- Freestyle Skiing
USSA results round-up: freeskl
This year’s Dew Tour iON Mountain Championship was filled with thrills, spills, battles with weather and unfortunate athletes who could not compete due to those aforementioned spills. There was added fuel to the competitive fire as the Breckenridge event was the first of five stops to earn valuable USSA standings points. Obviously you want to podium to make your chances of competing in Sochi easier, but fortunately USSA gives points to all competitors, regardless of where they landed on the leaderboard (or out on the course!).
Women’s Freeski Halfpipe
Maddie Bowman’s mother revealed that she was a “crash machine” leading up to the Dew Tour, but the 19-year-old was able to shrug it off and be the first to secure the elusive 1,000 points and inch closer to competing for the U.S. in Sochi when freeski halfpipe makes its debut.
One of the most intriguing athletes competing in Breckenridge was Angeli VanLaanen, who has returned to competition after a two-and-a-half-year sabbatical from the circuit dealing with Lyme disease. Now in remission, VanLaanen is a true Cinderella story, reaching the podium, coming in second place and securing 80 points.
Devin Logan has been in the spotlight ever since she revealed she was going to attempt to make two teams – halfpipe and slopestyle (see below). In the halfpipe, Logan came in fourth and took away 500 points. It wasn’t the position she hoped for, making her now work harder to reach her double-gold goal, but if her laser focus this past weekend is any sign of what’s to come from the Dover, Vt., native, she’ll be climbing the standings list in the upcoming qualifiers.
Thirteen of the American freeski halfpipe competitors came away with qualifying points, ranging from 100-20 points.
Women’s Freeski Slopestyle
This year’s Dew Tour could have been renamed the Dev Tour, as in Devin Logan.
The 20-year-old was one of several crossover athletes going for double Dew Cups, appearing in both finals, but the only one who stood atop the podium, in freeski slopestyle. In addition to leaving Breckenridge with a Dew Cup, she also left as the top women’s slopestyle rider, earning 100 Olympic qualifying points.
This tough-as-nails Park City resident has the focus to stay on top of the USSA leaderboard and is on pace to represent the U.S. in Sochi. The only question that remains is how many disciplines will she qualify for?
Keri Herman may have lost some sponsors because of her age, but the Breckenridge native showed them who’s sponsor-worthy as the 31-year-old earned a top-four finish and 60 qualifying points in front of her home crowd.
With every Olympics, there’s that one teen darling everyone gravitates to. After this weekend in Breckenridge, keep an eye on Maggie Voisin. The Montana native became eligible for Sochi when she turned 15 on Saturday. Not only was her birthday a cause for celebration, but Voisin took third place overall in slopestyle and is second in qualifying points.
Grete Eliassen had a spill in the qualifying round which caused her to crack her helmet and not take a second run. Eliassen’s rule is if she breaks a helmet she stops for the day. Currently last in the standings for slopestyle, the 27-year-old will need to reinforce that helmet if she wants to start climbing that leaderboard. Next up is Copper, which she said she’ll be competing in.
Ashley Battersby had a nasty spill too, which required immediate medical attention. However, her first run in the final was good enough to give her that much sought after fourth spot, giving her a leg up on her teammates heading into the upcoming Grand Prix events.
Men’s Freeski Halfpipe
Heading into the final round of the men’s freeski superpipe, everyone was expecting to see manchild Torin Yater-Wallace replicate his qualifying round domination. Due to an unfortunate accident during training, he, along with close friend Simon Dumont – also due to a training accident – did not start, putting them behind the eight ball to qualify for Sochi.
With 100 points – freeski is based on a 100-point scale opposed to 1000 for snowboarding – waiting in the literal wind, David Wise came through in a nerve-wracking final round. With favorites Yater-Wallace and Dumont sidelined, up-and-comers Aaron Blunck and Lyman Currier siezed the opportunity and took their first step at making the Olympics.
Gus Kenworthy’s first attempt at reaching a top four finish did not come to fruition, coming away in eighth place on the points list, making his dream of competing in two disciplines in the Olympics that much harder.
This event was also important for Canadian Mike Riddle, who despite being knocked off the podium, qualified for Sochi. He’s going to use the remaining competitions to dial in his run that he already has planned for the Olympics.
Men’s Freeski Slopestyle
There was a lot on the line for the Americans heading into the men’s freeski slopestyle final. Not just a Dew Cup, a free watch and a viking helmet, but 100 points and a top four finish to get themselves closer to competing in Sochi.
With a stacked start list, it was anyone’s victory. Of the favorites to represent the U.S. in February, it was once again Nick “who needs ski poles” Goepper who stood tall atop the podium and earned the 100 qualifying points. He may have been the only American on the podium - Breck’s own Bobby Brown finished fourth overall after an epic rollercoaster final round - but with regards to qualifying for Team USA, the international athletes get taken out of the equation. That moved Brown up to number two, followed by Tom Wallisch and young buck, Alex Schlopy.
Gus Kenworthy’s Dew Tour experience was not what he hoped for. After being on the bubble leading into each final – halfpipe and slopestyle – he couldn’t perform under the added pressure and is now on the bubble of the USSA standings list.
St. Louis photographer
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