Brita Sigourney wins halfpipe gold at U.S. Grand Prix
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, Calif. and#8212; Squaw Valley skier Brita Sigourney captured gold in women’s halfpipe to highlight the North Tahoe contingent at the VISA U.S. Grand Prix, FIS World Cup and platinum AFP event at Mammoth this past weekend.
Sigourney’s success was shared by many from the Lake Tahoe area.
Former Truckee resident Chas Guldemond, who now lives in Reno, won snowboard slopestyle in Friday’s Paul Mitchell Progression Session, while Joanna Dzierzawski of South Lake Tahoe took the win on the women’s side.
Northstar-sponsored snowboarder Elena Hight of South Lake Tahoe then won the U.S. Grand Prix women’s halfpipe on Saturday, and David Wise of Reno won the Grand Prix men’s ski halfpipe on Sunday.
Sigourney’s win marked her second of the series and fourth major podium appearance. She received $10,000 for her efforts.
“It’s always a relief to land your first run. I’m never that solid on my first run because I’m so jittery, but it’s still a relief,” Sigourney said. “So the next run you can work on cleaning up your tricks and that’s exactly what I did, so I couldn’t be happier. I went big on my final hit (900) because I just don’t think I am going to make it around unless I go big.”
Canada’s Rosalind Groenewoud finished runner-up to Sigourney and Maddie Bowman of South Lake Tahoe was third to record her sixth straight podium of the season.
In the men’s ski halfpipe, Wise overcame a crash on his first run by nailing a giant second run that scored him his third consecutive win. He received a winning score of 94.4 to eclipse Canada’s Noah Bowman, who posted a 92.0, and France’s Benoit Valentin.
“My first run was pretty good and I was in the zone and feeling good, then I clipped the deck a bit and my ski came off and#8212; it’s all a part of the game, it happens,” Wise said. “Going into my second run I was like, ‘Hey you know what? This is just another run. You’ve done a million of these and all you have to do it get out there and land on your feet.’ That’s all that really matters.”
After three days of wind and snow, Guldemond earned his second slopestyle win in a row, as he beat out teammate Sage Kotsenburg under blue skies Friday.
Guldermond and#8212; who was coming off a big win in the Ticket To Ride World Championship on Feb. 19 in Oslo, Norway and#8212; went huge on a backside double 1260 for a winning score of 94.5.
“Sage definitely put some pressure on me on that last run, but I knew I just needed to clean things up a bit and just enjoy it. Take it in and it worked out,” said Guldemond, whose wife and dogs were on hand for support. “I was having a great time and just wanted to give props to my boys for having great runs and#8212; you know, fill my mind with that, and it worked for me.”
In the women’s slopestyle, Dzierzawski switched up her rotations with a backside 360 and frontside 360.
Hight won Saturday’s women’s halfpipe with a score of 92.8, but she was edged for the series title by fellow American Kaitlyn Farrington.
“I am super stoked on today,” said Hight. “It was really beautiful and I got to come out and do qualifiers early this morning. I qualified first which I am really happy about and enjoy this California sunshine with my friends. It really doesn’t get any better than this.”
Louie Vito won the men’s halfpipe ahead of Greg Bretz and Luke Mitrani, as American snowboarders swept both the men’s and women’s podium.
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