The Young Footers of the 2019 Pioneer Open set Minnesota on Fire… well… they warmed it up a bit!

By Megan Adams

The 2019 Pioneer Open is a small, super fun barefoot tournament in Center City, Minnesota and this year, the kids of the Upper Midwest set the tournament on fire!  And beyond the new kids on the dock…  well-known tournament competitors mentored the young ones through their first tournament!

This year was the first time Tournament Director Paul Adams hosted the Pioneer Open… and he was not sure how it was going to be received… but everyone had an incredible time!   In addition to his many tournament duties, Paul also scored 8 in slalom and 920 points in tricks.

Eleven barefooters competed in the Pioneer Open and three of those barefooters came from South Dakota to compete in their very first tournament. Seven skiers were from Minnesota and one from Georgia.


James Bruns of Sioux Falls scored 2.45 in slalom and 690 points in tricks. Dawson Wallen scored 3.08 in slalom and 580 points in tricks. Amara Bruns who is just 10-years-old, scored 2.35 in slalom and 430 points in tricks. These kids did an amazing job barefooting in their first tournament! Plus… they all earned their American Barefoot Club badges!

img_5124.jpgThe 11-year-old Cyr Twins also showed impressive scores at the Pioneer Open. Martin scored 440 points in tricks and 3.55 in slalom. Orval scored 1,100 points in tricks and 6.8 in slalom.  Both boys have their eyes on the 2020 Barefoot World Championships in Australia.

Joe Knapp, who has competed all 41 of the U.S. Barefoot Nationals, put up an impressive slalom score of 13.6 and 980 points in tricks. Betsy Gilman showed her barefooting ability, scoring 1,460 points in tricks and 8.4 in slalom. Zak Johnson scored 8.1 in slalom and 960 points in tricks. Megan Adams scored 3.0 in slalom and 1,000 points in tricks. Paul Oman scored 700 points in tricks and 4.3 in slalom.


Huge thanks to Tournament Director Paul Adams, Chief Driver Paul Oman, Chief Judge Joe Knapp, and Chief Scorer Betsy Gilman. Also thanks to Ryan Gilman for helping out with ropes, handles, and video and Martin Cyr for helping video in the boat.

We can’t wait for next year… except Betsy requests warmer water next year!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.