FIS WC Bower, Wescott, Horwitz Make Top 10

Bower Second, Wescott Fourth and Horwitz Sixth At World Cup Halfpipe InGermany

BERCHTESGADEN, Germany (Jan. 15) – In the first World Cup halfpipe eventof the new year, the U.S. Snowboard Team proved Saturday that the timeoff from the circuit was not vacation time as Ricky Bower (Park City,UT), Seth Wescott (Farmington, ME) and Zach Horwitz (Carbondale, CO) allfound themselves in the top 10.

In front of 4,000 fans in sunny weather, Japan’s Kentaro Miyawaki tookthe gold with a score of 42.4, followed by Bower (40.8) and Magnus Sterner(40.6) of Sweden. Wescott (40.2) was close behind in fourth and Horwitz(39.3) took sixth as Miyawaki had the best score in both final runs. On the women’s side, Germany’s Sabine Wehr-Hasler won her first WorldCup event with a 33.5. Sweden followed with Anna Olofsson (33.5) in aclose second and Anna Hellman (32.7) in third.

Rob Kingwill (Jackson Hole, WY) and Tricia Byrnes (New Canaan, CT), bothmembers of the U.S. team and World Cup points leaders entering the event,did not compete. Kingwill is resting at home while Byrnes is in BritishColumbia for the Vans Triple Crown.

“I felt well,” Miyawaki said, “but I did not expect to end up like thistoday. It just went really well all day and I can’t believe that I madeit. I like the pipe a lot and hope I can keep on like this now.”

Bower, returning to the site where he won last season’s halfpipe WorldChampionship and coming off a third place finish in the pipe last weekat the Chevy S-10 U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix in Breckenridge, crashed inhis first run but rebounded in his second by throwing a huge rodeo flip.

“While we had good results, it was a little bit of a disappointing day,”said U.S. Head Coach Peter Foley. “Seth and Ricky were riding well enoughin practice to win. They are really riding well though, the contest justdidn’t quite go like we hoped it would.”

Wescott was not able to pull a 900 in competition that hehad landed earlier in practice.

Wehr-Hasler was Germany’s big hope for the competition and she didn’tdisappoint. The 32-year-old has ridden well so far this season and ledafter the first of two final runs.

“A dream came true today,” Wehr-Hasler said, overwhelmed by emotions.”To get to the very top at the age of 32 and make this happen here atthe Gà'ˆtschen (course)… I really don’t know what to say. I hoped to makea good result here at the Worlds last year but failed, I did not do theback flip at that time. It was just great I could take my revenge todayand with all those people cheering it was just amazing. That’s somethingunique here.”

With the win, Wehr-Hasler took the yellow bib of the World Cup pointsleader. Hellman is in second place ahead of Byrnes. Sweden’s Thomas Johansson,who finished ninth, pulled ahead of Kingwill as the points leader on themen’s tour.

Action concludes Sunday with a parallel slalom in Berchtesgaden.

Berchtesgaden, Germany-Jan. 15

Men (10 made finals)
1. Kentaro Miyawaki, JPN, 42.4
2. Ricky Bower, Park City, UT, 40.8
3. Magnus Sterner, SWE, 40.6
4. Seth Wescott, Farmington, ME, 40.2
5. Aleksi Litovaara, FIN, 40.0
6. Zach Horwitz, Carbondale, CO, 39.3
7. Fredrick Sterner, SWE, 37.6
8. Jonas Hagstroem, SWE, 35.9
9. Thomas Johansson, SWE, 35.9
10. Pasi Voho, FIN, 35.7

15. Chris Nelson, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 32.7
-Women (six made finals)
1. Sabine Wehr-Hasler, GER, 33.5
2. Anna Olofsson, SWE, 33.3
3. Anna Hellman, SWE, 32.7
4. Sanae Daigo, JPN, 28.7
5. Lesley McKenna, GBR, 28.6
6. Sophia Bergdahl, SWE, 27.1
7. Agurtzane Otegui, SPA, 25.7
8. Alessandra Pescosta, ITA, 25.4
9. Melanie Leando, GBR, 24.2
10. Sae Yoshimi, JPN, 22.7