Wintry World Cup pressed into overtime
Heavenly Ski Resorts’s first World Cup event in a score of years nearly wound up Sunday in wind-blown swirling snow that forced the postponement of the women’s aerial finals.
However, while plagued by the winds delaying runs, the men’s aerials were run off in brilliant fashion with Dmitri Dashinski of Belorus soaring to first place with a score of 241. Dashinski was second after the first run but pulled off the win with a quad twist quad.
By winning he managed to be the only non-American winner in the three-event meeting. Americans earlier won the acro and moguls event. Olympic gold medal winner Jonny Moseley sat out the moguls with a sore back.
The next five men were all Americans. Joe Pack was second at 233.96, Matt Chojnacki was third with 224.39, Brian Currutt was fourth with 223.78 and Britt Swartley was fifth at 214.98.
Nagano gold medal winner Eric Bergoust was sixth to complete the American near-sweep.
Conditions were so bad that aerialists were forced to wait for breaks in the howling winds, which delayed the event to the extent that the women’s aerials were postponed until today.
The aerials, always a crowd pleaser as the contestants unveil a bewildering assortment of flips and twists, drew a loyal crowd of more than 500 spectators who stayed until the end despite the dropping temperatures and winds.
In the B seed for the men’s aerials, no American placed in the first five.
In standings in the World Cup men’s aerials, Nicolas Fontaine of Canada leads at 260 points with Currutt second at 256 and Swartley third at 248 points. Bergoust is fourth at 244 and Pack fifth at 224. In men’s overall World Cup standings, acro skier Konrad Hilpert is first, with Steven Roxberg, winner of Friday’s acro event, second and Antti Inberg of Switzerland third.
The event will be telecast next Saturday on NBC.
Heavenly’s managing director Dennis Harmon said as the aerials were under way, “We must be doing something right, the weather has been great.”
This was, of course, before the winds started acting up.
Conditions were worse for the moguls Saturday, but Heavenly’s ready-to-work personnel made the event happen.
The mogul event held on Gunbarrel took place in heavy snow, but the snow wasn’t heavy enough to deny a second American victory as Alex Wilson of Buffalo, N.Y., flashed through the finish line with 26.31 points.
Second was Richard Gay of France at 26.13 with Caleb Martin of Telluride, Colo., coming in third with 26.06.
Evan Dybvig of Turnbridge, Vt., led in the qualifications but fell on a jump at the top of the two-jump, moguls studded course.
“‘Roxy’ definitely inspired me,” said Wilson, referring to teammate Steve Roxberg, winner of the acro event. “I’m glad though that I didn’t have to wait 11 years like he did. This feels pretty good.”
In the women’s moguls, Minna Karho of Finland took top honors scoring 25.26. Second was Marija Elfman of Sweden at 24.65 and third was Aiko Uemura of Japan with 24.36, winning a tiebreaker with Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, also at 24.65. Michelle Rourk of Denver was fifth.
Hometown skier Brooke Ballachey was squeezed out of the final 12, finishing 15th in the qualifications. Shelly Robertson of Reno was 18th.
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