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    Local Olympian Caldwell advances to finals, places 10th in women’s aerials

    Ashley Caldwell posted the top score among all competitors during the qualifying round of women’s aerials at the 2014 Winter Olympics. The 20-year-old placed 10th in the event for a second straight Olympic games.—Photo Courtesy/Sarah Brunson, U.S. Ski Team
    Following a sparkling performance in the qualifying round, Ashley Caldwell was unable to stick her landing in the women's aerials finals Feb. 14 at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The result was a 10th place finish for the 20-year-old Ashburn native.

    Caldwell flawlessly executed and landed a jump that rated the most difficult of all routines during qualifying. She posted a score of 101.25, the highest mark in qualifying or in the finals.

    Based on her top qualifying score, Caldwell was the last of 12 competitors to take her turn in the first segment of the finals. The top eight would move on to the second segment.

    Needing a score of 76.23 or higher to advance, Caldwell's medal hopes were dashed when she fell back on her landing and touched the snow to avoid falling. A score of 72.80 left Caldwell less than four points short of advancing.

    Alla Tsuper of Belarus struck gold in the event. China's Mengtao Xu won silver and Lydia Lassila of Australia claimed a bronze medal. Emily Cook was the top American in eighth place.

    Caldwell was competing in her second Winter Olympics. She also placed 10th in women's aerials at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

    Top / Eastern Loudoun / Ashburn /

    She was tenth-best at the age of sixteen?

    That’s amazing. Good for her for staying with her sport and staying one of the ten best. An inspiration.

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