Baumgartner finishes sixth

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta – Iron River’s Nick Baumgartner placed sixth overall in the World Cup men’s snowboard cross event Saturday.

Baumgartner won the first two heats and took third in the semifinals.

“Super fun day,” Baumgartner said. “Really wanted the finals. I had two chances to change that outcome for the better and made the wrong choice, but that’s part of boardercross. Things happen so fast coming down the mountain.”

Baumgartner was runner-up in the “small finals.”

“Didn’t get the finish I wanted but I’m very excited about my riding,” Baumgartner said. “I know it’s going to be a fun year.”

In only his eighth World Cup start, Australia’s Jarryd Hughes captured his first victory.

“I just had as much fun as I could and it came together,” Hughes said. “I just hope I can keep the momentum going through to Sochi.”

Germany’s Konstantin Schad was second, followed by American Alex Deibold.

In snowboard cross, also called boardercross, athletes race a course of bumps, rolls and turns in heats of four with the top two advancing to the next round.

Similar to short-track speed skating, crashes are common and boarders can come from behind to win if the leaders go down.

Baumgartner’s World Cup schedule continues at Vallnord, Andorra (southern Europe), and Veysonnaz, Switzerland, in January. The X Games in Aspen, Colo., is their final event prior to the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

(The Associated Press, Facebook, fis-ski and Yahoo contributed to this story)