Danny Kass Photo Nick Hamilton
It was possibly the warmest US Open in the 27 year history of the event and by the time the event was over, at 4:00 pm, the formerly pristine pipe was a hacked up, burned down, slushfest, but that didn’t stop competitors from sending it with results until the bitter end.
The Scotty Lago trifecta that we dreamed up last night after his QP win was not to be, as the 3rd place qualifier served up the usual perfect practice runs followed by three choked runs. Can’t really blame him though, the pipe was giving everyone trouble. Kevin Pearce, today’s first place qualifier, also wasn’t able to put a clean run together--maybe it was because of his bruised heel or maybe it was the pipe … either way, after falling on his final run, he was pissed--never seen Kev so pissed. For the record, Louie Vito had a sick final run, we were thinking his 7th place score was a sign that he got pretty robbed, but it’s so hard to compare your overall judging versus the professional judging. After asking around, it turns out that this is one of the first events to implement the “grab cam”, basically a close up cam that one judge uses to verify whether a grab was legit. The grab cam might have been some riders undoing today …
We’re giving the TransWorld Trick Of The Day to Luke Mitrani--for his switch double backflip on the last hit of his run. Spectacular!
Danny Kass rode to victory on his Gnu BTX (banana Magne-Traction) 155. His victory run was his final run, and here's how it broke down from start to finish: front 1080 tailgrab, Cab 10 nosegrab, front nine melon, backside 7 mute, switch alleyoop five. This is his fifth US Open Superpipe victory, the most recent was in 2005, but the winning streak goes all the way back to 2001.
With his second place finish, Peetu Piiroinen now joins the ranks of Kevin Pearce, Shaun White, and Mathieu Crepel as the official TTR World Tour champion. Peetu Piiroinen took second today with his second run, but he basically held it down for all three runs. He started it off with a front 7, Cab 10, alley-oop backside Rodeo, a frontside alley-oop, a front 5, and a back 7. He said his goal for the season was just to be in the TTR top five, but after finishing well at the X Trail and Davos, he came into position to win it. He says that he started to think he had a chance of winning when Shaun and Kevin weren't showing up to some of the TTR 6 star events.
Luke Mitrani's first run sealed his spot, he started with a Cab 7 mute, into a frontside 9 tailgrab, Michalchuk nosegrab, a front 7, and crowned off with a switch double backflip, which he informed me, was a trick he's had in his bag or over a year--not a new one, but a crowd pleaser nonetheless.
After holding on to first place through the first two rounds, Kelly Clark came in hot on her final run in an attempt to regain first place and match Kass' four-time halfpipe champion title, and it looked like she had it, until, reminiscent of the Olympics, she gave it her hardest--which is so damn exciting--and bailed in the flatbottom goop. Torah's run was technical, but it was very calculated and not quite as energetic as we expect from her, but after two incomplete runs, she did put it together. Ellery Hollingsworth slid in a solid third place. Elena Hight was the single injury of the day, she did some damage to her knee and got a free ride down with the patrol, we'll let you know if we hear anything.
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Men’s Final results:
1. Danny Kass
2. Peetu Piiroinen
3. Luke Mitrani
Women’s Final results:
1. Torah Bright
2. Kelly Clark
3. Ellery Hollingsworth