Tonight it was all about Torah.
With the best women snowboarders in the world gathered to shred the 22-foot X Games pipe it proved to be one heavy competition.
Each of the six girls in the finals were blasting out of the pipe and putting down some of the most progressive pipe runs to date. Kelly Clark brought her trademark brand of "amplitude" (to borrow the announcer's terminology) and took silver. Hannah Teeter linked fives and sevens flawlessly and earned bronze.
But it was Torah, with her unmatched style and hecka-tech runs that got the gold.
Here's her run: Back three, switch back seven, McTwist, air-to-fakie, cab seven.
Dig that. The judges did.
In qualifiers that same run earned her a 97.66, which is the highest score any girl has ever earned at the X Games. One for the record books.
And really, the whole night was. These girls were going bigger than ever. Sometimes too big.
Gretchen Bleiler was looking good going into the second round of runs, but on her first hit she got a little too loose trying a front nine, landed on the lip, scorpioned into the transition and then scorp'd again into the flat bottom. She was down for a minute and motionless. Medics went running, she started to move, then stood up smiling.
The crowd erupted in cheers for the hometown hero, who was last year's gold medalist. But, Gretchen didn't make it back up for a third run and that left the door wide open for Clark, Teeter or Torah.
Teeter dropped and put together a solid run. She boosted and looked really stylish doing so. But when judgment was passed she was sitting in third. So it was Clark and Bright battling for gold. Clark dropped first, blasted a double-overhead frontside air, but "over-amped"(again, the announcer's jargon, not mine) on the second hit and slammed hard.
And that was it. Torah was sitting in first with her final run to go. She was slightly injured—has a shoulder that "just always seems to slip out of the socket,"—so she took a victory run and simply surfed that white wave to the podium. Six slashes later she was standing at the bottom of the pipe as this year's gold medalist.
1. Torah Bright: 91.33
2. Kelly Clark:88.33
3. Hannah Teeter: 83.00
4. Ellery Hollingsworth: 70.66
5. Kaitlyn Farrington: 66.00
6. Gretchen Bleiler: 40.00