LUKE WYNEN OVERTAKES ROSS POWERS FOR PAUL MITCHELL AST TITLE AT SUGAR BOWL. KIM STACY DOMINATES WOMEN’S HALF PIPE.

Ross Powers was tuning up to compete in his second Olympic Games at the Paul Mitchell American Snowboard Tour event at Sugar Bowl Resort in Lake Tahoe on Saturday. Two feet of early week snow and cold temperatures made it difficult to keep the pipe together, but a warm-up on Friday and cold temps at night set-up the pipe well for Saturday’s contest under blue bird skies.

When it came time for the finals, Powers was the first to drop and in his classic effortless style, nailed his first run with back to back 720′s and a perfect Mctwist on his last trick. The crowd and judges were impressed and thought the run could hold up for the win but for a couple of sketches that left only a small crack in the door for any challengers. Powers run certainly sent a message to the rest of the field.

LukeWynen didn’t feel fear when it came his time to drop for his first run, but went too vertical on a frontside air, dropping to the flatbottom and falling. Powers, feeling confident with his initial run, was boosting huge out of the pipe on his first three hits, but ended up falling at the end on a McTwist .

Luke Wynen saw a crack in the door and exploited it by stomping his second run that included a corked backside 540 and finished with a frontside inverted 720 in a completely smooth run. In the end, it was Wynen edging out Powers by just over a point to capture the $3,000 first place prize and the super swag of Paul Mitchell products, a JanSport backpack and the real prize, an XBOX game system and two games from Official XBOX Magazine and Konami.

On the women’s side, Kim Stacy took charge from the start, never letting the rest of the field get a chance with her trademark big amplitude and a super clean 540. Autumn Rose went big with a 540 on her first trick on her first run, but a small sketch at the end kept her away from the win after a fall on her second run and left her in second. Stacy took home the $2,500 first place prize and all the same swag as Wynen.

The Paul Mitchell American Snowboard Tour’s next stop will be February 22-24 at Steamboat Resort offering Parallel Giant Salalom, Superpipe and Big Air contests. The AST takes place on the same dates as the Sims World Championships in Vail, but with all the individual disciplines scheduled on different days, riders can take advantage of both contests that weekend. The AST will finish it’s 2002 season at Big Bear Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, CA March 2 & 3 with Superpipe and a Big Air contest.

The 2002 Paul Mitchell American Snowboard Tour presented by JanSport will be broadcast on “Core Culture,” a 30 – minute alternative sports program that airs on Fox Sports Net. The AST event from Sugar Bowl will air on “Core Culture” to more than 75 million homes on Fox Sports Net affiliates on Tuesday, Feburary 26th at 11:00 am, 4:00 pm and 2:00 am.

The American Snowboard Tour is sponsored by Paul Mitchell Professional Salon Products, JanSport backpacks, Official XBOX Magazine, Subaru, Optic Nerve eyewear, Dryve Snowboards and Stagg Chili. For additional information or registration materials, contact Craig Elledge at the American Snowboard Tour at (818) 385-1439 or go to www.americansnowboardtour.com.

Men’s Halfpipe

1. Luke Wynen
2. Ross Powers
3. David Burright
4. Nik Batko
5. Dave Brumm
6. Everett Long
7. Jon Ansolabehere
8. Eric Jackson
9. Colter Deupree
10.Chris Patterson

Women’s Halfpipe
1.Kim Stacy
2.Autumn Rose
3.Sara Pehrson
4.Paige Warner
5.Holly Lyons
6.Jana Manfredi