Photos: Aaron Blatt
“Kelly wins everything!”--Luke Mitrani
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. On a warm, sunny day in Utah, Kelly Clark once again found herself atop the podium this season, this time joined by the “Squid” himself, Luke Mitrani. For Kelly, her 2010/2011 spree makes it hard not to start tacking on “G.O.A.T.” to her name. And for the 20-year old from Stratton, Vermont, he finally stuck the run everyone’s been hoping for this season, earning him the win and a huge 97 from the judges--the highest score in Dew Tour Superpipe history.
As the Women began to line up above the pipe to begin the event, the “situation” began to come into focus. Spain’s Queralt Castellet sat atop the leaderboard for the $25,000 Dew Cup Championship (overall points leader after the Breckenridge, Killington, and Snowbasin Dew Tour stops), with Vermont’s Kelly Clark just behind in second. If Queralt rode her way into second or first at yesterday’s Finals, she would take the crown. For Kelly, she’d have to win the event and Queralt finish third or lower. It’s not to say that the other riders in the event weren’t factors in the results--a heavy list that included last year’s Dew Champion, Kaitlyn Farrington--but with the way Kelly and Queralt have been riding this year, this was going to be their show. Speaking of Miss Kaitlyn … You know where she was during the live TV time, rider line-ups, introductions, etc? Laughing with the other riders and Men’s competitors, having pulled off the outfit switch with one of her friends, who did the NBC duties for her. That sh*t was hilarious--but she would eventually suit up, and spin her way onto the podium in second place. Which means… Queralt did not earn the silver, awarding Kelly Clark the Snowbasin win (which included yet another epic 1080 during her winning run), and the Overall 2011 Dew Tour Championship, the big prize money, and yet another massive vehicle to add to her growing collection of whips this season.
Squid! Formerly “Little” Luke Mitrani has finally grown into his hella growth spurt tall frame, linking up signature tricks and man-sized airs--and to the delight of the riders and crowd--stomping his run at the perfect time. We almost saw a double-Mitrani podium this evening, with Jack Mitrani actually getting bumped out of third place when his lil’ bro stomped his banger lap. Jack set the bar early, starting off with an insane 20-foot alley-oop, which Todd Richards tweeted as being “… the best trick in snowboarding”, and finishing clean to an early lead. He would soon be passed by Olympian Greg Bretz, doubling his way to the silver position. Rounding out the final podium was Steve “Stevesie” Fisher, who unleashed his previously-unseen front double ten on his last hit.
With one more rider left to drop, current Dew Tour points leader, Louie Vito, strapped in, got focused, and began to drop. Having won at both the Breck and Killington stops, he would only need to finish 6th or better to take the 2011 crown. But after falling on his first run, there was a definite murmur in the Utah air. Vito drops in, goes back-to-back doubles, but skids out on the last hit… would it be enough? The crowd waited, and Louie would do it. Not enough for the podium here at Snowbasin, but more then enough to earn him $25,000 and the overall Dew Tour Championship.
But when the smoke finally cleared, Luke and his huge opening Double Michalchuks would take the day’s title. Qualifying first in Thurday’s Prelims gave the young guy a huge boost, and would end up foreshadowing a memorable win for the one they call “Squid”. Congrats to Luke and Kelly. Hm… 10% rule, Luke? Wait… there’s a massive afterparty Vito’s throwing in SLC? We out!
Men’s and Women’s Slopestyle Finals kick off this afternoon here at Snowbasin Resort, Utah.Will Torstein complete the season sweep? Stay tuned for video, photos, and interviews with the riders tomorrow night, right here on TWSnow.com.