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First World Cup Podium for Hess

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
December, 20 2018
Hunter Hess
Hunter Hess picked up his first FIS Freeski World Cup podium, finishing third in Secret Garden, China, Thursday. (FIS Freestyle - Mateusz Kielpinski)

Hunter Hess (Bend, Ore.) put down two solid runs in the finals at the FIS Freeski Word Cup halfpipe at Secret Garden, China, to finish third and earn his first World Cup podium. Canadian Simon D’Artois was first and Olympic bronze medalist Nico Porteous from New Zealand finished second.

"I’m beyond stoked to be up on the podium at a World Cup," said Hess. "I’ve been working towards this for a while now. It was nice to get a taste. This definitely fuels the fire for me to work for more. I was honored to be standing up there with Nico and Simon. They killed it and were riding well all week. Hope to keep this momentum moving forward."

American Cassidy Jarrell (Aspen, Colo.) finished in seventh, while U.S Freeski Rookie Team member Jaxin Hoerter (Breckenridge, Colo.) finished in ninth, landing all three of his runs top to bottom. 

Hess has been slowly climbing the freeski competition ladder over the past few seasons. Over the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Hess earned a handful of FIS level podiums. In 2017, Hess continued the progression claiming three Nor Am podiums. Finally, Hess will close out 2018 with two Nor Am podiums and his first ever World Cup podium. Safe to say Hess is on an upward trajectory.

For the women, U.S. Freeski Rookie Team member Abigale Hansen (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) finished fourth. Kexin Zhang of China finished first, Canadian Rachael Karker finished second earning her second and Fanghui Li from China finished third.

The FIS Freeski World Cup circuit continues Jan. 10-12 in Font Romeu, France with men and women's slopestyle.

Men's halfpipe
Women's halfpipe

Hunter Hess Takes Third