Lillis leads Americans at FIS Nor Am Cup
Jonathon Lillis landed two jumps he had never attempted in competition, earning a spot on the podium during Day 1 of the FIS Freestyle North American Cup at Utah Olympic Park on Friday.
Lillis, 18, who finished in third place, successfully completed two different quad-twisting triple jumps to finish with an overall score of 208.74.
The Rochester, N.Y., native’s first jump netted him a score of 115.38.
"The first jump was the highest single-jump score I’d ever had," he said. "So, I was confident heading into Jump Two."
With spotty snowfall so far this winter, Lillis said he had only been able to practice his jumps once on snow since learning them over the summer.
"I just came out today and tried to do the best I could with them," he said.
The third-place finish, he said, was as good as he had hoped for.
"I’m pretty happy," he said. "I did two new tricks and ended up on the podium."
Teammate Dylan Ferguson from Amesbury, Mass., finished in fifth place, notching a total score of 197.99 for the day, and Nevin Brown of Streetsboro, Ohio, finished sixth with a score of 193.03 for the Americans.
The competition was dominated by Russians, however. Timofei Slivets ran away from his competitors with a score of 244.89 to take first place. Countryman Ilya Burov (227.48) took second and Petr Medulich (202.86) took fourth.
On the women’s side, Russians claimed all three podium spots. Assoli Slivets (154.19), Alina Gridneva (139.93) and Veronika Korsunova (134.82) all finished ahead of Kiley McKinnon (Madison, Conn.), the top American.
McKinnon finished with a score of 132.26 to take fourth place, while fellow Americans Allison Lee of Manchester, Conn., (125.74) and Madison Olsen of Park City (119.36) took fifth and sixth.
The competition also included jumpers from Canada, Great Britain, Australia and Argentina.
Lillis said, for the American jumpers, testing themselves against the rest of the world is always a welcome opportunity.
"It’s great," he said. "We love having other nations around."
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