Breckenridge skier Keri Herman snags slopestyle bronze |

Breckenridge skier Keri Herman snags slopestyle bronze

Keri Herman, of the United States, celebrates after her run in the women's slopestyle finals at the freestyle skiing world championships, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, in Park City, Utah. Herman took third in the event. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The first-ever women’s slopestyle podium at the FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships had a distinct Summit County feel to it.

Breckenridge skier Keri Herman was the top female American in the event, finishing third and winning a bronze medal, and Australian Anna Segal took home the inaugural title. Segal has been living and training in Breck for the past few seasons.

Herman, who won silver at least week’s Winter X Games, qualified in fourth heading into Thursday’s finals at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. But she put together a strong finals run to move into podium position.

“I stepped up my rails from yesterday,” Herman said in a press release from the U.S. Ski Team. “I’m just super psyched that I stomped a run and it was my best skiing.”

Herman scored a 41.0 to finish behind X Games gold-medalist Kaya Turski of Canada (41.7) and Segal (43.4) on a historic day for freeskiing.

The competition was not only the first-ever for the World Championships, it was the final major slope contest before the IOC makes a ruling on whether or not to include the sport (as well as halfpipe skiing, also in this week’s slate of events) in the Winter Olympic Games in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

If Thursday was any indication, it appears the slopestyle athletes put on a pretty convincing performance.

Park City teenager Alex Schlopy, fresh off a big week at Winter X in Aspen, won the men’s slope title with X Games gold medalist Sammy Carlson finishing second. Russ Henshaw of Australia was third.

Breckenridge team skier Gus Kenworthy, originally from Telluride, finished 10th.

The World Championships continue today with skicross and aerial competitions. The halfpipe event is slated for Saturday.

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