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Davenport fourth in free skiing event

Aspen Times Staff Report

Chris Davenport continues to prove why he is one of the top free skiers in North America.

Last week, the Aspen native finished fourth at the Free Skiing Nationals in Snowbird, Utah with a combined score of 118.6.

With some 180-plus competitors, the event was called one of the most competitive events in the history of the sport.

Franz Kopp, also of Aspen, finished 10th (109.8), Tyler Williams, also listed as one of North America’s top free skiers, finished 12th (108.6).

Chris Goss (36th, 58.8) and Daniel Smith (46th, 26.8) rounded out the Aspen competitors in the event.

On the first day of the event, 80 skiers vied to qualify for 20 spots for the main event that already had 85 prequalified skiers from previous finishes at other events.

The main event was held on West Baldy, a short, but not too difficult, venue.

The field was cut to 46 after the first run heading into the finals. Davenport finished 20th.

The finals took place on North Baldy, a long, steep technical pitch with several different sections demanding different types of skiing.

The 1,800-square-foot slope began with a wide-open powder slope then dropped the skiers into several cliff and tree bands.

After the first obstacles, skiers then were forced to make big turns down through short trees and rocks to the final difficult face.

The 45-degree lower face was littered with rocks, stumps, trees and cliffs – some as big as 40 feet.

Davenport won the first run of the finals with a brilliant line down the face, demonstrating good control, aggressiveness and technique.

Judges scored for the difficulty of the line skied, then the control, aggressiveness, technique and fluidity.

Twenty skiers advanced to the event’s final run where Davenport finished fourth.

The next stop for the free skiers is the Swiss Free Skiing Championships in Andermatt, followed by the Red Bull Snow Thrill of Chamonix and the World Championships in Alaska.


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