Chris Corning, Red Gerard advance to finals of World Cup snowboard big air
Chris Corning and Red Gerard, of Silverthorne, qualified Friday to the final round of the first FIS Snowboard World cup event of the season, a big air competition at Cardrona Alpine Resort in New Zealand.
Gerard qualified in seventh place and Corning in ninth behind fellow American snowboarders Lyon Farrell, of Hawaii, in third and Luke Winkelmann, of North Carolina, in sixth.
“It feels super good to get that contest rust out of the system,” Winkelmann, who has been coached by Summit County local Chris Waker, said in a U.S. Snowboard news release. “It’s always nice to land both of my runs at the first contest of the season. Also, it’s insane that there are three other U.S. riders heading into the finals. No other country got more than one, so really excited to ride with my teammates and make a run at the podium. My strategy is to mainly have fun with it and hope to put down another couple of solid tricks.”
Gerard, an Olympic slopestyle gold medalist, qualified after falling on his first run, earning a score of 73.25 on his second run to make it through. Corning made it through in the second-to-last qualifying spot after earning a score of 71.75 on his first of two runs down the big air jump.
The top qualifiers were Nicolas LaFramboise, of Canada (86.35), and Hiroaki Kunitake, of Japan (86.00).
The World Cup big air competition, which was originally scheduled for later in the weekend at the Winter Games New Zealand, was bumped up to Friday morning because of an inclement weather forecast for the weekend. The finals also were bumped up because of weather and are now scheduled to take place at 9:15 a.m. local New Zealand time Saturday.
U.S. Snowboard said in it release that fans can watch the final round at 3:15 p.m. Friday on the Olympic Channel on television and at OlympicChannel.com.
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