Keri Herman grabs a spot in the slopestyle finals at Winter Games NZ. (Getty Images-Hannah Peters)
The world’s top slopestyle skiers treated Cardrona Alpine Resort to a master class on Thursday, as they battled to qualify for the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup at Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015. Five Americans made the cut—Devin Logan (West Dover, VT), Keri Herman (Breckenridge, CO), Noah Wallace (Spokane, WA), Joss Christensen (Park City, UT) and Bobby Brown (Breckenridge, CO).
Devin Logan risked elimination after she fell on her first run in the women’s qualifiers, but she made the recovery of the day on her second with a score of 70.80, establishing her as fourth finalist. Norway’s Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen took the top spot with 88.40, working to retain the slopestyle title she won at Winter Games NZ 2013. Lisa Zimmermann of Germany qualified second with an 84.20, while Italy’s Silvia Bertagna took third with 79.20. American Keri Herman and Canadian Kaya Turski took the last two places for the six women going to the final, which is also the first Platinum-level AFP World Tour event of the season. Emilia Wint (Denver, CO) just missed finals, taking eighth.
Noah Wallace grabs the top American spot in the qualifiers. (Getty Images-Hannah Peters)
In the first heat of the men’s qualifiers, James 'Woodsy' Woods from the UK ran away with the lead in his first run. His winning score of 91.40 made him the only competitor to break the 90-point barrier. Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli came close with 89.60 on his last run, placing him second, followed by Norway’s Oystein Braaten. Swede Oscar Wester was fourth, with Canadian Evan McEachran fifth. With only the top five from each men's heat qualifying, AFP World Tour's number one ranked slopestyler, McRae Williams (Park City, UT), didn’t to make the cut.
In the final qualifier of the day, New Zealand’s Jossi Wells soared to the top of the list with an impressive second run. Switzerland’s Luca Schuler, ranked just 33rd on the AFP World Tour, was perhaps the day's surprise package, nailing second followed by a trio of Americans: Wallace, Christensen and Brown.
Joss Christensen took fourth at the slopestyle qualifiers. (Getty Images-Hannah Peters)
Rounding up the Americans, Colby Stevenson (Park City, UT) was 10th and Alex Hall (Salt Lake City, UT) 13th in heat one. Chris Laker (Cincinnati, OH) was 11th and William Borm (Chaska, MN) 20th in heat two.
The slopestyle finals have been moved up to take place on Friday—or Thursday in the USA—due to weather. They begin at 5 p.m. ET.