Aerials: Lassila, Kushnir win Lake Placid World Cup


LAKE PLACID, NY (Jan. 22) – Aerialists Lydia Lassila of Australia and Anton Kushnir of Belarus won their second World Cup events in as many competitions tonight under the lights at the Nature Valley Freestyle World Cup in Lake Placid, New York. Tonight’s competition was the penultimate World Cup event before the Vancouver Games, less than one month from now.

Defending World Cup champ Lassila, who won her first competition of the season last week in Deer Valley, was joined on the podium by Chinese jumpers Li Nina in second and Zhan Xin in third.  Another Australian jumper, Bree Munro, was just off the podium with a career-high, fourth-place finish.

American Jana Lindsey led the North American women in eighth place just ahead of Canadian Amber Peterson in ninth and American Lacey Schnoor in 10th. Schnoor won the Olympic Trials on Christmas Eve to earn guaranteed spots on the Olympic team. Lindsey was assured one of six available Olympic berths after no other U.S. competitors could land a top-five finish to match her fourth-place finish at the season opener in Changchun, China.

“I’m frustrated with the team,” said U.S. aerials head coach Matt Christensen, of his team’s lackluster performance at home. “I’m not mad or anything, the quality of jumps all week has been extremely high, the competition jumps have just been a big letdown.”

Li now leads in the overall World Cup aerials standings, 30 points ahead of teammate Guo Xinxin (15th  today) in second, teammate Xu Mengtao (22nd today) stands third, 58 points behind Li. Lassila is 91 points of the leading pace in fourth.

American young gun Ashley Caldwell, 15, just missed the final round, finishing in 13th place. Teammate Emily Cook was forced to sit out her second competition in a row with a bruised heel. She initially injured the heel Jan. 10 at a World Cup competition in Calgary.

World Cup leader Kushnir is red hot thus far this season. The 25-year-old Belarusian has won three World Cups and hasn’t missed a podium yet through five competitions. Kushnir’s middle of the pack winning score, held up as three Canadian jumpers packed the top four. Warren Shouldice finished second, Ryan Blais took third and Kyle Nissen landed fourth as all three claimed their season-high results.

Defending World Cup champion, Canadian Steve Omischl, who competed in his first final in three weeks after sustaining a concussion while training for the Calgary World Cup, was back in action tonight with a ninth-place finish.

Only Jeret “Speedy” Peterson (10th), who earned an early ticket to Vancouver by winning the Olympic Trials, made it to the 12-man final round for the home team. Teammate Dylan Ferguson, who had been on a hot streak with two consecutive top-ten finishes, missed the final and landed in 17th place.

Fellow American and defending world champion Ryan St. Onge was 23rd and failed to reach his first finals of the season.
 
“He was perfect all week,” Christensen said. “It’s been that way all season. That needs to change. We need to stick them like we have in training.”

The final U.S. freestyle skiing Olympic Team will be announced Jan. 26.

The aerialists will now head to Mont Gabriel, Canada for their final event (Jan. 30) before the Vancouver Games.

The Nature Valley Freestyle World Cup will continue Sunday with men’s and women’s ski cross races.

