The freestyle skiing events kicked off in South Korea with qualifying runs for both men and women on Thursday night (Friday morning in PyeongChang). Partly cloudy skies and super cold temperatures at the Phoenix Snow Park meant competitors dealt with hard bumps and firm landings, and everyone who went too big off their jumps was punished by either crashing or low scores from the judges.
On the women’s side, three Team USA members found their way into the top 10, giving them an automatic entry into the finals on Sunday night in South Korea. Morgan Schild, of Pittsford, New York, was third overall with a score of 77.74, only 1.98 points behind the French athlete in first, Perrine Laffont. Jaelin Kauf of Alta, Wyo. qualified in fifth with a score of 77.45, and Telluride, Colo.’s Keaton McCargo was in eighth place with a score of 75.67. Tess Johnson, Team USA’s forth competitor, ended up in 22nd place, and will have a second chance to qualify for finals on Sunday night. See full results here.
On the men’s side, Canadian Mikael Kingsbury continues to absolutely dominate the competition with an astounding score of 86.07, more than two full points ahead of Aleksandr Smyshliaev, an Olympic Team member from Russia. American Troy Murphy, of Bethel, Maine, placed in forth with a score of 80.95, and qualified directly to finals on Monday night at the Phoenix Snow park. Three other Americans, including Casey Andringa of Boulder, Colo., and Bradley Wilson of Butte, Mont., finished outside of the top 10 but will have another chance to qualify for finals on Monday night. See full results here.
Men’s Downhill Training Day 2
High winds led to a shortened track for Friday’s competitors at Jeongseon, but it appears most of the racers and their techs got their skis dialed to prevent base-burn on the cold Korean snow. Many of the international favorites, including Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, Austrian Matthias Mayer, plus Norwegians Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal, were in the top five, but Italian Christof Innerhofer had the fastest run of the day. American Bryce Bennett just missed the top five, finishing in sixth place, 0.65 seconds behind Innerhofer. See full results here.
After the third training run Saturday, Men’s Downhill Finals will take place on Sunday in Korea and be aired live at 7:00PM MST Saturday night.