Caldwell Second, Lillis Third in Le Relais
Le Relais set the stage for another successful event for the aerial skiers of the U.S. Ski Team. Ashley Caldwell added number 19 to her career World Cup podiums with a second place finish. Chris Lillis earned his sixth career World Cup podium with a third place finish.
“Today was good," said Caldwell, post competition. "I’m excited, I just felt super comfortable. I think after having a challenging year it’s nice to come out and just enjoy cheering everybody on and the new venue. I’m excited to be on the podium with another American man."
“I’m Happy with the day for sure and with the entire season as a whole," said Lillis. "Now I’m building up, this was probably the last competition I won’t throw a quint in a Supers. With that in mind, I'm happy with performance aspects of today and looking forward to throwing that quint on the home site [at Deer Valley]."
All four American women who competed qualified for finals: Caldwell, Dani Loeb, Kaila Kuhn and Winter Vinecki.
Caldwell qualified in third for finals with a Full Full and stomped another one to qualify in second for the super round. She carried the momentum of the weekend into her final jump, a Full Double-Full to earn a score of 93.06 and landing in second place for the second time this weekend. Australia’s Laura Peel won for the women and Ukraine’s Anastasiya Novosad came in third.
Loeb qualified for finals in seventh and took the opportunity to make her first super finals appearance. She finished in fifth, a career-best World Cup result. Kuhn qualified in fourth for finals and third for supers with her Full Full. She finished the day in sixth. Vinecki qualified in 11th for finals and finished the day in 10th.
Lillis had a strong showing all day, qualifying in third for finals and fourth for the super final round. He threw a Double-Full Full Full to earn a score of 118.55, securing the third-place podium spot.
Dehlinger qualified in third with a Full Double-Full Full. He was in the hunt to add another podium to the weekend but didn’t quite nail the landing in his final jump and ultimately finished the day in 10th.
Park City Ski & Snowboard’s Ashton Salwan made his World Cup debut, finishing the day in 14th. Park City Ski & Snowboard’s Ian Schoenwald finished 15th.
"I Could’t be happier with how our team performed as a whole", said Lillis. "We jump together as a team. To see Ashley get back to back this weekend and watch Quinn win, and for me to get on the podium today, gives us a lot of confidence heading into Deer Valley.
Aerials competes next under the lights on home snow at the Intermountain Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort Feb. 3.Head Coach Vladimir Lebedev reports the whole team is looking strong and is eager to put on a show for the hometown crowd. “I have good momentum going into Deer Valley,” said Caldwell. Hopefully I can show the crowd the same results.”