FIS World Cup Japan Halfpipe #2

SAPPORO-MAKOMANI, Japan (Mar. 2) ? Young gun Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) smoked the ?98 Olympic halfpipe Sunday piling up 43.1 points to win the second of two World Cups by 5.1 over Canada?s Natasza Zurek.  Teter?s now staple towering airs paved the way for Olympic vet Tricia Byrnes (New Canaan, CT) to move back onto the World Cup podium with 37.5 points for third rounding out the all North American podium. 

Fellow Salt Lake teammate Tommy Czeschin (Mammoth Lakes, CA) repeated his podium performance from one day ago to take third for the men with 41.9 points, just .1 shy of 17-year-old Fin Antti Autti and 1.1 back of winner Xavier Hoffman of Germany. Also cracking the top-five was Hannah?s older brother Elijah, who put together a 39.6 point run, good enough for fifth following a 34th place result Saturday. 

?It?s great to have so many of our riders on the podium,? said head coach Peter Foley.  ?The conditions were really tough today for everyone ? it was pretty wet already and then it snowed during the men?s qualifiers which made the flat really sticky, but they did an amazing job of slipping it.? 

The win for Teter, 16, notches her first ever World Cup victory and comes on the shoulder of a nasty fall in Saturday?s event that left her stranded in an unfamiliar fifth spot after qualifying first.  Leading from the first qualifying run Sunday, the ?02 Junior World Champion said she was working hard to get her airs as big and as smooth as possible.

?Maybe it was due to the friendly Japanese and the good organization of this event,? said Teter, who is quickly being known as one of the most progressive female riders in the world. ?But, I?m pretty confident when I can go big, it?s what I do best ? big and smooth.?

?Hannah won this event in the qualifier and just blew everyone away? said Foley. ?I think her fall yesterday really motivated her ? she?s wasn?t hurt physically from it, so she just came out today and went huge.?

Byrnes credits the pipe to her giving her the 20th World Cup podium of her career.  ?The walls were in a lot better condition today than yesterday,? said Byrnes, who won two events last season. ?There was a lot more vert to them today, which suits my riding style a lot better.?

?Tricia crashed in her first qualifying run and she really had to nail it her second run to make the final of six,? added Foley. ?She did really well and did some smooth airs in the top section before throwing in a nice switch frontside air to close it out in a pretty stacked international field.?

Two podiums in two days for Czeschin is a clear indication that the 22-year-old has found his rhythm after rolling off a second place finish at the Park City Mountain Resort?s World Superpipe Championships just one weekend ago.  ?The Machine? also has notched a win on the Vans Triple Crown in his hometown earlier in the season. 

?It?s good to see the Tommy of old,? said Foley. ?He?s been coming off a huge knee injury all season, but he?s definitely back and he?s riding as good or better now than he ever has been.?

Sapporo-Makomani, JPN ? Mar. 2

Women?s Halfpipe
1. Hannah Teter, Belmont, VT ? 43.2
2. Natasza Zurek, Canada ? 38.1
3. Tricia Byrnes, New Canaan, CT ? 37.5
4. Nicola Pederzolli, Austria ? 36.4
5. Lara Pesko, Switzerland ? 36.3

Men?s Halfpipe
1. Xavier Hoffman, Germany ? 43
2. Antti Autti, Finland ? 42
3. Tommy Czeschin, Mammoth Lakes, CA ? 41.9
4. Magnus Sterner, Sweden ? 40.7
5. Elijah Teter, Belmont, VT ? 39.6