Russ Henshaw & Sammy Carlson win Dew Slope Prelims

Russ Henshaw & Sammy Carlson win Dew Slope Prelims

The Winter Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge day two was blessed with beautiful, albeit cold weather today. With nary a snowflake in the sky, the course was groomed to be fast, hard and ready for Men's Slopestyle Prelims action this morning. At the beginning of the day, there were 32. At the end of the morning, there stood nine. And Australian beast Russ Henshaw extended his streak to two-for-two by tying with Sammy Carlson for the top spot in this preliminary round.

Henshaw, who won the slopestyle open qualifier earlier in the week, attacked the course with the gusto of a rabid wombat. 270 gap, right 900, switch 900, double cork 1080 and right double cork 1080 put the rest of the field in its place. Taking the second spot was Sammy Carlson, who ended up fourth in last year's Dew Cup standings. Carlson's switch misty 900 to double cork 1080 poke combo perfectly accented his technical and solid run.

The third qualifying spot went to Alexis Godbout, whose run was topped off with a rightside Kangaroo flip. No stranger to slopestyle competition, Godbout will no doubt pull out all the stops on Sunday's competition. Fourth and Fifth went to LJ Strenio and Ian Cosco, respectively. Cosco's run included left and right double flips, something becoming more of a necessity to compete at the highest level these days.

Norwegian Thomas Dolplads and Swiss Elias Ambühl took the sixth and seventh spots. Ambühl, who was floating around the 30th spot after the first runs, pulled it together and showed the double flip prowess that he has demonstrated at every big air the last two years. The last two spots went to the province of Quebec, to Phil Casabon and JF Houle, respectively. Phil's stylish switch 900s and lipslide on the Nike 6.0 Burlington rail boosted him into the 80s, after a disastrous first run. While only taking nine skiers to finals invariably leaves some competitors out in the cold, the day was chock full of impressive riding. Alex Schlopy, Chris Laker and Dane Tudor all put down impressive doubles. Simon Dumont left the halfpipe to show off his double cork 900s and 630s off to the crowd. Nick Martini was the only competitor to misty off of the closeout rail to flat, impressive. Charles Gagnier manhandled the dub kink box; switch on, switch up to Gagnier-slide to switch.

The day wasn't without some spills, though. Colby West got his skis caught up on the Burlington Closeout rail, whipping him to the icy, flat ground, ripping his binding out in the process. The bad news: Colby was shaken up enough to not take his second run. The good news: No reports have come in about serious injury to Mr. West. Ian Cosco clipped the knuckle on the last jump his first run, sustaining a hand injury. But after a quick wrap by Bruce Wells, Chug was back in action and ended up qualifying fifth. Jossi Wells, who is still coming off of ankle surgery, took things pretty mellow today to save up for tomorrow's Superpipe finals.

While today was a banner weather day, the forecast for Sunday looks a bit rough around the edges (read: snowy and windy). But as seasoned competitors, the nine qualified will move on to face the three super-qualified from last year: Bobby Brown, Andreas Håtveit and Tom Wallisch. Look for Sunday's competition to be a battle of double flips (left and right). Come on back to Freeskier.com Sunday for a recap from all the slopestyle action that will take place.

Men's Slopestyle Prelims: T-1. Russ Henshaw — 90.33 T-1. Sammy Carlson — 90.33 3. Alexis Godbout — 87.83 T-4. LJ Strenio — 83.67 T-4. Ian Cosco — 83.67 6. Thomas Dolplads — 83.33 7. Elias Ambühl — 82.50 8. Phil Casabon — 81.83 9. JF Houle — 81.17
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10. Chris Logan — 81.00 11. Charles Gagnier — 79.17 12. Sean Jordan — 79.00 13. Henrik Harlaut — 77.67 14. Alex Schlopy — 77.33 15. PK Hunder — 76.33 16. Banks Gilberti — 75.17 17. Paul Bergeron — 74.67 18. McRae Williams — 72.67 19. Simon Dumont — 72.50 20. Chris Laker — 72.17 21. Aleksander Aurdal — 71.83 22. James Woods — 71.67 23. Dane Tudor — 69.83 24. Jacob Wester — 67.17 25. Elvis Harsheim — 66.50 26. Nick Martini — 65.67 27. Vincent Gagnier — 62.50 28. Steffen Hamre — 60.67 29. Kolby Ward — 58.83 30. Anders Backe — 34.00 31. Jossi Wells — 31.33 32. Colby West — 10.00

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