International field fills women’s podium at Dew Tour stop
December 20, 2009
BRECKENRIDGE and#8212; With most of the sport’s best female riders electing to skip out on this week’s Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, the door was opened for some up-and-coming boarders to claim a podium spot in the women’s halfpipe finals Saturday.
And that’s exactly what 20-year-old Spanish rider Queralt Castellet did.
Starting her run with back-to-back 540s and mixing in a frontside 900, Castellet was the only rider to score more than 90 points in the final, helping her take home her first-ever major pipe title.
and#8220;I felt I was more motivated than other days, and I felt that today and#8212; today I felt really good,and#8221; she said after the win. and#8220;I don’t know how to say much in English, but if I could say it in Spanish, I wouldn’t stop talking.and#8221;
Castellet admitted that the field wasn’t one of the strongest for female riding, what with Kelly Clark, Gretchen Bleiler, Hannah Teter and Torah Bright not competing, but that didn’t change her excitement.
and#8220;I’ve never really won, you know. I was always fourth,and#8221; she said. and#8220;I know that here, there are not all the girls that rock it. So I was here today, so I thought I should go for it.and#8221;
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Another rider to and#8220;go for itand#8221; Saturday, was Canada’s Sarah Conrad. After a sub-par opening run, Conrad changed her whole approach, and the move paid off. She landed back-to-back 540s and a backside 720 on her way to a second-place finish and a score of 89.0.
and#8220;I’m super pumped,and#8221; she said of the high finish. and#8220;I’ve never even made it to a finals before in a Dew Tour. There were definitely a lot of key riders missing today, but I’m really happy with getting second.and#8221;
A big surprise on the day was the riding of Elena Hight. Considered by many to be the hands-down favorite for the watered-down finaal, the 2006 U.S.
Olympian failed to land a run as clean as what she had done in the preliminary round and finished fifth in the six-rider final.
Actually, all three American riders in the finals failed to finish in the top three.
Kelly Marren, 18, finished fourth, and 20-year-old Kaitlyn Farrington was sixth. Veteran rider Kjersti Buaas of Norway finished third at 87.0.
Conrad said the final would likely have wound up much different had so many riders not skipped the event. Regardless, she felt Saturday was still a strong showing for her sport.
and#8220;It helped to showcase some of the younger riders, and some of them got really pumped on that,and#8221; she said. It brought in a different mix, and it was exciting.and#8221;