Loughran 7th, Krueger 9th in Le Relais
Eric Loughran led the Americans in Wednesday’s FIS Aerials World Cup in Le Relais, Canada, finishing in seventh place. Park City Ski & Snowboard athlete Derek Krueger earned a career best, making his first World Cup finals to finish ninth. Quinn Dehlinger finished 16th and Karenna Elliott finished 19th.
“[The day] went pretty well,” reflected Loughran. “Definitely got some good training in here, would have liked to have beat seventh but happy to be in the top 10. Right before I jumped I had a small feeling to step up, but it wasn’t quite enough.”
The jump site was a little flatter, which sent athletes further down the hill. Loughran struggled throughout training to hit his takeoffs, and him and World Cup Aerial Coach Eric Bergoust made a conservative speed choice for his finals Full Double-Full Full. He earned a score of 114.16, missing the super final round by less than four points. In aerial skiing, athletes and coaches have to make calculated decisions for starting positions on the in-run. It is partly a science and partly intuition and years of experience.
"To finish ninth in finals was a big deal for me," said Krueger. "This season is my first year competing triple backflips as well as being my first full season on the World Cup tour. My results exceeded my expectations going into this competition."
"Today was a great day for me. With good conditions and great training I was able to compete two of my best jumps on snow. Being one of the newer athletes on the triple and World Cup tour, today's competition was a good learning experience for me."
Krueger executed a beautiful Full Full Full and stomped the landing for a score of 109.75. This is his first year competing on the triple. "People sometimes tend to be forward on the triple in their first year," explained Bergoust. "But Derek did a great triple takeoff when it counted. He stuck that landing."
China went 1-2 on the men’s side with Jiaxu Sun and Longxiao Yang, respectively. Switzerland’s Nicolas Gygax came in third. China’s Mengtao Xu earned first for the women, Canada’s Marion Thanualt took second and China’s Fanyu Kong finished third.
Aerials competes next on home snow at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, for the 2022 Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International Jan. 12.