Freestyle World Champs kick off Tuesday
Halfpipe qualifications are complete and the final start lists are set for the first event of the Voss/Oslo Freestyle World Ski Championships, slated to take place Tuesday night in Oslo Vinterpark halfpipe, located just outside of the Norwegian capital.
High overcast skies, temperatures just above freezing, and a flawless, consistent pipe set the stage for some high-level skiing as the very best halfpipe riders sought to claim a spot as one of the 12 men and 12 ladies who will get the chance to duke it out for the title of World Champion under the lights on Tuesday.
On the men's side, Canada's Matt Margetts put down the best run of the day early in the morning, using his first run of the first heat to score an impressive 90-flat. While Margett's run wasn't nearly the most technical one seen in the qualifications, his combination of massive amplitude, spotless execution, and smooth style was just enough to edge his nearest competitor.
That competitor happened to be X Games champion David Wise, who comes into the Voss/Oslo looking hungry to reach the podium after back-to-back fourth place finishes at the last two World Championships, Inawashiro in 2009 and Deer Valley in 2011. Wise's run put him just about as close as he could have been to a first place qualification, earning 89.8.
Wise was followed up by compatriot and current World Cup halfpipe points leader Torin Yater-Wallace, who recorded a score of 88.4. Reigning halfpipe world champion Mike Riddle qualified in fifth.
"I’ve had a great season so far and I am looking forward to hopefully continuing my success, this will be my fourth competition this year and I would like to finish my competition season strong," said Yater-Wallace. "It would be great to help the U.S. out with quota spots for the Olympics and hopefully I will have the opportunity to make the Olympic team, these are all just steps towards Sochi."
For the ladies, it was Ayana Onozuka who was able to put together the best first-to-last hit run, with a combination of consistent amplitude and trick variety that proved the strongest of the day and earned her a score of 87.6.
Onozuka was able to edge reigning ladies ski halfpipe world champion Rosalind Groenewoud, despite the Canadian throwing the biggest trick of the ladies' qualification with a right side 1080 to end her second run and elevate her into second with a score of 86.8.
Halfpipe finals from the Oslo Vinterpark at the Voss/Oslo 2013 Freestyle World Ski Championships are scheduled to begin at 19:30 CET (1:30 p.m. EST) on Tuesday.
Also this week: Moguls, slopestyle, aerials, ski cross
Defending slopestyle World Champion Alex Schlopy heads up a strong roster of U.S. athletes named to compete at the 2013 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, including both freestyle and freeskiing events.
Olympic champion Hannah Kearney and 2009 World Champion Patrick Deneen join current AFP halfpipe leaders Torin Yater-Wallace and Maddie Bowman, plus X Games champion David Wise in leading a team of 34 U.S. athletes named to the 2013 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships Team.
"World Championships will be the first and only time the Olympic format will be tested before Sochi 2014, so it is a perfect opportunity for me and the other American athletes to prove that we are ready," said Kearney. "Between single moguls and duals, the best-case scenario is four days of competing in a row. I believe that physical conditioning will play an important role at Worlds.
Moguls — Men
Pat Deneen, Cle Elum, WA
Bradley Wilson, Butte, MT
Dylan Walczyk, Breckenridge, CO
Bryon Wilson, Butte, MT
Moguls — Women
Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT
Mikaela Matthews, Frisco, CO
Heather McPhie, Bozeman, MT
Eliza Outtrim, Hamden, CT
Aerials — Men
Nevin Brown, Streetsboro, OH
Dylan Ferguson, Amesbury, MA
Jon Lillis, Rochester, NY
Mike Rossi, Long Valley, NJ
Aerials — Women
Emily Cook, Belmont, MA
Allison Lee, Manchester
Kiley McKinnon, Madison
Madison Olsen, Park City, UT
Halfpipe — Men
Aaron Blunck, Crested Butte, CO
Simon Dumont, Bethel, ME
David Wise, Reno, NV
Torin Yater-Wallace, Basalt, CO
Halfpipe — Women
Annalisa Drew, Andover, MA
Maddie Bowman, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Angeli Vanlaanen, Bellingham, WA
Kimmy Sharp, Park City, UT
Slopestyle — Men
Tom Wallisch, Pittsburgh, PA
Gus Kenworthy, Telluride, CO
Nick Goepper, Lawrenceburg, IN
Alex Schlopy, Park City, UT
Matt Walker, Palisade, CO
Slopestyle — Women
Jamie Crane-Mauzy, Park City, UT
Grete Eliassen, Salt Lake City
Alexi Micinski, Meridian, ID
Skicross — Men
Joe Swensson, Killington, VT
John Teller, Mammoth Lakes, CA
Tuesday – Halfpipe finals (Oslo)
Wednesday – Moguls finals (Voss)
Thursday – Aerials finals (Voss)
Friday – Dual moguls finals (Voss)
Saturday – Slopestyle finals (Voss)
Sunday – Skicross finals (Voss)