Simmons 7th at X Games

Buttermilk Mountain turns to powder, postponing finals

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Powder is good -- unless it falls on Aspen during the X Games.

Adverse weather conditions forced the women's boardercross, or Snowboarder X, semifinals, consolations and finals to be moved from Sunday to Monday, postponing Erin Simmons' bid to stand atop the podium.

"It was foggy, and there was a bunch of powder on the course," the Steamboat Springs snowboarder said of Sunday's weather at Buttermilk Mountain. "When there's even an inch or less, it slows you way down. None of the girls were making the jumps. We'd go over and land flat, and one girl even blew her knee out."

When the event was held Monday, Simmons failed to qualify among the top three in her heat and just missed the finals. She finished seventh overall, winning the consolation race in 69.21 seconds, a time that would have put her third in the finals.

American Lindsey Jacobellis won the overall title in 66.096 seconds.

"The first jump on the flat section, I went on the take off with another person, and, as I remember, I was thinking of her too much," Simmons said of her semifinal run. "I landed on the crown on the jump and didn't make it to the transition, caught an edge and went over."

But Simmons recovered to win the consolation race, coming from fourth to finish first.

Simmons started strong but slowed down during the flatter sections. Simmons caught two of her competitors on the first corner gap on an inside line. With one girl to beat, Simmons gained speed on the double rollers and overtook Claudia Haeusermann who chose to jump the rollers.

Six of the top seven female finishers in Aspen, including Simmons and Jacobellis, are part of the International Ski Federation's World Cup boardercross tour.

Simmons will resume her international competitions next month in Japan.

In years past, the X Games was the ultimate competition for boardercross riders. Now that the sport has been given Olympic designation, the X Games has become the ultimate combination of competition and extreme fun.

"Every year, they have new ideas and have a better plan," Simmons said of the X Games. "It was neat this year because it was live so people could watch."

Simmons qualified for Monday's championship and consolation rounds by posting the sixth fastest time (63.809) in a preliminary run Friday down lower Buttermilk Mountain.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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