Back to back 900s by Todd Richards were not enough to stop eighteen year-old Danny Kass in what he called an “awesome, perfect” Breckenridge halfpipe. Following Kass (GNU) were runner-up Todd Richards, and J.J. Thomas.
Barrett Christy (also GNU) spun her way to the top step of the women’s podium and pocketed the “equal prize money,” ten thousand dollar purse. Okemo Grand Prix winner Tricia Byrnes, and Kelly Clark, who was recovering from a fall in yesterday’s qualifiers, placed behind Christy respectively.
Kass, an ice coast transplant now living in Mammoth, was the top qualifier going into today’s best-of-two-runs finals format. But after scoring a zero from the straight-air judge (he didn’t do any), and casing the lip near the bottom of the pipe on his first run, he sat in thirteenth place.
The start of the second round saw Todd Richards in the lead. Todd nailed run number one (a run that many think should have won the contest), putting together what have become this season’s winning combination of tricks with characteristic authority.
If anyone was to dethrone Todd, it had to be Danny Kass¿the final rider of the day. According to Kass, “Going large,” was his second-run philosophy, and it paid off with a score of ten for amplitude. The perfect ten (and a hardly-little something to appease the straight-air judge) was enough to bump Richards out of first.
Christy took the women’s title (and the Lava Lamp trophy) by dazzling the rotations judge. She put together spinning combinations and included everything from a 360 to a 720 in her winning second run. Tricia Byrnes went bigger than Christy, and Kelly Clark went biggest, but neither could outscore Christy’s spin tricks. Top women’s qualifier, Gretchen Bleiler from Aspen, didn’t put together the run she needed in the finals.
Absent from the podium, but ruling his practice runs, was Burton’s Keir Dillon. Closer to the top, Volkl rider Ricky Bowers made a good showing for the U.S. Team, finishing in fifth.
The Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix next stops at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. Feb. 8-11 for superpipe and snowboardcross events.
CHEVY TRUCK U.S. SNOWBOARD GRAND PRIXBreckenridge, Colo.Jan. 7, 2001Superpipe
MEN1. Danny Kass (Hamburg, New Jersey), 44.60
2. Todd Richards (Encinitas, Calif.), 43.80
3. JJ Thomas (Golden, Colo.), 42.90
4. Ross Powers (S. Londonderry, Vermont), 40.70
5. Ricky Bower (Park City, Utah), 39.80
6. Erik Leines (Sandy, Utah), 38.30
7. Tommy Czeschin (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), 37.60
8. Adam Petraska (Andover, Vermont), 36.20
9. Seth Wescott (Farmington, Maine), 36.10
10. Brett Carpentier (Canada), 34.60
11. Magnus Sterner (Sweden), 34.30
12. Luke Wynen (Reading, Penn.), 33.20
13. George Oakley (Bend, Ore.), 33.20
14. Chris Engelsman (Sandy, Utah), 32.80
15. Charlie Morace (Newtown, Conn.), 32.00
16. Travis Rice (Jackson, Wyo.), 31.60
17. Stefan Clausen (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), 30.40
18. Zach Horwitz (Carbondale, Colo.), 26.70
19. Keir Dillon (Shawnee, Penn.), 26.70
DNS Eric Warren (Bennington, Vermont)
1. Barrett Christy (Vail, Colo.), 36.70
2. Tricia Byrnes (Stratton Mt., Vermont), 36.40
3. Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, Vermont), 35.20
4. Gretchen Bleiler (Snowmass Village, Colo.), 32.60
5. Caroline Ehrenstrasser (Austria), 31.90
6. Michele Taggart (Salem, Ore.), 31.80
7. Cara Beth Burnside (Orange, Calif.), 31.00
8. Tara Zwink (Welches, Ore.), 30.80
9. Autumn Rose (Olympic Valley, Calif.), 27.10
10. Bianca Berger (Park City, Utah), 25.20