Park City, UT, Aug. 28--Most people were praying for sun rather thansnow as Mariano Ferrario (Park City, UT) and Nikki Stone-Spencer (ParkCity, UT) won the aerials event at the Sprint Ultimate Airwave at theUtah Olympic Park Saturday.
Under threatening clouds and occasional sprinkles, former OlympiansFerrario and Stone took home the $6,600 paycheck for winning at thePark, the venue for several events at the upcoming 2002 Winter OlympicGames. In the head-to-head competition, athletes performed their aerialsinto a pool of water.
The field was narrowed down Friday in qualification rounds to the topeight men and the top four women. Ferrario, who qualified third behindOlympic gold medalist Eric Bergoust (Missoula, MT) and Matt Chojnacki(Park City, UT), went head-to-head with Jerry Grossi (Park City, UT) inthe first round and topped him. He then beat Bergoust in the next roundand Brian Currutt (Park City, UT) in the finals to take the title. Heperformed a four-by-four, or a quad twisting quad (four twists, fourflips), to edge Currutt by a score of 143-141. Currutt finished second,Chojnacki (132.09) third and Bergoust (123.25) fourth. Ferrario has 17top-10 finishes on the World Cup tour and was a '98 Olympian.
Joe Pack (Park City, UT), who won the event last year, finished fifth.
Stone, who qualified second Friday behind fellow Olympian Tracy Evans(Hornell, NY), beat Brenda Petzold (Andover, MA) in the opening round andjumped past Evans for the title. Evans placed second, followed byPetzold. Sarah Horvitz(Somerset, MA), a newcomer to the U.S. Team, placed fourth.
"A lot of these girls are really stepping it up," said Stone, an Olympicgold medalist. "It's great to see that although I'm retired, there'splenty of people to fill my shoes. Everyone loves to come out to thesetypes of contests, it's fun for all of us."
It was a double victory for Ferrario, who also won the synchro (both gooff the jumps at the same time) competition with partner Bergoust. EmilyCook (Belmont, MA) and Jana Lindsey (Black Hawk, SD) won the women'ssynchro event. Ferrario and Bergoust were the lone team to both jump inunison off the same jump. All other competitors used two jumps.
Saturday, August 26
Utah Olympic Park, Park City, UT
Mariano Ferrario (Park City, UT), 143; Brian Currutt (Park City, UT) 141
Matt Chojnacki (Park City, UT) 132.09; Eric Bergoust (Missoula, MT) 115
Ferrario 142.25; Bergoust 123.25
Currutt 135.75; Chojnacki 106.57
Ferrario 132.25; Jerry Grossi (Park City, UT) 102
Currutt 127.5; Joe Pack (Park City, UT) 123.75
Chojnacki 137.75; Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, CO) 104.33
Bergoust 118.51; Joe Davies 78.16
Nikki Stone (Park City, UT) 105.83; Tracy Evans (Hornell, NY) 103.74
WOMEN'S THIRD PLACE
Brenda Petzold (Andover, MA) 102.03; Sarah Horvitz (Somerset, MA) 84.52