All Photos: Nick Hamilton
Why mess with perfection? Jamie Anderson performed a near replica of the run that got her gold at Sochi to win the 2014 Burton US Open women’s slopestyle today. Despite snowy conditions and flat light that made it difficult for many of the six women in finals to stomp their tricks, Jamie looked unaffected as she landed her first two runs effortlessly. It was her second run that gave her the highest score of the day, an 87.55.
Jamie Anderson’s winning run.
Jamie Anderson’s winning run from the Sochi Olympics.
The win is the fourth time Jamie has topped the US Open women's slopestyle podium after taking the first spot in 2007, 2011, and 2012. There was no gold medal but Jamie did pick up $45,ooo for her efforts. She also became the World Snowboard Tour Slopestyle Champion today, edging out Silje Norendal for the title.
Following a hectic Olympic qualifying schedule and post-Sochi media tour, Jamie thought about skipping the Open but had a change of heart. "I almost didn't come for a second and then I thought I have to come support the people that support us," she said. "It's always fun to end the year with a really snowboard driven event. More than anything, after this year with all of us doing the Olympics and a lot of FIS events it's never felt better to come back to the US Open and have that snowboarder energy."
It was a day of redemption for Spencer O'Brien who made finals at Sochi but fell on a backside 720 on both of her runs. Here Spencer picked up second place after landing a line that included a frontside 720 to backside 720 on her last hit. "It was definitely my Achilles heel in Sochi," she said of the backside 720. "I've had that trick for about a year and half now. It's been a little inconsistent for me. I did it at X and obviously not at Sochi, but I just spent the last couple of weeks working really hard on it so I was really stoked to come here and land a run and come away with second."
Spencer O’Brien’s second place run.
Isabel Derungs, who placed eighth at Sochi, took third today with run that included back-to-back 720s and a huge backside rodeo 540. "It's definitely one of my favorite tricks," she said of the backside rodeo. "I've got to know the speed for the jump but as soon as I know the speed I can do it on anything."
"Maybe you can give me some pointers," Jamie joked in the press conference afterwards.
Isabel Derung’s third place run.
As a testament to the troubles the rest of the women were having on the course 14-year-old Miyabi Onitsuka from Japan came in fourth after falling on the final hit on all three of her runs.
All of the women were thankful for a return to the three run format after the two run FIS format used at Sochi. "All the TTR events and X Games do three runs, which is awesome," Spencer said. "It just gives the riders a chance to put down a safety run and then come out swinging because the pressure's off. And if you don't land your first run there's not as much pressure. It benefits the rider and it benefits the progression."
2014 Burton US Open Women’s Slopestyle Final Results
1. Jamie Anderson — 87.55
2. Spencer O’Brien — 80.00
3. Isabel Derungs — 71.90
4. Miyabu Onitsuka — 43.20
5. Ty Walker — 33.95
6. Cheryl Mass — 30.50