Freestyle

Lillis Top American in Beida Lake

by
Caitlin Furin
2016-12-17 00:54
 

BEIDA LAKE, China (Dec. 17, 2017) – The U.S. aerials team landed four athletes in the top 10 at the FIS Freestyle World Cup opener in Beida Lake. Jon Lillis (Pittsford, NY) posted the top result for the Americans, finishing just off the podium in fourth.

The competition was fierce on both the men’s and women’s side, making it necessary to land clean jumps. Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VA) was the lone U.S. woman to advance to finals. She performed a lay, full, full for a score of 72.96, but her score wasn’t high enough to advance her to the super finals. China’s Mengtao Xu took the win on her home turf with a score of 94.47. Australia’s Danielle Scott was second and Russia’s Liubov Nikitina third.

Jon, his brother Chris (Pittsford, NY) and Eric Loughran (Pelham, NH) represented the U.S. in the men’s finals. The Chinese and Belarusian teams put down some strong jumps, edging out Chris and Loughran and leaving Jon to advance to the supe final. While he was able to land, Jon wasn’t as clean in the air as the other jumpers. He took fourth, performing a full, full, double full for a score of 92.76.

“It feels good to have the first World Cup out of the way,” said Lillis. “We struggled with preparation because of warm weather back home, and moving up to higher degree of difficulty always presents a few challenges with confidence and consistency. We were lacking in numbers on the big tricks, but my landings were consistent enough to move through the rounds. Today presented some great building blocks to move forward with in the season."

Belarus’ Anton Kushnir put down a massive full, double full, full for a score of 155.05 to take the win. The Chinese rounded out the podium with Guangpu Qi in second and Hang Zhou third.

“We trained extremely well this week, but underperformed in the competition today,” said head aerials coach Todd Ossian. “We were inconsistent in getting off the jump, which is usually a strong point for our team, but we’re ready to regroup tonight and perform tomorrow. We didn’t get as much early season on-snow training prior to the opener, but we’re still happy with the results today. The team is just getting warmed up.”

Competition in Beida Lake continues tomorrow with the aerials team event, where the individual qualification jump will count as a World Cup results before athletes form teams. Finals will be live streamed on www.nbcsports.com/live beginning at 12:30 a.m. EST.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jon Lillis opened his World Cup season with a strong fourth place finish, scoring 92.76.
  • Ashley Caldwell was the top U.S. women’s finisher in eighth.
  • The U.S. team landed four athletes in the top 10, including Lillis, Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Eric Loughran.
  • China’s Mengtao Xu took the win for the women on home turf with a score of 94.47.
  • Belarus’ Anton Kushnir scored a 115.05 to take the win for the men.
  • A full event replay is available at www.nbcsports.com/live.
  • Competition in Beida Lake continues Dec. 18 with the aerials team event. Finals will be live streamed on www.nbcsports.com/live beginning at 12:30 a.m. EST.

 

QUOTES

Jon Lillis
It feels good to have the first World Cup out of the way. We struggled with preparation because of warm weather back home, and moving up to higher degree of difficulty always presents a few challenges with confidence and consistency. We were lacking in numbers on the big tricks, but my landings were consistent enough to move through the rounds. Today presented some great building blocks to move forward with in the season.

[on competing in Beida Lake instead of the Bird’s Nest this season]
It’s nice to change up the site from scaffolding to an on-hill jump site. This is one of the better air sites that we’ll jump on during the World Cup season. Regardless of where we are, China always puts on a great event and the locals come out to support every time.

Todd Ossian, Head Aerials Coach
We trained extremely well this week, but underperformed in the competition today. We were inconsistent in getting off the jump, which is usually a strong point for our team, but we’re ready to regroup tonight and perform tomorrow. We didn’t get as much early season on-snow training prior to the opener, but we’re still happy with the results today. The team is just getting warmed up.

 

RESULTS
Men’s Final Results
Women’s Final Results
Men’s World Cup Standings
Women’s World Cup Standings