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Park City, UT, Sept. 11–National aerials champions Joe Pack (Park City, UT) and Marissa Berman (Mt. Kisco, NY) pulled impressive upsets over Olympic champions once again Saturday to capture the Sprint Ultimate Airwave II at sun-bathed Utah Winter Sports Park.
Pack and Berman each earned $6,500 for first prize as they consistently received high marks on their jumps into the splash pool before 1,500 wildly cheering spectators. Pack, the ’99 World Championships bronze medallist, edged 1998 men’s Olympic aerials champion and ’99 World Championships gold medallist Eric Bergoust (Missoula, MT) in the semifinals, and knocked off defending champion Matt Chojnacki (Aurora, CO) in the one-jump final. Moments before Berman bested newlywed and ’98 women’s Olympic champion Nikki Stone Spencer (Westborough, MA).
The field of 12 men and eight women in the invitation-only Sprint Ultimate Airwave II went through a two-jump qualifier, which whittled the fields down to eight men and four women. In the head-to-head semifinals, skiers had one jump. In the unusual synchro competition, the teams of Bergoust and Mariano Ferrario (Cleveland, OH), along with the team of Stone and Tracy Evans (Hornell, NY) were winners.
At the end, Berman, a student at Williams College in Massachusetts, received 101.27 points to Stone Spencer’s 64.8, who had problems landing a triple twisting triple (three twists, three somersaults).