin’ flat box then into a double jump line. Last, but not least, competitors chose from one of the three wallrides to wrap up their run; the most popular being the gigantic Gatorade cooler set up for some epic taps and lofty airs. Of the 40 girls vying for spots in the finals (the line at the start gate looked like that outside the ladies room later on in the evening), ten were chosen to move on to finals in each category.
With finals came socked in dark clouds and a blitz of snow, but that didn’t seem to hinder the ladies one bit. Highlights included Nikita’s resident redhead, Ms. Colleen Quigley putting down the ever-elusive Rodeo, fellow team rider Gabby Maiden’s eccentric style and super presses, and thirteen-year-old Kirra Kotsenburg slaying a back 5 over the kicker.
When the results were tallied, new-comer Jessika Jenson took the top spot on the Am podium, and that coveted contract with rock solid run of a backside 3 followed by back 5 and stylish trickery on the jibs. Second and Third place went to Midori Ortari and Ranea Palma respectively.
In the day’s major plot twist, the top Pro honors and fist full of cash also went to Jess Jenson whose win in the Am category, and high score qualified her for the Pro division. Hot on her tail in second for $700 was Utah’s Lynn Neil who dominated the down tube with a locked in 50-50 and cab 5 to half cab on the jump line. New England’s own Colleen Quigley clinched third with her layed out signature back flip and serious presses.
After a long day of serious boarding’ awards were passed out in Brighton’s base lodge, along with hugs and high fives among the babes who came for the good time and friend reunion. A bit later on, the ladies dropped it like it was hot at the Nikita Chickita After Party hosted by the Canyon Inn.