Riccomini’s top score highlights Team Summit’s Rev Tour ski slopestyle showing
Team Summit freeskier Jenna Riccomini earned the highest score in the qualifying round of any women’s slopestyle skier at Tuesday’s Revolution Tour freeski slopestyle competition at Copper Mountain Resort. In the final, Riccomini ended up finishing outside of podium position after struggling to stay upright on her skis on the course’s top portion of three jumps.
On the atypical jumps-before-rails Woodward Copper course, the Pennsylvania native Riccomini earned the score of 89.5 — the highest of the day in either qualifying or finals rounds — after landing a switch 540 with a mute grab rotating to her board’s left side, followed by a 720-degree spin to her board’s right side with a blunt tail grab before finishing the jumps portion with an inverted single-cork 720 with a mute grab.
Team Summit Park & Pipe Director Teddy Goggin said it’s the 16-year-old’s grabs — namely the style on her mute grab — that separated her riding in the qualification round Tuesday in the judge’s eyes. Goggin said the judges said Riccomini’s switch 540 mute was the best trick they saw in the contest.
“Jenna has one of the most beautiful mute grabs in all of skiing,” Goggin said. “It’s in your face. … It’s incredible.”
Riccomini also highlighted her continuing 270-degree trick in the course’s rails section, which concluded each skier’s run, as an element that helped her in the judge’s eyes. In the final, Riccomini said she was getting a bit in the “backseat” on her rightside 720. She said it was an adjustment for timing her takeoffs and landings without ski poles due to a hand injury.
Still, her coach was proud of her effort in the follow-up to her three-medal performance at Aspen Rev Tour last week.
“You win some, you lose some,” Goggin said. “But her run, it definitely had a winning-run (feel) if you hold on to that thing.”
Riccomini will get the chance to bounce back Wednesday in the Woodward Copper superpipe. Team Summit 15-year-old boys Rev Tour first-timers David Schlicht and Daniel Hough will also compete in the pipe Wednesday.
“We call her the ’triple threat’ now because she’s capable of making the podium in slope, halfpipe and big air,” Goggin said. “I’d look for great skiing out of her tomorrow.”
The women’s freeski podium included gold medalist Bella Bacon (87.25) of the United States, silver medalist Constance Brogden of Great Britain (78.00) and bronze medalist Kathryn Gray of the U.S. (70.75). Riccomini finished sixth with 52.50 in the final while Team Summit 14-year-old Alex Thisted finished 10th in her first Rev Tour with a score of 56.75.
Thisted, a Summit local, was taking one of the biggest jumps of her career bumping up to the Rev Tour level — both in terms of competition and size of jumps and features. Despite the intimidating challenge, she landed a 720-degree spin on the course’s third and final jump, the biggest jump she said she’s ever done a 720 on.
“And at practice a few days ago on a 360, I knuckled really hard, and I was rattled by that and scared,” Thisted said about failing to clear the landing. “But I got through it.”
Thisted described Riccomini as an inspiration she looks up to. And while Riccomini is getting her start on the Rev Tour, she is now bridging up to the highest level of freeskiing, making her Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix debut in Aspen later this month.
“I think Jenna is definitely proud of Alex,” Goggin said. “And we’re excited to see Alex at her heels.”
Thisted was one of several Team Summit skiers who made their Revolution Tour debuts Tuesday, including Schlicht, Daniel Hough, 14-year-old Stone Karnacewicz and 16-year-old Sergei Hough. Tuesday’s men’s freeski competition was won by Frisco resident and Maine native Kiernan Fagan (92.75).
At Wednesday and Thursday’s slopestyle and halfpipe snowboard events, Team Summit riders Alina Cospolich, Alyssa Moroco, Ellie Weiler, Bodie Heflin and Caleb Dhawornvej will compete.
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