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Ryan St. Onge, Jeret Peterson qualify for finals of men's aerials

February 22, 2010 |  8:06 pm

Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, Colo.) and Jeret Peterson (Amesbury, Mass.) advanced to the finals in the men’s freestyle aerials during qualifying at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Monday.

St. Onge finished second in qualifying with a score of 240.67, trailing only the 242.52 posted by Zongyang Jia of China. Peterson qualified in fifth with a 237.34, less than a point away from third place.

“I don’t worry about my scores too much,” said St. Onge. “I have had a lot of trouble landing this year. To come out today and land two jumps the way I wanted to is unbelievable.”

Two other Americans did not advance. Matt DePeters (Buffalo, N.Y.) was 17th with a 202.48, while Scotty Bahrke (Tahoe City, Calif.) was 23rd with a 168.72.

Defending Olympic champion Han Xiaopeng of China and this year's top jumper, Anton Kushnir of Belarus, both failed to qualify.

Kushnir won four times this season but fell on his second jump to drop out of the top 12. Han also fell on his second jump to finish 21st.

The finals for the men’s aerials will begin at 6 p.m. PST on Thursday.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada