South Shore’s Demsar advances in skiercross
Janez Demsar, Chiara Lawrence and Bill Hudson passed their first tests in the Winter X Games skiercross on Thursday, but snowboarding goliath Shaun Palmer didn’t get out of the semifinal round in boardercross.
South Shore’s Demsar qualified 14th in skiercross with a run of 47.350 seconds.
If Demsar can finish among the top 16 in Friday’s finals, he will also qualify for Monday’s ultracross event.
Hudson, a former World Cup skier, barely made it past preliminaries as his 48.369 qualifying run was good for 23rd place. Only the top 24 advanced.
Hudson finished second to Palmer in last year’s skiercross.
Squaw Valley’s Lawrence, a runner-up last year in skiercross and the 2000 Gravity Games champion, posted the fastest women’s qualifying time at 49.259. Other women to qualify for Friday’s final rounds were Magdalena Jonsson, Megan Brown, Lela Hebard, Aleisha Cline, Michaela Boyle, Katie Shackleford, Anik Demers, Julia Lejoile, Patti Sherman-Kauf and Christy Kromer and Noel Lyons.
The feel-good story of the day belonged to 42-year-old Matt Murphy, who qualified 12th in men’s skiercross. Other qualifiers were Isidor Gruener, Hiroomi Takizawa, Zach Crist, Reggie Crist, Thomas Rinfret, Kaj Zackrisson, Anders Wiggerud, Jamey Parks, Sverre Lillequist, Eric Andersson, Markus Wittner, Eric Archer, Todd Kelly, Sean Clark, Jeremy Nobis, Tomas Andersson, Jon Orarback, Josh Loubek, Enak Gavaggio and Axel Naglich.
Palmer, of South Lake Tahoe, and defending boardercross champion Drew Neilson were each eliminated in the semifinals as both men crashed and finished last in their heats.
Palmer, a three-time boardercross gold medalist, finished 12th and is eligible to compete in Monday’s ultracross. He also is expected to compete in a new event, the snowmobiling hillcross, which pits six racers competing uphill on a skiercross course.
Scott Gaffney won gold in boardercross, while Mark Schultz earned silver and Seth Westcott claimed bronze.
In the women’s boardercross finals, Line Oestvold of Honefoss, Norway, captured the gold medal, with Erin Simmons of British Columbia, Canada, collecting silver and Amy Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., claiming bronze.
Tanner Hall, a 5-foot-3 17-year-old from Mammoth Lakes, stood the tallest after winning gold in the skier big air competition. Hall nailed a switch rodeo 720 with a tail grab on his winning jump.
Evan Raps, 21, of Olympic Valley, and C.R. Johnson of Truckee joined Hall on the podium with second- and third-place finishes, respectively.
The fifth Winter X Games continues through Tuesday, with ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC combining for tape-delayed coverage starting Friday, Feb. 2.
For complete results in men’s and women’s boardercross and skier big air, see Page 2B.
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