Big weekend for U.S. aerialists |

Big weekend for U.S. aerialists

USSA News Bureau,

BEIJING, China — Connecticut natives Kiley McKinnon and Mac Bohonnon (both from Madison) each put down personal bests to earn World Cup podium finishes during the individual portion of the first-ever aerials team event at the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup opener.

McKinnon found herself on the podium for the second time during this World Cup with a second-place finish. Bohonnon, who finished 10th in the individual competition Saturday, improved his jumping and landed himself in third place Sunday.

"My qualification jump was the best jump I’ve ever done," said Bohonnon. "It was my personal high score, which was sweet for me. I was psyched on that. It was cool to get on the podium."

The qualification round counted for individual World Cup points. McKinnon is now second in the World Cup aerials standings after two events.

Bohonnon, McKinnon and teammate Mike Rossi were selected to represent the USA in the team competition. While McKinnon was able to land her full, double full (two flips with three twists), scoring a 90 in the team competition, Bohonnon and Rossi just barely walked out of their skis on the landing, knocking down their scores. Team USA finished fourth behind Team China 1, Russia and Belarus.

"Kiley, Mac and Mike all put down incredible jumps in the team round, but the landings just didn’t go our way," said coach Matt Saunders. "This was a great trip for our team with three World Cup podiums. The whole team had an incredible week of training, everyone is jumping very well and we are looking forward to the rest of the season."

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The aerials team returns to action at Utah’s Deer Valley Resort for the Visa Freestyle International on Jan. 8.

"The past few days have been some of the best days of jumping I’ve had," said Bohonnon. "Our whole team is jumping really well. Deer Valley should be an awesome competition."