Home

Deer Valley aerials: Peterson, Cooper win aerials with record-setting efforts


Australia’s Jacqui Cooper and American Jeret Peterson won World Cup freestyle aerials contests in record fashion Thursday night. Despite heavy snow, the veterans established world records for two-jump scores as they bested the field in style.
    Peterson capped off the night with his signature Hurricane jump, finishing with a two-jump score of 268.70, the best of all time on the World Cup. Canadian Steve Omischl was second and China’s Sen Qiu third, while American Ryan St. Onge, second after round one, finished 11th after missing his landing.
    Peterson's first win in two seasons capped a landmark day for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team with three wins after an American sweep of the top spots in moguls earlier in the day.  

DEER VALLEY, Utah — Australia’s Jacqui Cooper and American Jeret Peterson won World Cup freestyle aerials contests in record fashion Thursday night. Despite heavy snow, the veterans established world records for two-jump scores as they bested the field in style.
    Peterson capped off the night with his signature Hurricane jump, finishing with a two-jump score of 268.70, the best of all time on the World Cup. Canadian Steve Omischl was second and China’s Sen Qiu third, while American Ryan St. Onge, second after round one, finished 11th after missing his landing.
    “I definitely took the bumps and bruises this time, but I nailed the Hurricane, finally, in competition,” Peterson said, “and the judges rewarded me for it finally with a score I felt was acceptable. I’m very excited — 140 points — nobody’s ever scored that in competition, so obviously I’m very excited about that. Getting 268 points, finally topping Ales Valenta and Eric Bergoust’s record that they’ve held for so long. I’m very excited to even be in the same realm as those guys because I’ve looked up to them forever.
    Czech Republic aerialist Valenta was the 2002 Olympic champ at Deer Valley and Bergoust is a former Olympic, worlds and World Cup champion from Missoula, Montana.
    “I have jumped with them and I’ve looked up to them,” Peterson said. “They’re my idols when I got in this sport. The weather wasn’t cooperating as much as I’d hoped, but I had to try it, I had to go for it, I wasn’t going to back down. People know my personality, I’m not the kind of guy to back down or anything like that. I was definitely going to go for it.”  
    Peterson's first win in two seasons capped a landmark day for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team with three wins after an American sweep of the top spots in moguls earlier in the day.
    Seconds after Speedy touched down, U.S. aerials coach Matt Christensen sprinted from the top of the course down the steep landing hill, not stopping until he had Peterson in a full and authentic embrace. “I was just so excited, that … it was snowing out, conditions were tough … Speedy took some hits in training, but he didn’t back down, and that’s what our plan is, keep going forward no matter how much it hurts or what you’ve got to do to get the job done,” Christensen said.
    Peterson scored 128.32 for his first jump, a full-double-full-full, and a 140.38 on his full-triple-full-full to cap off the night.
    “It worked. I think a lot of other coaches and teams thought we were crazy having him do his quint again, but the goal’s for him to do it in every contest here on out,” Christensen said. “It was by far the best full-triple-full-full he’s done, and the full-double-full-full he did in the first run was the best one I’ve seen him done yet.”
    Peterson, who had landed the five-twist, three-flip jump at the Olympics but slapped back and lost points, stuck it — despite the steady snow, which had fallen all day and amounted to upwards of a foot. He also set a record for one run with that 140.38 on the most difficult trick ever landed in men's aerials.
    Peterson had endured a couple of brutal spills in practice runs for the final jump, including a face-slammer on his last jump before the real deal.
    “He had that bad crash and he was fine,” Christensen said. “The one before that, he actually did a really good one and I gave him a stretch call. He slammed pretty hard. He whacked himself pretty hard, I thought he broke his hand, and a lot of that was my fault, I gave him a bad call. I was NOT going to let him down on this comp jump.”
   “Training was probably the worst training I’ve had in my entire life,” Peterson said. “I ended up crashing one jump and hurt my hand really bad, my right hand, and cut my face pretty good, I have a cut all over my face. Then the next jump, I got lost, ended up doing six twists, smashed my face again, cut my nose even worse than before.”
    Peterson began the season by skipping the opening events in China and hinting that he might take a significant break from competition. Thursday, he showed how electrifying he can be.
    “I went up top and just got ready for the comp," he said. "My coach [Brian Currutt] just told me, 'Hey, come out and have fun, think about how you do it on the water ramps.' … I was a little stressed out, landing on my face twice in a row on a trick I’ve been trying to nail for I don’t know how long. And I finally put it down here at Deer Valley with my best friend Nate Roberts winning the moguls earlier today. I couldn’t ask for anything better, I’m so pumped.”  
    Peterson's victory was the fifth of his career and the first since he won the Olympic season opener in Australia in September 2005. With Nate Roberts, Peterson's best friend, and Shannon Bahrke winning moguls in the afternoon, it also marked the second year in a row in which U.S. skiers won three events in one day-night doubleheader. Last January, Toby Dawson and Michelle Roark won moguls on a Friday the 13th afternoon while St. Onge won men's aerials that night (going 1-2 with Park City's Joe Pack).        
    Peterson was anxious to punctuate Thursday night with a memorable effort.
   “I’m just up there like, ‘C’mon, we’ve gotta go, the snow is falling. It’s falling fast and it’s getting thicker.’ The thing was the snow was going into our track and slowing us down, and in freestyle aerials speed is such a huge part of what we do. So stepping up three feet is the difference between landing on your face and landing on your feet. I ended up nailing my feet perfectly, right what I was looking for. My coach, Matt Christensen, gave me a perfect call, brought me right down onto my feet.”
    Onge, who won the opening aerials event of the season in China, had been struggling this week but was in position for a podium until touching his back to the ground on landing his second jump. “His speed was right on, and he was just going for it," Christensen said. "He’s had a tough week, really bad training, and today he just started jumping
really, really well. He was going for it, he was going for the win.”
    Peterson won $2,500 for the Rip-It Trick of the Day in the aerials meet while Roberts won the moguls Rip-It Trick of the Day, part of a drive to encourage freestyle athletes to elevate their performances.

