Lindsey fails to make aerials finals | SteamboatToday.com

Lindsey fails to make aerials finals

South Dakotan trained with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

Luke Graham

— South Dakota's Jana Lindsey couldn't predict what's next.

After failing to qualify for the finals at Saturday's women's aerials qualifications, Lindsey — a former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member — said after she wades through the disappointment, she'll re-evaluate what she's going to do next.

"This is such an emotional year for us — it's stressful," said Lindsey, who finished 17th Saturday, just outside of the top 12 who qualified for Wednesday's finals. "Everything is up and down. It's nice to take a break after this."

Besides Lindsey, however, it was a good day for the Americans. Emily Cook qualified fifth, Lacy Schnoor qualified sixth and 16-year-old Ashley Caldwell qualified 12th. Alla Tsuper, from Belarus, was the top qualifier, followed by a trio of Chinese jumpers in Li Nina, Guo Xinxin and Cheng Shuang.

"Every day, a little bit more sinks in," said Caldwell, who is the youngest American in the Olympics. "I keep having a real cool experience every day. It's something new that I did. One day, it was meeting Shaun White. Next, it's going to the Opening Ceremonies. It's something new all the time."

For Lindsey, though, the disappointment of Saturday was reminiscent of four years ago in Turin, Italy.

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There, she fell on the second of her preliminary jumps and finished outside of the top 12.

On Saturday on her first jump doing a back full-full, Lindsey landed and got in the back seat a little.

She was 19th after the first jump and more than 20 points away from the 12th qualifying position. She finished 17th after the second jump.

"It is disappointing," she said. "Obviously, you want to be in that top-12 position. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do my first jump the way I wanted to."

When Lindsey first started doing aerials at age 10, she met Winter Sports Club coach Damian Wells. The Winter Sports Club told her about the program in Park City, Utah. Lindsey would commute with her parents from South Dakota to Steamboat several times a winter for competitions.

Lindsey, 25, said she's going to take some time now to evaluate what is next. She plans to compete in the National Championships at the end of March before taking summer classes.

She wouldn't commit one way or the other to the 2014 games, saying at this point she just needs to look at the full picture.

"I'm still deciding where I'm going to go from there," she said.

The other Americans will compete at 8:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Wednesday.

The United States should have a decent shot at the podium with Cook and Schnoor jumping.

Each kept their toughest tricks in the bag Saturday, doing enough to get into the finals. Both skiers have double-twisting triples, tricks with a high enough degree of difficulty to potentially earn America another medal.

"We can easily get on the podium with those," said Schnoor, who earned a spot on the team by winning the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in December in Steamboat. "I didn't do my harder jumps (Saturday). I'll definitely do both of those in the finals."