American Ryan St. Onge wins World Cup aerials |

American Ryan St. Onge wins World Cup aerials

Doug Alden
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
United States' Ryan St. Onge makes a qualifying jump in the men freestyle World Cup aerials competition Friday, Jan. 30, 2009, at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. St. Onge won the event. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

PARK CITY, Utah ” Ryan St. Onge is making a home at Deer Valley.

St. Onge won his sixth World Cup aerials on Friday night and three of them have come at Deer Valley, the resort above Park City that will host the world championships in two years.

St. Onge was second after qualifying, then went for it all in the second round with a quadruple twisting, triple back flip and the high degree of difficulty. St. Onge stuck it and scored 130.77 points, the highest total for any jumper on the night.

“During that second jump, I knew I was either going to be way too big and land on my head, or ” if I could somehow get my feet underneath me ” I knew it was going to be the biggest-scoring jump I could possibly do,” said St. Onge, who hadn’t won on the World Cup tour since December 2006. “I just stretched for my life and somehow, my feet got down.”

Liu Zhongqing of China, who was first after the qualifying round, finished second and World Cup leader Steve Omischl of Canada was third.

Li Nina won the women’s aerials, leading a 1-2 finish for China. Guo Xinxin was second, followed by Emily Cook, the only U.S. jumper to make the finals.

China was poised for a sweep, but Cheng Shuang took a nasty fall right before Li’s clinching jump. Cheng leaned forward on her landing and kept going after her skis hit. She tumbled to the bottom of the hill and lay still for a few moments as medical crews ran out on the snow to check on her.

After a few minutes, Cheng got up and walked off on her own.

Li still had to go with the final women’s jump and wasn’t in the least bit rattled as she jumped well enough to pass Guo, whose 108.11 on her second jump was the highest score of the night by almost 10 points.

Li led after qualifying with a new jump, a double back flip with two twists on each.

“I’m very, very happy today,” she said. “It’s first time in world cup I did that jump.”

American Jaret “Speedy” Peterson just missed out on finishing on the podium in the men’s, taking fourth place. He stuck his “Big Daddy” jump in the finals and was in the top three until Liu bumped him at the end, but Peterson still celebrated once Liu’s scores were posted and St. Onge secured the win.

Peterson and a couple other Americans piled on St. Onge, who stuck with the higher degree of difficulty instead of going with an easier second jump.

“I did a great one in training and I knew I could do it, and I really wanted the win instead of just back of the pack,” he said.

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