U.S. Freestyle Team’s Dylan Ferguson shines at Deer Valley World Cup aerials

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 15, 2010 8:53 pm

It was a clear, windless night tonight at Deer Valley and the huge crowd was pumped. Music and cheer filled the air as the world’s best freestyle aerialists took to the sky at the Visa International Freestyle World Cup, and for one American athlete, everything went right.

Dylan Ferguson–one of Nick Preston’s many Waterville Valley, NH stars–had one of his best nights, ever. The relative newcomer placed sixth–nabbing his best World Cup finish to date. “I’m so excited,” Ferguson said of his perfect back double-full, full, full. “It’s so great to be here in front of the hometown crowd. I’m stoked.”

The Massachusetts native is now one step closer to the Olympics. For the rest of the U.S. Freestyle squad, however, the night wasn’t so great. Top runner Jeret ‘Speedy’ Peterson didn’t quite land his final jump and finished 12th. The U.S. Olympic Trials winner came out of his skis and tumbled. “I don’t know what happened,” Peterson said. “I felt good in the air but I just popped out on the landing. I guess next time I have to crank down the bindings.”

Peterson also noted that since he already qualified for the 2010 Games last month, the pressure is off. “I can just get ready for Vancouver now,” Peterson said.

2009 World Champion Ryan St. Onge landed in the back seat during the qualification round, and popped out of his skis like Peterson, and Shannon Bahrke’s brother Scott crashed upon landing. World Cup leader Anton Kush

nir of Belarus won for the men, with Guangpu Qi of China in second and veteran and fellow Belarusian Dmitri Dashinski in third. “It was a perfect night for jumping,” Dashinski said. “Perfect weather, perfect hill. There was no way the athletes could not jump well here at Deer Valley. The conditions were perfect.”

On the women’s side, U.S. Olympic Trials winner Lacy Schnoor finished ninth after not quite sticking her landing. “I have some things to work on and am excited for the Olympics,” Schnoor said of her pending Olympic premier in Vancouver.

 Top American Emily Cook opted out of the World Cup, to rest her bruised heels.

Australia’s Lydia Lassila took the gold medal with a back layout, double full, full-a triple flip which is unusual for the women. Most do doubles. To top it off, the jump was new for Lassila. “I just added new tricks to my repertoire these past few weeks,” Lassila said. “I’m psyched because I was able to win and these weren’t my best jumps. There’s room for improvement, so I’m really looking forward to the Olympics.”

Mengtao Xu of China took the silver medal and her teammate (and last week’s Calgary World Cup winner) Li Nina claimed the bronze.


photos: Tom Kelly/USSA