Irving finishes 9th at Snowmass World Cup as Grand County’s Olympic hopefuls inch closer to Games | SkyHiNews.com

Irving finishes 9th at Snowmass World Cup as Grand County’s Olympic hopefuls inch closer to Games

Birk Irving

Winter Park native Birk Irving continues to carve up the competition on the halfpipe, taking ninth place at the FIS Freeski World Cup at Snowmass last week.

Irving is one of four Grand County natives to participate in skiing World Cups over the last week, including his sister and fellow halfpipe phenom Svea Irving, mogul skier Joel Hedrick and aerialist Nik Seemann.

Birk Irving highlights the group.

Less than a month after taking seventh at the Copper Grand Prix, Irving was back in top form in Aspen last week, qualifying for the final with a score of 85 out of a possible 100. He went on to finish ninth with a score of 82.4, giving him his fourth straight top-10 finish against World Cup competition.

“The pipe was a little slow for me, so I didn’t quite get to do the run that I wanted to,” he said. “But I’m glad I was able to make the finals and have a good qualifying round. I feel like I’ve been skiing better than I ever have.”

The 18-year-old is currently ranked 10th in the world in Men’s Ski Halfpipe by the International Ski Federation, fourth among Americans behind Alex Ferreira, David Wide, and Aaron Blunck who all rank in the top five.

Despite his recent success, Irving is currently sitting outside of an Olympic spot, primarily due to the strength of his other American competition. The Olympic committee accumulates skiers’ top two scores, meaning Irving is sitting well behind other Americans who have podium finishes this season.

He’ll hope to do well during his next World Cup competition at Mammoth Mountain on Jan. 18 and 19 to try and get a “coach’s discretion” spot on the Olympic team.

“I just hope I can put everything together, and make my run as clean as I want,” Irving said.

Birk’s sister, 15-year-old Svea, also competed in the Snowmass World Cup taking 17th in qualifying. Svea Irving is currently ranked 27th in the world in Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe, seventh among Americans.

Svea will be participating in the Mammoth Grand Prix on Jan. 18 and 19.

Six days after taking home a 10th place finish at the Moscow World Cup, 20-year-old Nik Seemann returned to the United States to participate in the Deer Valley World Cup, taking 29th with a score of 82.3.

Seemann is currently ranked 29th in the world in Men’s Aerials, sixth among Americans. Up next is a World Cup double header in Lake Placid on Jan. 19 and 20.

Hedrick competed in two World Cup competitions at Deer Valley, Utah last week, showing vast improvement after a disappointing 49th place World Cup showing in China in December.

The 19-year-old mogul skier finished 23rd in qualification on Wednesday, and failed to make the final. He managed to finish seventh in qualifying on Thursday with a score of 78.33, and took 13th in the final with a score of 67.67.

Hedrick is the 35th ranked Men’s Moguls skier in the world, sixth among Americans. He will compete at the Tremblant World Cup in Canada on Jan. 20.


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