Freestyle aerials in Lake Placid, New York{mosimage}A week ago the U.S. freestyle team went into Canada and swept the men’s aerials. This week it was the U.S. turn to host and the Canadians came close to returning the “favor.” Had it not been for World Champion Dmitri Arkhipov they might have turned the corner.

Arkhipov, seemingly oblivious to the weather, a pool of water at the bottom of the landing hill and a three hour delay, posted a one jump total of 126.60 while Canada’s Warren Shouldice matched his best career result in second with a point total of 123.26. Jeff Bean, fighting his way back from a broken neck, got third.

“I feel like a 16 year old,” said Bean, three days into his 28th year. “I’m really having fun. This was just a good day for me.”

For him. Top American on the day was Eric Bergoust in fifth. Thats his best result since 2002, but it’s sure not on the podium, something he’s accomplished 22 times in World Cup competition. Jeret Peterson, leading the Cups standings finished seventh and nobody else from the Red,White and Blure would have qualified for a second jump if they’d been able to hold one.

As it was, they were lucky to get the jump in with torrential downpours overnight wasting the jumps down, and heavy wet snow falling throughout the morning. All of which Arkhipov took in stride… with a quad-twisting triple.

In the women’s event it was China’s Nina Li with her second career win, something of a reprieve for finishing second on three previous occasions at Lake Placid. Tour leader Lydia Ierodiaconou of Australia was second and Chinese Shuang Cheng, just 18, was third. Canada had Melissa Prefontaine in sixth and the Americans were led by Lacy Schnoor in 12th at her second World Cup ever. Jana Lindsey was 13th and Jaime Myers 15th.

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