Let there be no question that the nation’s top aerial freestyle skier hails from Amesbury.
Amesbury native Dylan Ferguson, 24, claimed his third consecutive national aerials title at the Spring U.S. Freestyle Championships in Heavenly, Cali., Saturday. He landed a full double full full, earning the highest score he has ever posted in a national championship event.
“I had two really good contest jumps,” Ferguson said. “That might have been the highest score I’ve ever had. It’s good to be No. 1.”
Ferguson has cemented his case as the nation’s top aerial freestyle skier since he was forced to withdraw from the 2010 Olympic Games due to a stomach infection that stemmed from a ruptured appendix. He has not finished any lower than first at the national championships since that time, when he qualified for the Olympic team as the second-ranked American.
Ferguson has also climbed the international rankings, finishing a career-high fourth on the World Cup tour. When he qualified for the last Olympic team, he did not rank in the top 10 internationally.
“I’m jumping better than I was at the last Olympics,” Ferguson said. “The first season I was doing my two competition jumps was 2010. Now, I’ve been competing with those jumps for the last three years. I feel confidence in those, and I’ve done them on ramps and snow. I’m jumping a lot better than I was in the 2010 season.”
Ferguson lives in Park City, Utah, where he trains with the U.S. national aerials team. Unlike the 2010 Games, when he was the youngest American to qualify, he is now an elder statesman on the team.
“Our team is sort of building after the last Olympics,” Ferguson said. “We had a few people stop jumping, so we’re rebuilding the team. These kids are so young, they’re just getting into the sport. We have a lot of people capable of being on a podium.”