words by Julie Weinberger
Skiing when the sun is out is pretty much the best thing ever. And, heats three and four showed exactly why that is today in day two of slopestyle qualifying at the US Open. To put it simply, they came out with their A-game.
While skiers yesterday were just trying to land, riders today could focus on all kinds of trickery. I particularly liked how several skiers spun smaller, but really nailed the grabs. Xavier Bertoni was one of those, throwing one of the best 7s I'e ever seen. A few others were throwing huge rodeos as well. Of course, there were some 12s in the mix, too. Sean Logan had an overall amazing run. Vincent Gagnier clearly has his brother's style. Michael Olenick went huge, but too huge, as he couldn't hold onto the landing. Benedikt Mayr threw a lovely 450-on, 270-off that huge gap to box. There was lots of other cool stuff thrown down today, but this is just what sticks out most right now.
JF Houle, Matt Walker, Chris Logan, Mike Hornbeck, AJ Kampainen, Roy Kittler, LJ Strenio, Sean Hartel, Sean Logan, Benedikt Mayr, Vincent Gagnier, Joss Christensen, Mike Mertion, Derek Spong, Xavier Bertoni and Taylor Felton all earned themselves spots in the finals.
Jump three seems to be eating skiers. So many have been looking great on one and two, and then out of nowhere, biffing on three. It's been a combination of going to big and not going big enough.
In other news, LJ has decided to call his Kangaroo Flip the Chicken Flip, saying that if it's going to be a silly name, it might as well be one he likes. And, he Chicken Flipped himself into finals and 450-disastered the flat-down.
The level of skiing was incredible, and has everyone pumped for finals going down tomorrow.
Don't forget, Newschoolers is streaming the Slopestyle Semis and Finals beginning at 12pm MST. Links to the stream will be up tomorrow morning. You won't miss them!
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