Former AVSC athlete Corning podiums in Italy snowboard big air World Cup
MODENA, Italy — Amid a loaded field of the world’s best big air snowboarders, Chris Corning of Silverthorne took third place at Saturday’s Modena SkiPass World Cup big air snowboarding competition in Modena, Italy, to retain his lead in the 2019-20 snowboard World Cup season standings.
“I love coming here to Italy,” Corning told reporters in Modena. “It’s always a good time and the jump is always super fun. I’m happy to be here. The in-run was bumpy tonight, but I landed all my runs, which I have not done in a while. I am happy about how things turned out and am looking forward to coming back next year.”
Corning was one of two American snowboarders — the other Judd Henkes of California — who advanced from qualifying rounds to the 10-snowboarder final round. Under the lights of the 15-story, elevator-to-the-top scaffolding jump, Corning rode the icy, bumpy and fast 65-meter, 40-degree in-run to an effortlessly stomped flat spin frontside 1440 (four 360-degree rotations) with a melon grab. The first of his three jumps earned him a score of 79.50 in a competition that requires snowboarders to land one trick rotating toward their front side and one rotating toward back side.
On his second run, Corning landed a difficult trick he’s had on lock for some time, fluidly executing a backside triple cork (three inversions) 1440 with a melon. The trick earned Corning an 86.75 to put him in second place heading into his third and final trick.
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For his final jump, Corning did not attempt his trademark quad-cork 1800, a dangerous and boundary-pushing trick that has never been landed on a man-made scaffolding jump, as opposed to a more traditional slope at a ski resort. Instead, Corning attempted a new trick he continues to work on — a backside triple cork 1620. As he dragged his mittens on the icy snow on the landing, Corning earned a 65.25, which didn’t improve on his second run backside trick.
The 20-year-old Corning’s two-run score of 166.25 ranked him behind a pair of Canadians: young, pint-sized phenom Nicolas LaFramboise (172.50) and X Games and Olympic medalist Mark McMorris (168.00). LaFramboise won the competition on the strength of a frontside triple cork 1440 with a mute grab which earned him a 90.00. Henkes finished fifth with a 155.00 score, doing a backside triple cork 1620 with a mute grab to begin the final round as the first rider to drop in.
On the podium, the two-time reigning overall snowboard World Cup season champion Corning retains his lead in the 2019-20 overall and big air standings, up 1,500 to 1,600 points on second-place LaFramboise in the big air and overall standings.
Corning was the only American snowboarder who lives full time or part time in Summit County to advance to the final round. Olympic slopestyle gold medalist Red Gerard had a high score of 70.25 in qualifying, which was good for 19th. North Carolina native Luke Winkelmann, who lives in Summit County in the winter, just missed finals in 13th place with a score of 78.25.
Evergreen native Jake Canter, who now lives in Silverthorne, finished in 14th place with a 76.50. Michigan native and part-time Silverthorne resident Kyle Mack, who won the silver medal in big air at the 2018 Olympics, finished in 42nd in the 52-person field in his first big air competition in 14 months.
Corning and the other Summit County Team USA big air snowboarders will next have a chance to compete in big air in Beijing, China, on Dec. 13–14. The big air season will then conclude with the first-of-its-kind World Cup big air competition at the Atlanta Braves baseball team’s home stadium, SunTrust Park, in Atlanta, Georgia, on Dec. 20–21. It’ll be interesting to see if Corning attempts the quad cork 1800 on a scaffolding jump when on home soil in Atlanta.
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Many of the trails in the Roaring Fork Valley, especially from the midvalley up, are far from ready and it’s important that people stay off of them despite having cabin fever.