Magalie Dubois. Geery photo.
It wouldn’t be right for me to just write a story about the Nikita Chickita and gush about how great it is and how much fun everyone had. You see, I have been helping to put on this event for the past two seasons, and in the biz, I believe they call that a “conflict of interest.” So instead, this account of the event will be what you couldn’t see but I know — the behind the scenes action at the Nikita Chickita.
First off you may ask, why would you try to put on an event against the Dew Tour, The Arctic Challenge and the Holy Oly? Well, even in these tough economic times riddled with cancelled competitions, it’s still difficult to find a complete open weekend during peak season. That, and shockingly there is no division for amateur girls at any of those other events. So February 21, 2009, the Nikita Chickita took to Mammoth for the second time.
Nikita Marketing Maven Kelly Stoecklein and I rose way too early and trekked to hill long before anyone else. Well, the weekend warriors were already streaming in, but it was early for me, ok. We had to drop off banners, and set out gift bags and Luna bars for registration. We had people pre-register online, 94, to be exact. Honestly, we hoped they would not all show up (that’s a lot of straight air!) After an hour and a half of registration, we called it at 70.
Priscilla Lee. Geery photo.
Things were looking promising. The sun was out, we had a good turn out, and everything was even on time. But as we headed down to South Park, the clouds started to roll in. By the time we got to the top of the course it was cold and windy, and the light was retardedly flat. In order to prevent the contest ending in a snowstorm, the executive decision was made to compress things to two qualifying runs for each rider, but then only one final run for the top 5 in each decision. In hindsight, the 10 minutes we saved made no difference, but it seemed fitting as Kelly had proclaimed this “the mellowest contest ever.”
I scurried off to get the shot, and to enjoy a plethora of straight airs and knuckle checks. Robbie Sell had been enlisted to shoot the event as well, and after saying hi by rudely spraying me, he proceeded to fan out. After one girl did a proper mute stiffy, he proclaimed this was “way more interesting to watch than the Dew Tour. Those guys all just do twirly birds.” I will take his word for it, but there were a few highlights including Colleen Quigley’s proper laid out backflip. Solid 5’s from Mary Beth Sweetkoff and Bryn Vakala, and Vera Janssen’s riding overall. The latter was enough for second place and $700. Joanna Dzierzawski from Lake Tahoe rode off with the pro title and $1000. There was no third place because the $300 alloted for it went to Colleen Quigley for that epic backflip for best trick. Hey, the economy sucks, ya heard?
In general though, seeing girls as young as old compete alongside women in their 50s is pretty cool (even for a skeptic such as myself.) And I swear I am not just saying that because it was my event.
Eri Namasaki. Geery photo.
1. Joanna Dzierzawski
2. Vera Janssen
3. Madison Blackley
4. Ashley Thornton
5. Marley Colt
1. Marley Colt
2. Elle Kaylor
3. Priscilla Lee
Check the whole gallery from the 2009 Nikita Chickita. Click any thumbnail to enlarge.