Mac Bohonnon and Ashley Caldwell led the podium in the USANA U.S. Freestyle Championships aerials at Steamboat Springs.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO (March 28, 2015) – One of the most remarkable aerials season in the history of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team came to a close Saturday on a hot spring day in Steamboat Springs with some electrifying jumping at the USANA U.S. Freestyle Championships. World Cup champion Mac Bohonnon (Madison, CT) capped the season with his first U.S. title. Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VA), who won the final World Cup of the season, won her second straight U.S. crown.
Bohonnon won the men’s title with a score of 129.41 to 101.52 for Junior Worlds champion Harrison Smith (Pittsboro, NY). While the margin was big on the final jump for gold, Bohonnon was pressured all day by Smith and a host of others.
“I definitely felt some pressure out there from the younger guys,” said Bohonnnon. “It’s great to see the depth in our sport in this country. There were some crashes and the younger guys were right there to take advantage of the opportunity. It’s cool to see so many good young jumpers for the USA right now.”
A year ago, Bohonnon was the lone American men’s aerialist in Sochi. This season, he took the world title. But it was his first gold in U.S. Championships.
Caldwell battled all day with World Cup champion Kiley McKinnon (Madison, CT). Caldwell fell on her qualifying run, but still made the two-jump finals rounds. McKinnon, who led the qualifying round, also led through the first jump of finals. But the warm temperatures took a toll for the women’s one-jump finals round, with Caldwell taking a narrow win as few were able to land cleanly.
“Winning nationals is sweet – I just wish I could have really landed my jump,” said Caldwell. “I’m excited we had such a great season as a team.”
Mac Bohonnon won a career first U.S. aerials title while Ashley Caldwell won her second.
Junior Worlds champion Harrison Smith was on the medals stand for the first time at U.S. Championships.
Bronze medals went to Zach Surdell and Elite Aerial Development Program athlete Tyra Izor.
It was an awesome season for me winning the World Cup title. But I’ve been wanting to have a national title. To be here with my family in Steamboat to cap off the season as national champion is awesome.
I definitely felt some pressure out there from the younger guys. It’s great to see the depth in our sport in this country. There were some crashes and the younger guys were right there to take advantage of the opportunity. It’s cool to see so many good young jumpers for the USA right now.