Men’s Results

 1  1  2193294 KUSHNIR Anton  1984  BLR   253.10    1000.00
 2  17  2304166 SHOULDICE Warren  1983  CAN   251.55    800.00
 3  21  2274968 BLAIS Ryan  1979  CAN   250.80    600.00
 4  11  2185631 NISSEN Kyle  1979  CAN   249.59    500.00
 5  6  2330841 ULRICH Renato  1983  SUI   249.48    450.00
 6  13  2484932 ROCHON Olivier  1989  CAN   245.29    400.00
 7  16  2192130 GRISHIN Alexei  1979  BLR   238.32    360.00
 8  22  2074178 KRAVCHUK Stanislav  1978  UKR   236.21    320.00
 9  9  2271185 OMISCHL Steve  1978  CAN   233.01    290.00
 10  10  2265753 PETERSON Jeret  1981  USA   230.61    260.00
 11  4  2335400 SLIVETS Timofei  1984  BLR   225.89    240.00
 12  7  2416982 LIU Zhongqing  1985  CHN   205.73    220.00
 13  23  2306688 ISOZ Andreas  1984  SUI   113.28    200.00
 14  24  2526057 BELANGER Remi  1987  CAN   110.84    180.00
 15  25  2526397 SHAPKIN Yury  1987  RUS   109.55    160.00
 16  5  2438904 WU Chao  1987  CHN   109.27    150.00
 17  8  2343160 FERGUSON Dylan  1988  USA   107.30    140.00
 18  19  2360140 OSIPAU Denis  1983  BLR   105.41    130.00
 19  29  2484526 GUSTIK Maxim  1988  BLR   102.22    120.00
 20  15  2164970 DASHINSKI Dmitri  1977  BLR   99.78    110.00
 21  12  2485099 MORRIS David  1984  AUS   98.41    100.00
 22  39  2472951 ABRAMENKO Oleksandr  1988  UKR   98.01    90.00
 23  28  2263813 ST ONGE Ryan  1983  USA   95.58    80.00
 24  27  2330938 HAECHLER Christian  1983  SUI   95.35    70.00
 25  32  2312217 LAMBERT Thomas  1984  SUI   93.00    60.00
 26  20  2193585 MARUSHCHAK Dmitry  1980  RUS   88.50    50.00
 27  30  2398843 BAHRKE Scotty  1985  USA   83.03    45.00
 28  33  2526709 TABARA Naoya  1980  JPN   81.86    40.00
 29  34  2525948 GERRITS Travis  1991  CAN   78.66    36.00
 30  37  2192615 ABLAEV Enver  1979  UKR   78.54    32.00
 31  31  2527471 ABLYATIFOV Ruslan  1991  KAZ   77.55    28.00
 32  14  2344518 HAN Xiaopeng  1983  CHN   75.00    26.00
 33  36  2485224 DEPETERS Matthew  1987  USA   72.29    0.00
 34  35  2325215 THEPAUT Nicolas  1980  FRA   70.14    0.00
 35  26  2064090 GETTY Clyde  1961  ARG   57.56    0.00
Did not start
     2484643 SANNIKOV Anton  1988  RUS   

Women’s Results

 1  5  2325118 LASSILA Lydia  1982  AUS   203.38    1000.00
 2  3  2351312 LI Nina  1983  CHN   197.56    800.00
 3  4  2439777 ZHANG Xin  1985  CHN   181.72    600.00
 4  16  2367803 MUNRO Bree  1981  AUS   175.71    500.00
 5  6  2050898 LEU Evelyne  1976  SUI   174.96    450.00
 6  24  2416303 DAI Shuangfei  1985  CHN   169.59    400.00
 7  9  2335206 SLIVETS Assoli  1982  BLR   168.57    360.00
 8  11  2297764 LINDSEY Jana  1984  USA   168.49    320.00
 9  10  2304069 PETERSON Amber  1982  CAN   165.14    290.00
 10  14  2381386 SCHNOOR Lacy  1985  USA   159.49    260.00
 11  7  2438807 CHENG Shuang  1987  CHN   141.70    240.00
 12  15  2526216 GUERIN Sabrina  1985  CAN   134.92    220.00
 13  21  2526863 CALDWELL Ashley  1993  USA   80.01    200.00
 14  17  2406021 VOLKOVA Olga  1986  UKR   77.72    180.00
 15  1  2324827 GUO Xinxin  1983  CHN   75.44    160.00
 16  8  2379055 DIDENKO Nadiya  1986  UKR   74.55    150.00
 17  27  2292138 MYERS Jaime  1982  USA   67.72    140.00
 18  28  2325021 GARDNER Elizabeth  1980  AUS   67.56    130.00
 19  22  2526054 TOUGAS Genevieve  1987  CAN   66.78    120.00
 20  29  2000264 COOPER Jacqui  1973  AUS   65.99    110.00
 21  13  2484528 SCHAERER Tanja  1989  SUI   61.42    100.00
 22  2  2526230 XU Mengtao  1990  CHN   60.98    90.00
 23  26  2470914 TRELEAVEN Allison  1983  USA   58.14    80.00
 24  23  2526676 AINSWORTH Sarah  1985  GBR   57.64    70.00
 25  20  2484885 POLYUK Olga  1987  UKR   49.52    0.00
 26  25  2527470 ARAPBAYEVA Zhibek  1991  KAZ   46.94    0.00
Did not start
     2180102 COOK Emily  1979  USA       

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