One of the most dramatic halfpipe contests unraveled at the base of Mammoth’s Super Duper Halfpipe today. Danny Davis and Kelly Clark each threw down insane runs to land on top of the podium and solidify paths towards the Olympics. Davis, a Michigan native and Truckee, California transplant led the competition a soaring combo–frontside double cork cab ten, frontside nine, crail backside air, double cork frontside ten, switch double backside rodeo. And Kelly Clark won her second Grand Prix event this season to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Shaun White, Scotty Lago and Louie Vito trailed behind by a few points with equally challenging runs while yesterday’s second place qualifier and Mammoth local Greg Bretz couldn’t quite break into the top three. Elijah Teter surprised the crowd and himself with a highly technical run that finished with a mystery front flip-esque trick, jokingly deemed the “Teter-totter.” While the rest of the pack continued to lay down stellar runs, they were no match for the explosive runs from Lago, Vito, White and Davis.
“That was the best halfpipe run I have ever done,” said Davis after he put down a landmark run that included three double corks–a personal and contest first. And it was clearly devoted to good friend Kevin Pearce who is recovering from a serious snowboard injury. Davis said he was connected with Kevin on a spiritual level and it gave him confidence and good vibes on the hill today. The win meant many things to him, but overall he was “just stoked to make everyone smile.”
Shaun White gave Danny a run for his money by attempting to land three doubles as well, but ended up scrubbing the landing on a double McTwist attempt. Now it’s just fuel for the fire as riders prepare for the third qualifying event this Saturday.
In the ladies field, Kelly Clark remained untouchable with her second run serving as a victory lap. This second run composed of a frontside air, backside five, frontside nine, backside air, frontside seven and cab seven even surpassed her first run score. When congratulated on securing a spot on the women’s Olympic team she said, “I couldn’t be happier with my result today and it’s a privilege to be going to my third Olympic Games.” Hannah Teter snagged the second spot by linking up fives and sevens, barely ousting the high flying Holly Crawford.
The Grand Prix continues this week with slopestyle and the third halfpipe qualifiers. Stayed tuned to twsnow.com and twitter.com/twsnow for more updates or catch up on all the Olympic Grand Prix Action here. For a detailed breakdown of the top three runs scope the diagrams below. Or follow the event on NBC – 1/10/10 – 1:30pm est and Versus – 1/17/10 – 4pm est.