For more information contact:

Gina Kroft, (970) 349-2201

gkroft@cbmr.com

  Qualifying runs for the U.S. Extreme/Freeskiing Championships are tomorrow

AMERICAN RYAN McCULLOUGH AND SWEDE MAGDALENA JONSSON TAKE THE WINNING TITLES IN THE 4th ANNUAL SWISS ARMY SKIERCROSS IN CRESTED BUTTE

MT. CRESTED BUTTE, CO (April 3, 2002) Starting out with sunny Colorado bluebird skies but finishing under cloudy and windy conditions, top-ranked skiercross competitors Ryan McCullough from Lakewood, CO and veteran skiercross competitor, Magdalena Jonsson from Nora, Sweden, took the men’s and women’s titles today in the 4th annual Swiss Army Skiercross, kicking off the first day of competition in the 11th Annual Saab U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships presented by Magna Bloc.  In addition to $1500 cash, Swiss Army watches, trophies and sweet prizes, the men’s and women’s champions also earned an entry into next year’s ESPN Winter X Games Skiercross event.

Today’s Skiercross competition featured a field of 80 skiers from the U.S., Sweden and Canada competing head to head in groups of four until only the fastest heat was left. Skiers raced down a specially-designed course of banked turns, jumps and "rollers" reaching speeds of over 40mph. There are no judges in this event; the fastest wins. McCullough, formerly of Crested Butte, with two other top finishes this year, and the world’s top-ranked female skiercross racer, Jonsson, swept the competition, ousting the highest level of Skiercross competitors ever seen in the Crested Butte event.   

Local Gunnison student Kyle Sul walked away with the junior title, $100 in cash, a Swiss Army watch, some other killer prizes, a first place trophy and a big smile. 

Renowned and colorful commentator, Uncle E, kept the spectators, staff and competitors smiling throughout the day with his uncanny monologue.    

espn2 will broadcast coverage of the Skiercross and the three-day U.S. Extreme Championships twice in November to kick start the 2002/2003 ski season at Crested Butte.

Switching gears tomorrow, a field of 115 skiers will be judged not on speed, but on how well they tackle the steeps. Line choice, form, fluidity, aggression and control all play an equal part in determining who continues on to round two of this now-legendary, three-day extreme competition. Tomorrow’s qualifying runs will take place on The Headwall, a steep face with a 650-foot vertical drop over a 43-degree average slope.   Competitors will be vying for over $40,000 in cash and prizes with the top men’s and women’s winners taking home $6500 each, the largest cash purse in freeskiing competitions.

EVENT SPONSORS

Saab Cars USA celebrates eight years as the title sponsor for this legendary event.   Magna Bloc, a top-line of therapeutic magnets, is in its third year as the presenting sponsor for the 2002 U.S. Extreme "Freeskiing" Championships. The event receives strong support from a host of national sponsors including: Saab Cars USA, Magna Bloc, Club Med,  Nutrilite Vitamins and Supplements, Gore-Tex, Paul Mitchell hair products, Coors Light Beer, Swiss Army Brands, title sponsor for the 4th Annual Swiss Army SkierCross,  Evian Natural Spring Water, Jose Cuervo, Sprite, Clif Bar, Boeri helmets, Hard Corps Sports, Wigwam Mills Inc. FREEZE Magazine and Bula.  The event is approved by the International Freeskiers Association (IFSA) and is the North American Tour Championships.

Editors Note: Crested Butte will fax and email results and features throughout the competition. A video news release will be uplinked and transmitted on Saturday, April 6 via Peak Uplink (303) 921-9800.  SBS 6, Transponder 3, 11774 (H).  Photography and B-roll available.  For more information contact Gina Kroft, (970) 349-2201 or gkroft@cbmr.com