Blue skies greeted competitors and fans on day two of the 33rd annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships presented by MINI. The halfpipe semi-finals featured a stacked field of 16 women and 30 men competing in Vail Mountain's 22-foot Superpipe during a full day of heated competition. Chloe Kim and Ben Ferguson put down the highest scores of the day to lead the pack of six women and 10 men advancing for a chance at the Burton US Open halfpipe title.
Fourteen-year-old 2015 X Games Gold medalist Chloe Kim came prepared with a technical bag of tricks and precision control, putting down the two highest-scoring runs of the day in the women's field. Kim upped her first score of 87.25 with a final run score of 87.62. Her winning run consisted of a lofty Method, into a frontside 900 tail grab, McTwist indy grab, frontside inverted 720 indy, into a Cab 720 melon grab, ending with a huge frontside lien air.
"The pipe was really good, so I knew I could go bigger on my second run,” Kim said. “I wanted to do the same run, but just drop in faster."
Kelly Clark landed solidly in second place, followed by Arielle Gold in third.
Men's halfpstyle semis followed with a loaded field of 30 talented competitors. 2014 Peace Park MVP Ben Ferguson took the lead early and held it throughout the competition riding with massive amplitude and creative style. His winning run started off with a huge frontside 720 Japan, into a Cab double cork 1080 mute, double crippler indy, backside 900 mute, ending with a frontside double cork 1080 melon grab for a score of 89.24.
"I just wanted to land my run—I was super nervous, I just wanted to put something down and it worked out," Ferguson said.
The battle for the 2015 Burton US Open halfpipe title and the 45,000 dollars men's and women's first place cash purse continues on Saturday, March 7 beginning at 11:00am MST on Burton.com/USO and 2:00pm MST on FOX Sports 2.
Women’s Halfpipe Semi-Final Results:
1. Chloe Kim, BURTON, 87.62
2. Kelly Clark, BURTON, 84.75
3. Arielle Gold, RED BULL, 73.87
4. Queralt Castellet, YONEX, 72.75
5. Xuetong Cai, NIKE, 72.12
6. Hikaru Oe, BURTON, 71.00
Men’s Halfpipe Semi-Final Results:
1. Ben Ferguson, BURTON, 89.24
2. Taylor Gold, MONSTER, 87.00
3. Arthur Longo, VOLCOM, 84.25
4. Jan Scherrer, NIKE, 81.75
5. Iouri Podladtchikov, MONSTER, 81.62
6. Taku Hiraoka, BURTON, 80.87
7. Danny Davis, BURTON, 78.49
8. Ayumu Hirano, NIKE, 77.50
9. David Habluetzel, BURTON, 76.87
10. Christian Haller, BURTON, 75.37