Powered by her second big air podium of the season, Julia Marino moved into third place in the big air world cup standings by placing second Saturday in Quebec City.
With world cup leader Anna Gasser of Austria the only one of the top three in Saturday’s final, Marino had a golden opportunity to gain ground in the standings. She took advantage, breaking a fourth-place tie with teammate Jamie Anderson and nudging past Slovakia’s Kaludia Medlova into third with 2,250 points. Gasser padded her advantage, pushing her total to 4,800 points, 1,690 ahead of second place Katie Ormerod of Great Britain.
The 19-year-old from Westport, Connecticut, threw down the gauntlet on her first run, scoring big with a 94.25, the highest score of the evening. She combined that with a 68.25 on her third run to finish with 162.50. Seven points behind after the first run, Gasser made up the difference on her last trip down the hill, scoring 77.75 to step past Marino to the top of the podium with a 165.00. New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski Synnott was third, with a 151.00.
Marino burst onto the big air scene a year ago at Big Air at Fenway, knocking it out of the park in only her second world cup event as a pinch-hitter for an injured teammate. Since then she’s reeled off five top-10 finishes in six events. Two weeks ago, she gathered big air bronze and slopestyle gold in her X Games debut.
The only bump has been a 16th place to open the season in Milan. Since then she’s found her stride with four straight top-four finishes. She was second last November on the Alpensia, Korea, course that will host big air’s Olympic debut in one year, then followed that three weeks later with a fourth place in Copper Mountain, Colorado.
Marino also has hit her stride in slopestyle with a fourth place last month in Laax, Switzerland, and a third last week at Mammoth Mountain, California, the first Olympic qualifier. She carries the second-highest score from qualifying for Sunday’s slopestyle final in Quebec City.