Australian Jacqui Cooper, perhaps the most successful skiing aerialist of a generation, won her third aerials event since crushing vertebrae in 2001 and pushed her World Cup win total to 17, matching fellow Aussie Kirstie Marshall and Canadian Marie-Claude Asselin for the women’s aerials win record.
MONT GABRIEL, Quebec — Australian Jacqui Cooper, perhaps the most successful skiing aerialist of a generation, won her third aerials event since crushing vertebrae in 2001 and pushed her World Cup win total to 17, matching fellow Aussie Kirstie Marshall and Canadian Marie-Claude Asselin for the women’s aerials win record.
Competing with three twists and three flips, Cooper was far and away the class of the field at Mont Gabriel. Manuela Mueller of Switzerland was second, percentage points shy of 30 points behind Cooper. Canadian Veronika Bauer, a two-time World Championships aerials medalist, was third on a day when experience seemed to pay dividends. Just 13 women entered the event and the U.S. team offered just one, Lacy Schnoor, who finished 12th.
“Cooper is just amazing,” said U.S. aerials coach Matt Christensen. “She was jumping back when I was on the team 10 years ago and now she’s tied with Asselin and Marshall. She wants that record, and she’ll get it.”
Christensen said he was also pleased with the result from Schnoor. “She had been horrible in training, then she puts down a technically sound jump. She just missed landing a little. She’s getting a little more mileage and that’s all she needs. I’m psyched with where’s she’s at.”
Canadians Cord Spero and Ryan Blais swept the top two placings in the men’s competition with U.S. champion Jeret Peterson, the 2005 World Cup champ, finishing third.
“It’s not just because I coach him, but Speedy [Peterson] should have won that. Cord [Spero] did touch a hand down on landing,” Christensen said.
“It was an amazing competition, particularly on the men’s side. I was really happy with Scott Bahrke [finished eighth]. And, I'm pretty jazzed about Speedy, he nailed the Hurricane [three flips with five twists]. We’ve got two new guys starting next week at Deer Valley, the Super Bowl of the World Cup aerials tour.”
Rain that had plagued the moguls competition moved out Sunday, leaving a sunny day, slightly above freezing.
FREESTYLE WORLD CUP
Mont Gabriel, Quebec — Jan. 7, 2007
Men's aerials (One round; 10 made finals)
1. Cord Spero, Canada, 120.36 points
2. Ryan Blais, Canada, 119.69
3. Jeret Peterson, Boise, Idaho, 118.82
4. Thomas Labert, Switzerland, 117.92
5. Steve Omischl, Canada, 117.48
8. Scott Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif., 96.79
26. Ryan St. Onge, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
1. Jacqui Cooper, Australia, 116.64
2. Manuela Mueller, Switzerland, 86.71
3. Veronika Bauer, Canada, 82.83
4. Elizabeth Gardner, Australia, 82.05
5. Nadiya Didenko, Ukraine, 79.84
12. Lacy Schnoor, Draper, Utah