Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Corked contortions in Montana

SV freestylers check off the 1080


The words might not be in the dictionary, but the action is real.

"Ross Falcone threw a 1440 in the Big Air comp," said Sun Valley Freestyle Team director John Zuck. "And Reed Boeger threw a corked-7 grab and a corked 1080 in aerials."

Zuck is becoming frighteningly familiar with the invented words of the freestyle skiing movement.

Words like Misty, Rodeo, Bio (or is it Bayou?) and Cork, words that Zuck thinks "probably aren't even in the dictionary."

Well, "teaching is learning," many have said and Zuck can thank his athletes/teachers Ross Falcone, Reed Boeger and Kurtis Fieguth for expanding his big air freeride culture lexicon.

As for the skiers, they can do more than just say the names of these tricks. They nail inverted, corked and other mid-air contortions most sane skiers would never even dream of attempting. And they do it with no training.

"He's got the air sense," Zuck said about Falcone. And Boeger attended a Big Air camp at Mt. Hood this past summer. These athletes are excelling. Still, Zuck said he "saw it coming."

The guys were coming off of a breakthrough performance in Park City, Utah the previous weekend where Ross Falcone attempted and completed his first, and the event's only, 1080—three full rotations.

Last weekend, in a snow-starved Snow Bowl in Missoula, Mont., all three skiers upped the ante.

Emboldened by his recent fame and success, Falcone did one better and attempted a 1440, or four full rotations off of a "very big and crazy" jump with a very steep landing.

"Most skiers going around four times end up on their back," said Zuck. "But Ross landed on his feet."

Were one of his skis not to pop off upon landing, Falcone would surely have enjoyed a sequel to his Park City triumph. Falcone did not complete the landing, however, and teammate Boeger captured that particular Big Air event with Falcone in third.

Still, the attempt was "one of the only 1440's I've ever seen," said Zuck.

In other Aerial and Big Air events, Boeger nailed a Corked (off-axis) 720 and a Corked 1080. Fieguth, inspired by his teammates, also executed a 1080 in Aerials.

"There were a lot of cheering crowds on the side of the park," said Zuck. "The rest of the mountain was unskiable," due to warm temperatures and rain, he said. The result was a small, yet noisy crowd pushing the athletes to push themselves.

In moguls, Sun Valley freestyle men were slightly less visible with Boeger's third place the highest.

Sun Valley girls were dominant in a field that included only one girl who wasn't on the Sun Valley team . Leading the way were Christine Cordeau and Katie Fieguth.

Sun Valley freestyle will host an event Feb. 11-13 moved from Pebble Creek due to lack of snow.

Snowbowl results:

Aerials: Men's Overall: 1—Boeger. 1—Falcone. 5—Kurtis Fieguth. 7—McClain Porter. 8—Austin Bourret. 9—Austin Moses. Women's Overall: 3—Katie Fieguth. Big Air: Men's Overall: 2—Boeger. 2—Falcone. 3—Fieguth. 10—Porter. 11—Bourret. 16—Moses.

Moguls: Men's Overall: 3—Boeger. 4—Fieguth. 7—Falcone. 17—Bourret. 19—Moses. 29—Porter. Women's Overall: 1—Christine Cordeau. 2—Katie Fieguth. 3—Kali Phillips. 3—Aunika Phillips. 5—Rachel Link. 6—Lauren Phillips. 7—Camille Bourret.

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