All Photos: Nick Hamilton
It was a stellar second day at the 32nd annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships presented by MINI at Vail Mountain, as world-class riders put on a show at the halfpipe semi-finals. 16 women and 31 men had two runs to perform for a spot in Saturday’s anticipated final. In the end, it was Kelly Clark and Yiwei Zhang with the highest scores of the day in the 22-foot superpipe. A total of six women and 10 men are moving on for their chance at the Burton US Open halfpipe title.
2014 Olympic bronze medalist Kelly Clark upped her first run score of an 82.20 with an 87.53 on her second. Clark’s run was complete with a huge frontside 1080, Cab 720, frontside air, backside 540 double tail grab, frontside 540 indy, and a method air. She will advance to go for an unprecedented seventh US Open halfpipe title on Saturday.
“Last year this pipe was the best pipe we rode all year and I didn’t know if that was just a one time thing,” said Clark. “After riding now, it wasn’t just a one time thing. It’s perfect.”
Right behind Clark was Queralt Castellet in second and Chloe Kim in third. Tune into the women’s halfpipe finals live from Vail on Saturday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. MST.
After the women’s semi-finals, 31 men showcased their abilities in the halfpipe, with 2014 Chinese Olympian, Yiwei Zhang, soaring his way into first position. Zhang’s furious second run included a method air, frontside double 1080, Cab double cork 1080 indy to mute grab, frontside double 1260, double barrel roll, and a frontside 1080 tailgrab, scoring an 93.00.
Taylor Gold came in second and Ben Ferguson took third.
“It’s such a relief,” said Gold. “I didn’t really know if it was going to happen coming in because I’ve had some trouble in the last few contests, so I was happy to get in with my first run score.”
Watch the top 10 men from semi-finals battle it out for the 2014 Burton US Open halfpipe title and the $45,000 first place cash purse, on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. MST on FOX Sports 2 and Burton.com/USO.
Women’s Halfpipe Semifinal Results
1. Kelly Clark — 87.53
2. Queralt Castellet — 85.40
3. Chloe Kim — 78.83
4. Hannah Teter — 74.08
5. Sophie Rodriguez — 72.90
6. Rana Okada — 72.78
Men’s Halfpipe Semifinal Results
1. Yiwei Zhang — 93.00
2. Taylor Gold — 84.38
3. Ben Ferguson — 81.85
4. Gabe Ferguson — 80.50
5. Jake Pates — 79.63
6. David Habluetzel — 78.80
7. Louie Vito — 78.65
8. Taku Hiraoka — 77.35
9. Kent Callister — 76.28
10. Christian Haller — 75.28
For anyone who missed the live webcast, highlights of winning runs, full webcast replays, contest recaps and more are here. Also check your local listings to watch US Open re-airs, the US Open Lifestyle show, and men's and women's slopestyle and halfpipe highlight shows on FOX Sports 2.