Chris Corning saved his best for when it counts most, posting his top performance of the season to claim the bronze medal in snowboard slopestyle Saturday at the 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
Corning posted a score of 82.50 on his first run to hold second place behind Switzerland’s Nicolas Huber, but Belgium’s Seppe Smits vaulted past both with a 91.40 on his second run to take the world title. Huber claimed silver with an 83.25.
The medal is Team USA’s third at the event in less than 24 hours after Jon Lillis and Ashley Caldwell swept gold Friday in aerials skiing.
The podium is Corning’s first in either slopestyle or big air this season. He started the year with back-to-back fifth place showings in big air, but did not have a top-20 finish in slopestyle. He has two world cup podiums to his credit, a win in August 2015 in Cardrona, New Zealand, in only his second-ever world cup event, followed by a second place last March in Spindelruv Mlyn, Czech Republic. As the only rider to record multiple podiums last season, he earned the slopestyle season title in his first year on the circuit.
However, the 17-year-old Silverthorne, Colorado, native is no stranger to world championship podiums, having taken gold in both big air and slopestyle at the 2016 junior world championships.
Dylan Thomas finished 10th with a 68.60. In the women’s competition, Karly Shorr and Jessika Jenson gave Team USA two top-six finishes. Shorr was fourth with a 68.15 while Jenson was sixth at 63.00. Canada’s Laurie Blouin won the title with a 78.00, with New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowksi Synnott claiming silver at 77.50 and Japan’s Miyabi Onitsuka taking bronze with a 77.40.