VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Jeret Peterson of Amesbury was one of two Americans to advance to the finals in the menís freestyle aerials during qualifying on Cypress Mountain tonight.
Peterson qualified in fifth with a 237.34, less than a point away from third place.
"I'm ecstatic," Peterson said. "I wanted to be somewhere in the top six or seven."
Ryan St. Onge of Colorado finished second in qualifying with a score of 240.67, trailing only the 242.52 posted by Zongyang Jia of China.
The finals for the menís aerials will begin at 9 p.m. Thursday. Peterson said he will probably go to his trademark move, The Hurricane, in the final.
"I'm planning on it," he said. "Depending on the weather and the conditions, but if it's like this [sunny], for sure."
Belmont's Emily Cook was among three US ski team aerialists to qualify for Wednesday's finals.
Cook, a three-time Olympian who is in the finals for the first time, qualified fifth with a score of 180.25.
She did so despite a taking on lighter training load leading up to the games while she recovered from a bruised heel.
"Every day's a new day," said Cook according to the US Ski Team website "I haven't trained much in the last six weeks, so I was really just relying on all my training from all of the years past. I'm very, very thankful to have put down two solid jumps."
She said she plans to be more aggressive with her jumps in Wednesday's finals.
"I'm going to up my degree of difficulty," Cook said, according to the website. "I downgraded a little bit today, just because of the amount of training time I had."