Kenworthy delivers, leads men’s ski slopestyle qualifying at X Games
The Aspen Times
Riding a wave of momentum from both the Snowmass and Mammoth Grand Prix, Gus Kenworthy was the top men’s ski slopestyle qualifier Friday at X Games Aspen.
The Telluride native scored 94.66 in the first of his two qualifying runs at Buttermilk to edge Great Britain’s James Woods, who was second with 93. Kenworthy has one X Games silver medal in slopestyle, coming in 2016. He’s never won slopestyle gold.
Indiana’s Nick Goepper was third (92.33), Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut was fourth (91.33) and Sweden’s Oscar Wester was fifth (90.33). Only the top five of the 16 athletes in Friday’s qualifier advanced to Sunday’s eight-skier final.
The three X Games medalists from a year ago — Norway’s Oystein Braaten (gold), Utah’s McRae Williams (silver) and Canada’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (bronze) — received automatic spots and didn’t have to qualify for Sunday’s finals.
Kenworthy, Goepper and Williams make up three-fourths of the 2018 U.S. men’s Olympic ski team for slopestyle. The fourth, Utah resident Alex Hall, was ninth in Friday’s qualifying.
Also notably missing from Sunday’s finals is Utah’s Joss Christensen, the 2014 Olympic gold medalist. He only made his season debut earlier this month in Snowmass after tearing his ACL in May. He was 15th out of the 16 competitors in X Games qualifying.
Kenworthy won silver and Goepper bronze at the 2014 Olympics for an American podium sweep. Woods, Harlaut, Braaten, Wester and Beaulieu-Marchand were all 2014 Olympians as well.
Sunday’s finals are scheduled for 12:45 p.m.
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