Day two of the 37th annual Burton U·S·OPEN Snowboarding Championships went off with Chloe Kim (USA) and Yuto Totsuka (JPN) taking the top spots in halfpipe semi-finals. Today's event narrowed the field down to six women and 10 men advancing into Saturday's halfpipe finals and a chance to compete for the Burton U·S·OPEN halfpipe title and a piece of the $343,000 prize purse.
The women's competition felt more like a final with 16 of the world's best riders pushing style and amplitude to the forefront. Despite dealing with an ankle injury, three-time defending Burton U·S·OPEN champion Chloe Kim (USA) set the high score on run one, then improved it on run two while mixing up her tricks. Her highest scoring run included a Cab 900 stalefish, switch backside 540 Indy, and Cab 720 mute to earn the top women's score of 92.24.
Kim said, "It’s so nice to come out here with perfect conditions. The pipe was perfect since the first day of practice which doesn’t really happen very often. Everyone’s really excited and I am really looking forward to Saturday."
Halfpipe Olympic bronze medalist Arielle Gold (USA) blasted into the second spot with a huge run that included a lofty frontside 900 tail grab on the first hit for a score of 83.24. Last year's second place finisher Maddie Mastro (USA) was technical, clean, and consistent to secure the third spot with a score of 82.25.
Men's pipe was intense right to the very end as the 32 riders competed for the coveted 10 spots to advance into Saturday's finals. Seventeen-year-old Yuto Totsuka (JPN) balanced gigantic airs and rotational wizardry to take the top spot with a score of 89.37, barely edging out Scotty James who is currently undefeated this season. Totsuka's top scoring second run included a frontside double cork 1080 Indy, Cab double cork 1080 nose to tail, and frontside double cork 1260 Indy.
Olympic bronze medalist Scotty James (AUS), who made his Burton U·S·OPEN debut at age 13 as a Junior Jam competitor, took the second spot with an 89.12. Highlights of his run included a back-to-back Cab double cork 1080 mute to frontside double cork 1260 stalefish. In third was Pat Burgener (SUI) with a score of 84.62.
James said, "I'm feeling really good heading into the weekend and I'm excited for Saturday. I just want to execute what I know how to do a little bit better and just do it the best I can. This is an amazing spectator event and it's always really exciting."
Competition continues tomorrow Friday, March 1st at 11:00am MST with the women's and men's slopestyle finals at Vail's Golden Peak featuring first place qualifiers Redmond Gerard (USA) and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL). The Burton U·S·OPEN halfpipe competition picks up again with the finals on Saturday, March 2nd at 11:00am MST.
Women's Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results
1. Chloe Kim (USA), BURTON, 92.24
2. Arielle Gold (USA), ROCKSTAR, 83.24
3. Maddie Mastro (USA), BILLABONG, 82.25
4. Haruna Matsumoto (JPN), ROXY, 77.49
5. Sena Tomita (JPN), YONEX, 76.87
6. Xuetong Cai (CHN), NIKE, 75.87
Men's Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results
1. Yuto Totsuka (JPN), YONEX, 89.37
2. Scotty James (AUS), RED BULL, 89.12
3. Pat Burgener (SUI), VISA, 84.62
4. Raibu Katayama (JPN), BURTON, 79.50
5. Jake Pates (USA), ROCKSTAR, 78.75
6. Ruka Hirano (JPN), YONEX, 77.25
7. Kent Callister (AUS), MNT BACHELOR, 75.25
8. Kwang Ki Lee (KOR), ALLOY, 74.62
9. Derek Livingston (CAN), AEXOS, 73.00
10. Danny Davis (USA), BURTON, 72.87