Byrnes Wins Grand Prix Pipe

Click here for a Quicktime clip of the Women’s Halfpipe Finals.

On a beautiful bluebird day, the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix Women’s Halfpipe qualifiers held at Mammoth Mountain, California began around 11:00 a.m. today, after three hours of watching the 75 men take their two qualifying runs.

After two heats, the top ten women (in order) out of 49 to make it to the finals were Tara Zwink, Tricia Byrnes, Kelly Clark, Cara-Beth Burnside, Gretchen Bleiler, Barrett Christy, Alisa Mokler, Catherine Nieves, Kim Stacey, and Nevin Schwarz. Surprisingly, Michelle Taggart did not make beyond the qualifying round.

At approximately 1:00 p.m., the first run of the women’s finals started with strong performances by Christy, Burnside, Clark, and Byrnes. With that under their snazzy belts¿which included lots of glitter and studs¿Byrnes took the lead with a safe run, and a score of 35.

Following close behind was Clark, who finished her solid run off with her first McTwist, and received a score of 34.8. “It’s been maybe a week since I learned to do a McTwist. I was going to save it for my second run, but since my first run was feeling a little sketchy as far as my straight airs go, I thought, ‘This run is kind of sucky, anyway,” said Clark. “I’ll just huck my Mc.’ And I ended up sticking it, so I was totally psyched.”

Two-tenths behind Clark was Burnside with a 34.6, whose run began with a McTwist, then included a frontside air, a backside five, an air to fakie, a Cab three, an alley-oop, and ended with a backside air. Burnside’s response to her third place score was, “I really thought that run should’ve been scored higher, personally. They’re telling me do hard tricks first up, and I’m trying to do just that. I was really stoked on the McTwist because my mom was standing right there cheering for me.”

The women took a break while the men went through their first final runs, which apparently softened the pipe up quite a bit, along with the continuing sunshine. When the time came for the women to out-do their first run, it just didn’t happen. So, with that being said, Byrnes held on to first, Clark second, and Burnside third. Christy came in a close fourth with a score of 34.2.

When asked about her first/winning run, Byrnes replied, “I just wanted to keep it big and clean and smooth, kind of throw down a stock run, and have fun with it.”

1. Tricia Byrnes
2. Kelly Clark
3. Cara-Beth Burnside
4. Barrett Christy
5. Gretchen Bleiler
6. Tara Zwink
7. Catherine Nieves
8. Alisa Mokler
9. Kim Stacey
10. Nevin Schwarz

Click here for a Quicktime clip of the Women’s Halfpipe Finals.