China WC aerials: St. Onge wins season opener



American Olympian Ryan St. Onge won the opening aerials meet of the World Cup season Saturday as the freestyle schedule finally got under way in China. Former World Cup champion Jeret "Speedy" Peterson finished sixth.
    St. Onge, who has won two World Cup contests in each of the last two seasons, took the first-round lead with a full, double-full, full-quad-twisting triple jump [four twists, three flips]
and then clinched the victory with a lay, double-full, full, full, a different quad-twisting triple, for 242.34 points.    
    "I like this yellow [leader's] bib. I've never worn it and I'm thinking of hanging onto it for a while," St. Onge said.


JILIN BEIDA LAKE, China — American Olympian Ryan St. Onge won the opening aerials meet of the World Cup season Saturday as the freestyle schedule finally got under way in China. Former World Cup champion Jeret "Speedy" Peterson finished sixth.
    St. Onge, who has won two World Cup contests in each of the last two seasons, took the first-round lead with a full, double-full, full-quad-twisting triple jump [four twists, three flips]
and then clinched the victory with a lay, double-full, full, full, a different quad-twisting triple, for 242.34 points. Han Xiaopeng of China was second at 239.72.
    "I like this yellow [leader's] bib. I've never worn it and I'm thinking of hanging onto it for a while," St. Onge said. "I'm pretty happy with this start for the season."
    St. Onge, who worked with private coach Todd Ossian after consulting with aerials head coach Matt Christensen, said, "I've been trying to focus on my skills and make sure every jump goes as it should, and trying especially to work on my takeoff because if it goes well, everything else will follow. It worked out well and I even got to train a little more today …
    "The whole summer I thought it was going to work, and then I knew it was going to work, but my first couple of days on snow I wasn't as sure any more," St. Onge said.
    "But that was just the first week on snow [during training at Apex Ski Area in Canada] and there was kind of a rush to get things up and going, so my jumping didn't go as I hoped it would. But I fixed a couple of things and transferred all of it to this week, a step by step progression … and today was awesome," he said. "And I think there were a few people who doubted ‘Speedy' could take some time off and come back, but I knew from the beginning he'd be fine. He's got so much heart, and he loves jumping, and I knew he'd keep coming … and today he was awesome. He's going to be one of the guys to beat again this year, I know it."
    Peterson, the 2005 World Cup aerials champion, took the summer off and then resumed training this fall; he also had two quad-twisting moves and finished with 221.24 points.
    Peterson, the 2005 World Cup aerials champ, was delighted with his performance for his first time back in competition. "I don't know where it got started that I was gonna skip this season. I always planned on competing," he said, "but I wanted to take some time away during the summer, clear my head and get things organized. It's good to be back and I'm excited to be jumping as well as I did today."
    "We've had good conditions all week although one day was very, very cold," Christensen said. "They both jumped great. I'm really impressed with how quickly ‘Speedy' has gotten up to speed, but he's stuck to a plan we put together a month ago and he looks great … and obviously Ryan's on it."
    National favorite Nina Li won the women's event with 195.10 points and Chinese aerialists swept the top four places. No U.S. women competed.
    The weekend
which became the opening weekend for the freestyle season after poor snow conditions forced cancellation of the traditional opening events Sept. 2-3 at Mount Buller, Australia continues Sunday with another aerials meet.
 



China WC aerials results
Jilin Beida Lake, CHN – Dec. 9, 2006
Men's aerials

1. Ryan St. Onge, Steamboat Springs, CO, 242.34 points
2. Han Xiaopeng, China, 239.72
3. Jeff Bean, Canada, 233.03
4. Kyle Nissen, Canada, 229.06
5. Steve Omischl, Canada, 225.27
-
6. Jeret Peterson, Boise, ID, 221.24

Women's aerials
1. Nina Li, China, 195.10
2. Xin Zhang, China, 185.59
3. Jiao Wang, China, 172.69
4. Shanshan Zhao, China, 166.78
5. Jacqui Cooper, Australia, 165.00

(No U.S. women competed)

For complete results:
http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=FS&event_id=21322

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