Words & photos by Rocky Maloney
Welcome to yet another beautiful day in Park City, Utah for the FIS World Championships Men's and Women's Ski Slopestyle Finals. First up today were the top 10 ladies from yesterday's qualifiers, who much to their delight, got a little bit of a later start to the day with the event kicking off at a much more desirable and post-sunrise time of 9:35am.
In sixth place today was Park City All Star Ashley Battersby, who once again stomped two silky smooth runs throughout the day with big spins on all three jumps, but unfortunately couldn't find the score she needed to get on the box.
Fellow Team USA member Devin Logan also had another awesome showing today. Stomping her big cork 720 on the second jump into a flatspin 5 off of the last, Devin kept her consistent streak going by rounding out the top five with a score of 36.80.
Kim Lamarre impressed the judges over the past two days (and over the past many years for that matter) with big diaster 270 onto the flat-down box and big 540 shifty's over the last table. The only competitor to do a zero spin over the jumps, the judges rewarded the lovable Canadian with a 39.10 on her second run which was good enough for the fourth place spot.
The top three ladies today are no strangers to the podium by any means. Keri Herman stomped one of the most stylish cork 540's in the business over the second jump and followed it up with a big 720 on the money booter, and after snagging the silver medal in X Games Slopestyle Miss Herman was very excited to find herself on the podium once again by winning the bronze medal with a score of 41.00.
Lamarre's fellow Canadian Kaya Turski will be taking the silver medal home with her to the Great White North after stomping a rock solid run that included big 540's and an even bigger 900. Kaya was on top of the podium last week in Aspen, but after a string of injuries that's seen her in and out of the competition scene over the last year today was once again Australian Anna Segal's day. Anna was on point all day long, greasing all of the rails and stomping all of her jumps. One of the few girls to hit the big ol' A-frame rail, Anna started things off with a big 270 off, into a disaster over the flat-down box. Speed being no issue today Anna then continued into the jumps with a big switch 540 into a 720, and followed it up by being one of the only ladies to hit the large side of the last jump with a big flatspin 3. The judges took note, and rewarded her accordingly with a 43.40 and the gold medal in the first ever slopestyle event at FIS World Championships.
Following the ladies it was time for the gentlemen, who all came out swinging for the top spot of the day.
Gus Kenworthy unfortunately couldn't put together a run and found himself in the 10th place position at the end of the day, while LJ Strenio faired a touch better with a big double cork 1260 over the second jump into a big switch double cork 1080 at the bottom, but the few mistakes the he made cost him some major points, causing him to finish the day in sixth place with a 37.30. Just above him was Sweden's very own Jacob Wester, who laid down almost the same jump line as LJ by connecting a big double cork 1260 into a massive switch double 1080, and found himself just above the American with a 37.70 in the fifth place spot.
Norway's Thomas Dolplad had amazing showing as well, but just ended up just shy of the podium in fourth, while Russ Hensaw gave Australians another reason to celebrate by taking third place. Kicking things off with a big 270 on 270 off of the A-frame rail into a switch 450 onto the flat-down box, Russ, who is known for his stylish airs and big combo spins, proved it today with a right 900, into a switch double 900, and finished his impressive run with a big double cork 1080. After taking the top spot in yesterday's qualifiers Russ moved just a couple spots down, but happily finished with a 41.20 and the bronze medal around his neck.
X Games Slopestyle gold medalist Sammy Carlson, who continues to prove that he is one of the most consistent riders in the game every time he steps into his skis, was on the hunt for back-to-back gold medals today. Starting things off with a disaster lip to 270 out of the flat-down-flat rail into a switch 270 onto the A-Frame rail, Sammy greased the rail section with authority before making his way up and over the jumps with a big switch right 720 into a switch double rodeo 900 and finished off with a big left double cork 1080, earning him a 41.50 and the silver medal.
But in the end it was Park City local Alex Schlopy, fresh off his X Games Big Air gold medal victory, who succeeded in his mission to add another gold medal to his mantle in front of a hometown crowd. Not sure if it was the hometown vibe, home-cooked meals or having family members at the bottom that gave him the extra edge, but Alex straight up dominated the slopestyle course today. After already having one of the most amazing years of his young career thus far, Alex continued to show why he wants to be considered the #1 threat in the slopestyle world with back to back 450's throughout the rail section, followed a left 900 into a switch 1260 and finished things off with the big bang of a double cork 1260. As he skied into the finish corral with a wide smile on his face, the roar from the crowd said it all for the hometown hero. Big ups Schlopy!
Tastes so good.
Congratulations to Schlopy and Segal, and stay tuned to Newschoolers for more coverage on FIS World Championships, which continues tomorrow with Men's and Women's Superpipe Qualifiers followed by Finals on Saturday.
Russ Henshaw (3rd), Alex Schlopy (1st), Sammy Carlson (3rd)
1) Alex Schlopy - 41.80
2) Sammy Carlson - 41.50
3) Russ Henshaw - 41.20
4) Thomas Dolplads - 40.60
5) Jacob Wester - 37.70
6) John Strenio - 37.30
7) Aleksander Aurdal - 37.10
8) James Woods - 35.00
9) Jonas Hunziker - 34.90
10) Gus Kenworthy - 19.50
Keri Herman (3rd), Anna Segal (1st), Kaya Turski (2nd)
1) Anna Segal - 43.40
2) Kaya Turski - 41.70
3) Keri Herman - 41.00
4) Kim Lamarre - 39.10
5) Devin Logan - 36.80
6) Ashley Battersby - 35.90
7) Grete Eliassen - 34.10
8) Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen - 32.30
9) Megan Olenick - 31.10
10) Jessica Warll - DNS