Freestyle

National Titles for Caldwell and Smith

by
USSA
2016-03-19 17:06
 

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO (March 19, 2016) – The top high-flying U.S. aerialists took to Steamboat Resort’s world class aerial hill on Saturday to take their last jumps of the season at the 2016 USANA U.S. Freestyle Championships. Harrison Smith (Pittsford, NY) landed his first career national title while 2016 World Cup Champion Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VA) capped her season with her third career national title.

After jumping triples on the World Cup tour this season, Caldwell opted to compete doubles in qualifications and finals. She landed a clean lay full in finals and a full full with a score of 87.88 in the super final to take the win and defend her 2015 title.

“Mentally doing doubles is tricky,” said Caldwell “It’s a catch-22. The jumps are easier, but they have to be perfect. In triples I know I can do it and the degree of difficulty will make up for any mistakes I make, but you can’t make mistakes doing doubles, especially when Kiley [McKinnon] does such sweet doubles. I was super impressed with the jumping today. I’m so excited that aerials has such a strong development team. We have a lot of young, determined enthusiastic athletes.”


Women's aerials podium (l to r): Kiley McKinnon, Ashley Caldwell, Megan Nick. (U.S. Freestyle Ski Team)

Caldwell’s teammate Kiley McKinnon (Madison, CT) wasn’t far behind in the scores. She went for a higher degree of difficulty on her doubles, a full full and a full, double full, but had a slight hand drag on the landing of her super final jump, scoring an 83.54 to land second. Elite Aerial Development Program (EADP) athlete Megan Nick (Shelburne, VT) performed a lay lay for a score of 76.85 and third place.

Smith struggled to put down clean jumps in training, but was able to stomp his full, full, full in the super final, scoring 117.85 and taking his first national title.

“My training wasn’t great, I didn’t land a single jump actually,” said Smith. “I managed to put it down in contest though which is always sweet. I was super stoked to be out here in Steamboat, it was a blast. It was great to take the win. A bunch of us young guys had our first year of triples and it was a stellar year. We waited a long time to step up to the big jump and it was worth the wait.”


Men's aerials podium (l to r): Nik Seemann, Harrison Smith, Patrick O'Flynn. (U.S. Freestyle Ski Team)

Nik Seemann (Winter Park, CO), who competed the same jump as Smith in the super final, posted a score of 106.11 to take second. EADP athlete Patrick O’Flynn (Penfield, NY) was third with a full full scoring 84.10.

The 2016 USANA U.S. Freestyle Championships conclude on Sunday, March 20 with men’s and women’s dual moguls.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ashley Caldwell and Harrison Smith took home the aerials national titles at the 2016 USANA U.S. Freestyle Championships.
  • It was Caldwell’s third consecutive national title and Smith’s first career title.
  • Kiley McKinnon and Megan Nick were second and third for the women.
  • Nik Seeman and Patrick O’Flynn were second and third for the men.
  • Competition concludes on Sunday with men’s and women’s dual moguls.

 

QUOTES

Ashley Caldwell
Mentally doing doubles is tricky. It’s a catch-22. The jumps are easier, but they have to be perfect. In triples I know I can do it and the degree of difficulty will make up for any mistakes I make, but you can’t make mistakes doing doubles, especially when Kiley does such sweet doubles. You have to put down really nice ones. I came to nationals with the mentality that it was going to be sunny out and I was going to have some fun. I love Steamboat and I’m hanging out with my family, so it’s been a great week.

I’m really excited about the whole season. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my career, so to make it through the whole season with the bib and come to nationals and take home a win is huge for my mentality going in to the next two years and my motivation going in to training this summer. I don’t want to stop here, I want to keep progressing.

I was super impressed with the jumping today. I’m so excited that aerials has such a strong development team. We have a lot of young, determined enthusiastic athletes.

Harrison Smith
My training wasn’t great. I didn’t land a single jump actually. I managed to put it down in contest though which is always sweet. I was super stoked to be out here in Steamboat, it was a blast. It was great to take the win. A bunch of us young guys had our first year of triples and it was a stellar year. We waited a long time to step up to the big jump and it was worth the wait. I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym this summer and working on some new jumps at the water ramps.

 

RESULTS
Women’ Aerials Results
Men’s Aerials Results