CZESCHIN SECOND IN JAPAN WORLD CUP

SAPPORO-MAKOMANI, Japan (Mar. 1) — Olympic veteran Tommy Czeschin (Mammoth Lakes, CA) made short work of the Japanese halfpipe scoring 41.7 points for second in the first of two FIS World Cup events set for the ’98 Olympic venue. ‘The Machine’s’ first finals run landed him on the podium with a couple of lofty straight airs followed by Czeschin’s smooth corked seven to cab seven combo.

Overall World Cup halfpipe leader Magnus Sterner of Sweden took the top spot with 42.7 points for his second halfpipe win of the year, while Japan’s Domu Narita racked up 41.1 points for third. Reigning U.S. national champ Wyatt Caldwell (Sun Valley, ID) was the only other American to make the top-10 final, but was unable to put his run together finishing 10th with 32.2 points.

Winning the women’s event with 37.8 points for her first career World Cup victory was Lesley McKenna of Scotland. McKenna, who has been on the World Cup tour since ’97 said the key to her win was going in without any expectations and just having fun. Canadian Natasza Zurek was second with 36.4 points followed by Lara Pesko from Sweden with 34 points. Current Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix leader Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) notched 32.4 points for the best U.S. finish with fifth.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Czeschin, who is coming off a second at the Park City Mountain Resort World Superpipe Championships last weekend. “I took second in this event two years ago, so I felt pretty confident about this pipe. It’s a little bit smaller of a pipe than what where used to, but the walls where well shaped and the weather cooperated pretty well with sun off and on all day.”

Teter stomped her first qualification run with 39.4 points to put her directly into the finals. But a rough meeting with the deck on her first finals run sent the 16-year-old sailing into the flats and left her shaken for the rest of the competition. Tricia Byrnes (New Canaan, CT), the only other U.S. women in the pipe finished eighth with 31.2 points.

The FIS World Cup continues Sunday from Japan with the second halfpipe event.

2002/2003 FIS SNOWBOARD WORLD CUP
Sapporo-Makomani, JPN
Saturday, March 1

Men’s Halfpipe
1. Magnus Sterner, Sweden, 42.7
2. Tommy Czeschin, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 41.7
3. Domu Narita, Japan, 41.1
4. Kazuhiro Kokubo, Japan, 39.0
5. Miikka Hast, Finland, 36.8

Women’s Halfpipe
1. Lesley McKenna, Scotland, 37.8
2. Natasza Zurek, Canada, 36.4
3. Lara Pasko, Sweden, 34
4. Nicola Pederzolli, Austria, 33.9
5. Hannah Teter, Belmont, VT, 32.4