Danny Kass and Amber Stackhouse became the USASA National halfpipe champions on March 30, 2000. Actually Danny was already the reigning champion, so he just defended his title.
Under ominous skies, the USASA halfpipe championships for the Open Class went off almost without a hitch. I suppose compared to yesterday’s contest, it was incredibly smooth, although maybe that was just because I didn’t get there until two, and I missed most of the early stuff.
The thing about nationals is you never know what’s going to happen. You can’t discount anyone’s run until you’ve seen the whole thing. The same kid that did a tindy and a tailfish his first two hits, is the kid who does a double back flip his last hit, the most kinked in the pipe.
The kid qualified by the Illinois Raging Bull series could very well be the next Trevor Andrew. This was pretty much the theme of the halfpipe contest, but luckily there were a few riders whose runs weren’t hucked or ugly, and surprisingly enough, most of them made the top ten.
The halfpipe was less than perfect, in fact it was just plain bad. The sections of the wall which didn’t resemble a banked ramp were totally kinked or had holes in them. The first hit was actually the best in the entire pipe, which made it almost a necessity to do your best trick first. Danny Kass chose to do a switch 720. Add this to a consistently technical run, and you’ve got the highest score of the day. I would have some really great pictures of Danny riding, but he informed me I was not allowed to take pictures of him in this particular pipe.
Based on some of the pictures I did get, the maximum five foot airs that people were pulling off would have made great blackmail material for someone like him.
In second place for the men was Lane Knaack. I’m not really sure what Lane’s runs consisted of, because I didn’t even realize he was there
Kyle Clancy, placing lower in his disciple of choice than the slopestyle at third, was doing ally-oop 540s his first hit, and then staying on his feet for the rest of his run, a real accomplishment in this event. Another notable was the unknown Salomon rider, who did a bunch of eight foot mctwists to the deck, finally landing one his last run, much to the delight of everyone watching.
There was a bit more competition in the pipe for the ladies than yesterday’s event. Kelly Clarke showed up, as did Nevin Schwartz and Sarah Thompson from Okemo. In terms of an amateur pipe contest, the field was pretty stacked with sick riders. Unfortunately, the pipe didn’t really allow for them to ride to their potential. The most popular run was to do a frontside 540 first hit. This was the choice of both first and second place finishers, Amber Stackhouse and Nevin Schwartz. Kelly Clarke went the biggest of all the girls, and although her second run was somewhat cleaner than her first, her best score was received for the latter, and was only good enough for third. Less than a half a point separated the top three women, although there were certainly some girls there that brought down the entire average, but I’m not even going to get into that.
1. Danny Kass 33.8
2. Lane Knack 31.7
3. Kyle Clancy 30.4
4. Eric Warren 30.1
1. Amber Stackhouse 22.9
2. Nevin Schwartz 22.7
3. Kelly Clarke 22.6