Devin Logan stands atop the podium winning the Audi FIS World Cup opener in Cardrona, New Zealand on a big day for the USA. (U.S. Freeskiing/Mike Jankowski)
CARDRONA, New Zealand (Aug. 17) - U.S. Freeskiing athlete Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) returned to the site of her season-ending injury a year ago to pickup a win in the Audi FIS World Cup freeskiing opener in the Cardrona halfpipe. The USA took four of six podiums with Angeli VanLaanen (Salt Lake City) second in the women's halfpipe while Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) and Taylor Seaton (Avon, CO) went two-three in the men's. Antti Jussi-Kemppainen of Finland won the men's pipe. It was the opening World Cup of the 2014 Olympic season. While not a part of the actual team selection process, the event helped to solidify the already strong U.S. quota position for Sochi in halfpipe. The tour remains in Cardrona for the slopestyle opener next weekend.
Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) won the day at the New Zealand Winter Games to open the 2014 Audi FIS World Cup season, taking the halfpipe finals with a well executed run and consistently good amplitude.
Logan won at the same site where a year ago she sustained a season-ending injury training for slopestyle.
After leading in the elimination round, Angeli Vanlaanen (Salt Lake City) missed a couple grabs in the finals and small deductions landed her in second place.
Under difficult weather conditions, Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) put down a difficult and well executed run in the fashion of a seasoned veteran. Taylor Seaton (Avon, CO) was third.
Blunck, who graduated from Rookie Team last year to Pro Team this year, matched his career best second equalling his upset finish last season in the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix World Cup in Copper Mountain, CO.
U.S. Freeskiing Rookie Team members Alex Ferreira (Aspen, CO) and Annalisa Drew (Andover, MA) were fifth for career bests.
Weather forced a one run finals for both men and women due to adverse conditions.
The tour remains in Cardrona for next weekend's slopestyle World Cup.
The strong U.S. finishes help solidify an already strong Olympic quota position for the USA in halfpipe skiing.
Devin Logan: Left 540 tail grab, left ally-oop mute grab, mute grab, right flare safety grab, left 720 safety grab, switch left ally-oop 360
Angeli VanLaanen: left 540 mute grab, right 540, left 720 safety grab, switch right 360, mute grab, left ally-oop 360 safety grab
Aaron Blunck: right 900 tail grab, left 1080 tail grab, switch right 720 mute grab, right ally-oop flatspin 540 critical grab, right 720 tail grab, switch left 540 Japan grab
QUOTES Devin Logan This was the first comp back since my injury and couldn't ask for anything better. The weather wasn't the greatest and they only took our first run so it was difficult for everyone. But that's how the sport goes. I guess today's my day - I'm feeling pumped.
Mike Jankowski, Head Coach Devin had an amazing run and is charging hard into the season. So happy for Devin to come back into her first contest and earn the win after all the long hard days of recovery and rehab this past year.