AVSC freestylers fly high on home turf | AspenTimes.com

AVSC freestylers fly high on home turf

ASPEN Having the X Games at Buttermilk has its advantages. Just ask the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s freestyle skiers, who made the most of the of the venue in the slopestyle and halfpipe competitions during a Rocky Mountain Division qualifier Feb. 17.The team’s success started one day earlier at Big Air Fridays in Snowmass. Travis Van Domelen threw a 900 and then a backflip to take first in the pro competition. Teammate Sam Ferguson took third, barely edging Andrew Wickes.Ferguson parlayed the momentum from Friday’s event into a slopestyle win at Buttermilk Saturday. Ferguson landed a corked 720 and a 900, but his work on the rails separated him from the pack. Finishing behind Ferguson was teammate Charlie Lasser, who showed that his recent performances on the Honda Ski Tour were no fluke. AVSC 14-year-old Walter Wood took 10th despite crashing on his first run. Wood’s performance was remarkable considering he’s been on the snow for just two weeks after recovering from an injury, club freestyle coach Geoff Stump said in a news release.Lasser vaulted into first after an impressive second halfpipe run Saturday afternoon and went on to claim gold. The 16-year-old, who took sixth in the same discipline at the Aspen/Snowmass Open, landed his signature left-side 540 with a mute grab off the first hit and was clean for the duration.”When Charlie nails his run, you can’t help but notice,” Stump said. “He has a grab on just about every hit.”Jack Sullan impressed judges with his amplitude, landed clean left and rightside 540s, plus a 900, and took second. Wood nearly pulled off an AVSC podium sweep with one of the competition’s cleanest 900s but wound up fourth, Stump said.Brandon Claybaugh fell on his first run and came out conservatively in the second, opting to throw a 720 instead of a 900 on the first hit. Still, his clean run impressed judges, and he finished seventh.”It shows how much depth we have,” AVSC freestyle coach Elana Chase said. “It’s not just one person up at the top winning everything. Even our younger guys are stepping up.”

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