Seibert third at Freestyle Championships |

Seibert third at Freestyle Championships

Special to the Daily/Brian BakerSki and Snowboard Club Vail's Tony Seibert, left, pulled out an alley-oop 540 and a 720 on his final run of the U.S. Freeskiing Championships halfpipe Thursday in Killington, Vt., to take third place

KILLINGTON, Vt. ” Somewhere between Killington and Stratton, Vt., it hit Tony Seibert.

It may have taken a while because he didn’t have much time to let his podium finish sink in before preparing for his next competition. Or maybe it was that he didn’t expect to do so well.

Either way, it didn’t matter.

The Ski and Snowboard Club Vail skier’s final run at the first U.S. Freestyle Championships halfpipe competition landed him in third place.

“I was expecting top 10,” Seibert said. “I didn’t expect to do as well as I did.”

After two qualifying runs, Seibert was one of six skiers to advance to the finals.

“Tony did just what he needed to do and skied a couple of good runs,” said Brian Baker, SSCV’s freestyle program director and head moguls coach.

On his first of two runs in the finals, Seibert stood in sixth place after falling early in the run. For his final run, Seibert was hoping to move up a spot or two.

“I wanted to lay down a run just to get a score and do better than sixth place,” Seibert said.

To start out his second run, Seibert pulled two straight airs. He then slammed an alley-oop 540 and finished with a 720 for a score 75.2 points.

A great start

Most big freestyle halfpipe events are held outside of the United States Ski Association, Baker said.

“Everyone was curious to see how the event would go down,” Baker said. “But guys like Josh Biddy and Scott Hibbard (who competed at the X Games) showed up, and it legitimized the field.”

Hibbard won the event with a score of 86.

While Seibert has raced at big-name events before, like the U.S. Freeskiing Open and the Aspen Snowmass Open, Thursday’s event was his best finish in his recent transition into freestyle skiing.

Up until two years ago, Seibert, 16, had competed in ski racing.

“The expression in freeskiing suits (Tony’s) personality more than some of the rigidness of racing,” Baker said. “You can see he’s passionate about it. He works hard at it, and he’s into it. He’s got a lot of good skill from racing that are carrying over.”

And skiing isn’t Seibert’s only sport ” he plays soccer for Battle Mountain.

“It’s nice to take a break (from skiing) during the summer and fall,” said Seibert, who spends most of the winter days on the mountain.

More pipe

Today, Seibert will be competing in the Vermont Freeskiing Open in Stratton.

“It’s a different competition with more athletes,” Seibert said. “It’s a little more well-known because it’s older.”

Fellow SSCV skiers Heidi Kloser, Kristi Waring and Kelsey Teran will be competing in the moguls competition of U.S. Freestyle Championships today, and then on Sunday, Kloser and Teran will compete in the dual moguls competition.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or

Vail, Colorado

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