Varmette Fifth in Lake Placid World Cup
Madison Varmette (Stafford, Va.) led the U.S. Aerials Team with a fifth-place finish in the first FIS Freestyle World Cup event of the season at the USANA Lake Placid Freestyle Cup Saturday.
“This first competition was awesome,” said Varmette, who posted a career-best result. “To get fifth in the qualification round and then first in the first final, going into super finals, that was really cool. And then getting fifth, I’m just taking it one step at a time before World Champs. It really filled me with confidence to believe that I continue to do better and continue to do aerials year after year.”
Fans bundled up and braved the cold night, with temperatures around zero degrees Fahrenheit and light snowfall, to support aerial skiers from across the globe. Three American women and one American man qualified for finals and spectators were treated to some serious displays of athleticism as 57 aerial skiers from 10 nations took to the night sky at the Olympic Jumping Complex.
“Madi leading into the super finals was huge for her,” said U.S. Aerials Head Coach Todd Ossian. “She did some great jumps today.”
Finishing right behind Varmette was Winter Vinecki (Gaylord, Mich.), in sixth, a career best for her as well. China swept the podium with Mengtao Xu first, Qi Shao second and Nuo Xu in third.
On the men’s side, Russia’s Maxim Burov took the victory, followed by China’s Xindi Wang in second and Stanislav Nikitin of Russia in third. Chris Lillis (Rochester, N.Y.) was the top American, coming in seventh.
“There was a lot I liked about this event. It’s been good from the development side, all of our athletes are jumping well and getting to where we need to be for World Championships. Next week we’ll have a lot more training on an amazing site here in Lake Placid before U.S. Nationals on January 26,” said Ossian.
Ossian’s biggest take away from this event: Eric Loughran (Pelham, N.H.). “Eric jumped an incredible run in training, the best run he ever did. It’s capable of winning World Cups,” he said.
The men of the U.S. Team are definitely ramping up to show what they have this season. “Pat did first full double full full in training and stuck it. I don’t know many people that stuck their first one,” said Ossian of Patrick O’Flynn (Rochester, N.Y.).
Justin Schoenefeld (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) competed in his first World Cup jumping only triples. “It was his first time cold starting on the triple. He’s never warmed up on the triple before. And this is his first year of triples. It’s crazy good,” said Ossian.
Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, Va.) made her return to the triple in Lake Placid. “It was a huge step for Ashley to jump the triple today. She’s coming back from shoulder surgery and getting ready for Worlds, so to have that under her belt is awesome,” said World Cup Coach Emily Cook. C. Lillis and Vinecki made their return to the World Cup circuit from injury as well.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST.
Sunday, Jan. 20
5:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - Lake Placid, N.Y. - NBC**