Like brother, like sister.On Sunday at Mount Bachelor, Ore., local Teddy Karlinski, 18, finished fifth in a Grand Prix slopestyle final packed with big-name pros, including a handful of Olympic hopefuls.Not to be outdone, Teddy’s 16-year-old sister, Jordan, a member of the U.S. Snowboarding C Team, finished third in her respective slopestyle final. The results were both personal bests and club bests. No Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club athlete had ever qualified for a Grand Prix final before Sunday.”They both rise to any occasion,” said Miah Wheeler, the head coach of the AVSC snowboard team. “Teddy rode on another level. He was up against some heavy hitters and proved himself. Jordy has a natural style and grace in her riding. She made it look easy.”The conditions for both finals were anything but easy. Twelve inches of fresh snow and continuing flurries pushed back the start times four hours, and event organizers shortened the course from five jumps to two. The first final didn’t get under way until 2 p.m., and the men’s final didn’t wrap up until after 5.After qualifying 14th for the 16-rider men’s final, Teddy got a pep talk from Wheeler, then proceeded to lay down his strongest run of the season.There was a switch tail slide on the picnic table at the top of the course, a 270 off, then a cab 540 off the first kicker and a huge 720 off the final kicker. After he shot into the top five with his first run score, the possibility of making the podium suddenly didn’t seem so far-fetched, Teddy said. He opted to try a frontside 900 on the final jump of his final run, even with the daylight slowly fading and the course becoming more precarious.”But, I didn’t get it around,” Teddy said. “I caught an edge and fell on my face in front of everybody. It was a pretty big crowd.”Added Wheeler: “If he would have stomped that second run, he probably would have been on the podium. It was really hard to throw a nine on that course with the new snow and the flurries coming in and out.”Tim Humphreys, a New Hampshire pro, took top honors, followed by Wyatt Caldwell and Scott Lago. Caldwell took bronze at last year’s Winter Gravity Games slopestyle; Lago, also from New Hampshire, is on the U.S. Snowboarding A Team for halfpipe. Lago finished fifth in Sunday’s halfpipe final as well, which Shaun White won. “I was just looking to make the final,” Teddy said modestly. “Then once I did that, I actually wanted to win some money. Fifth is awesome. I’m so stoked.”As for a prize check, Teddy didn’t get one at the event, but “my sister said they paid out up to fifth place.”He said he hopes something comes in the mail this week.’Natural style and grace’It wasn’t technical, and it wasn’t huge, but Jordan’s run was enough to put her on the podium, ahead of 15 of the 18 girls who competed Sunday.The two jumps on the course weren’t designed for the female competitors, Jordan said. The first topped out around 45 feet, and the second was close to 60 feet. Only two girls in the field, Jamie Anderson and Kimmy Fasani, tried rotating off the jumps – and finished first and second, respectively.Jordan, who is more of boardercross specialist, did straight airs on both of the jumps in both runs, tweaking out a mute grab on the first hit, followed by an indy grab on the second.What distanced her from the rest of the field was the fact that she actually cleared the jumps, and that she did it without flailing. There was also the smooth cab 270 onto the picnic table at the top of the course”Actually, I didn’t do anything very special,” she said. “A lot of the girls fell. On my second run, I was going to do a backside three, but it was really sketchy. It was like four in the afternoon, it was really cloudy, and you couldn’t see the takeoff.”While boardercross is her strongest discipline, Jordan said she plans to continue to training in slopestyle and riding the halfpipe, and expects to compete in both events at the next Grand Prix Jan. 20-21 in Mountain Creek, N.J. Teddy and Jordan both depart for East Coast resort – the final stop on this year’s tour – on Tuesday.”New Jersey is going to be a totally different kind of park,” Wheeler said. “I mean it’s New Jersey, so they’re going to be challenged with a whole different course. The best thing about them is they’re not one-trick ponies. They’re not just good at jumps, or rails, or one kind of trick. They’re awesome all-around riders.”There’s also the Winter X Games on the schedule at the end of the month for Jordan. Last year she made her Winter X debut in boardercross at just 15.”I’m really excited,” she said. “It’s my favorite event that I’ve ever done.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.