Cooper rolls on
    Just a half-hour earlier, Cooper had set the all-time career wins mark with 19. At Mont Gabriel, Quebec, last weekend, Cooper won her third aerials event since crushing vertebrae in 2001 and pushed her World Cup win total to 18, matching fellow Aussie Kristie Marshall and Canadian Marie-Claude Asselin for the women’s aerials win record. Thursday, she shattered it by scoring a two-jump total of 219.81.
    “I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at a new career, being able to make a comeback,” Cooper said.
    Nina Li of China was second and Belarus athlete Alla Tsuper was third. No Americans qualified for the women's finals. Canadian Veronika Bauer, seeking a third podium at Deer Valley, was 10th.
   On the conditions, Cooper said, “It was difficult. We went from slushy spring-like conditions to blizzard conditions here, and if you perform in all those types, then you really are a great jumper. And I think that between myself and my coach, we’ve been managing the conditions and myself really well and it shows in these results. So I’m pretty happy.”
   The aerials had been scheduled for Lake Placid, New York, but added to this weekend's competition because of poor snowfall in the East. It wasn't a problem Thursday, when 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow fell on Deer Valley. The Chevrolet Freestyle International continues Friday with another nighttime aerials event on White Owl, venue for the 2002 Olympics and 2003 Freestyle World Championships, and dual moguls Saturday.
    NBC will televise coverage Sunday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. ET and Sunday, Jan. 28 at noon ET from the Deer Valley Resort events. Versus (formerly OLN) will provide two hours of coverage Sunday, Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. ET and two hours on Sunday, Jan. 28, also starting at 5 p.m. ET.

— Eric McCollom and Paul Robbins contributed to this report


FREESTYLE WORLD CUP
Chevrolet Freestyle International
Deer Valley Resort
Park City, Utah — Jan. 11, 2007
(Night — shifted from Lake Placid, N.Y.
Men's aerials (12 make finals)

1. Jeret Peterson, Boise, Idaho, 268.70 points
2. Steve Omischl, Canada, 242.92
3. Sen Qiu, China 240.37
4. Kyle Nissen, Canada, 237.84
5. Martin Walti, Switzerland, 237.00
-
11. Ryan St. Onge, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 210.43
16. Scott Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif.
27. Dylan Ferguson, Amesbury, Mass.
32. Zac Amidan, Heber City, Utah

Women (12 make finals)
1. Jacqui Cooper, Australia, 219.81
2. Nina Li, China, 186.64
3. Alla Tsuper, Belarus, 183.38
4. Evelyne Leu, Switzerland, 180.18
5. Anna Zukal, Russia, 171.06
-
15. Lacy Schnoor, Draper, Utah

Click here for full results.
 

Deer Valley aerials: Cooper like a fine "bottle of red"Rahlves heads field as The Ski Tour set to open

Comments

comments



skiracingmag's Latest Youtube Favorite


See more Ski Racing Videos in our Video Vault


Ski Racing Magazine LB1