Two American freeskiers make finals at Steamboat Springs big air qualifier

Shelby Reardon
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Park City skier Colby Stevenson, right, is congratulated Saturday after the men's ski slopestyle final at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, in 2020. Stevenson qualified for the finals at the VISA Big Air competition at Steamboat Resort on Friday. Finals will take place Saturday.
Aspen Times archive

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Just two American male freeskiers qualified for the finals Friday during the VISA big air competition at Steamboat Resort.

Alex Hall of Park City finished second in the second heat with a score of 94.66, while U.S. national team teammate Colby Stevenson of Park City took fifth with a score of 90.66. The finals will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

For the competition, each competitor in each heat takes two jumps. Three judges score each jump and their scores are averaged. The best jump score is used to determine the standings.

Christian Nummedal of Norway won the heat with 96 and qualified alongside Oliwer Magnusson of Sweden and Matej Svancer of Austria.

Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut won with a 97 and qualified with Antoine Adelisse of France, Ben Barclay of New Zealand, Birk Ruud and Tormod Frostad of Norway.

American Cody LaPlante and Hunter Henderson were the No. 6 men in each heat, just missing out on qualifying spots.

Tess Ledeux of France won the women’s freeski qualifier with a score of 95.75. No female freeskier from the United States qualified. Darian Stevens, who calls Park City home, was the closest in 11th.

In the women’s competition, each competitor in each heat took two jumps. Six judges scored the jump, and the highest and lowest scores were scratched. The remaining four scores were averaged. The best jump score was used to determine the standings.

Sarah Hoefflin of Switzerland, Johanne Killi of Norway, Eileen Gu of China, and Canadians Elena Gaskell and Olivia Asselin also qualified, alongside Sandra Eie of Norway and Switzerland’s Giulia Tanno.

The competition, which is a U.S. Olympic team qualifier, concludes Saturday with the snowboard finals commencing at 10:30 a.m. and running through noon. Freeski finals begin at 1:30 p.m.