In their first competition for the 2011/2012 northern hemisphere winter, Crawford and Johnstone chose arguably one of the toughest fields likely to assemble this season to transform months of training and practice into a competitive environment.
Although their new tricks, Nathan’s double cork and Holly’s backside 540, were not enough to propel them onto the podium, they both finished the day knowing that their repertoires are now expanded, which will enhance their prospects this season.
Americans Luke Matrani and Louie Vito finished in first and second, reversing their places in the same event in 2010, while compatriot Gregory Bretz made up the third position on the podium. Matrani was flawless in his first run of the day, amassing an incredible 96.40 points, establishing a vice-like grip on victory.
Johnstone finished in eighth place overall with 82 points, among a field of more than 90 athletes, after qualifying for the final in sixth position.
Crawford was even more impressive, placing 5th overall and qualifying for the final in seventh spot.
Crawford finished the day on 76.20 points, behind Americans Kelly Clark and Made Schaffrick with Spain’s Quera Castellet in third.
Both Australian Institute of Sport / NSW Institute of Sport scholarship holders now journey to Colorado’s Dew Tour in Beckenridge to compete in next week’s halfpipe event.
Other NSWIS athletes competing at Copper Mountain were Jarryd Williams (39th), Steph Magiros (34th), Alex Fitch (44th) and Sam Murphy (78th). Victorian Institute of Sport athlete Scott James finished in 37th place