Japanese skiers dominate X-Qualifiers
Japanese skiers dominated the Paul Mitchell X-Qualifier for the X-Games, hosted by Northstar on Wednesday and Thursday. Despite the crashes, spills and deflated hopes, several skiers and riders, including a self-proclaimed weekend warrior from San Francisco, will be in Aspen, Colo., at the end of the month. Skiercross and Boardercross qualifiers were held at the resort for the first time.
But Japanese skiers had the three best qualifying times of the day and a fourth came in sixth. Hiroomi Takizawa had the best at 49.58 seconds, then Kenji Kono at 50.88 seconds, Masayuki Akiba was at 50.89 and then in sixth was Yuta Ueno at 51.05.
But qualifying times didn’t get you into the X-Games. The top four spots in the boardercross did, however.
Takizawa made good on that commitment, taking first overall and earning an X-Games invite. He was followed by Justin Glick in second, Akiba in third and Jesper Brugge in fourth.
Akiba doesn’t have a corporate ski sponsor. He made his own skis.
For the women’s Skiercross, Ashleigh McIvor came in first, followed by Wendy Lumby in second, Sasha Warlow in third and Gwen Abbott in fourth.
Then Thursday brought Boarder-X, complete with 75 riders vying for 32 Boardercross slots. But when it was all said and done, only four made it to the X-Games. Lucas Dehmlow came in first, followed by Michael Rosengren, who also competed in the Skiercross, but was eliminated after the first round, then Ryan Hickey in third and Ryan Neptune in fourth.
The women’s Boardercross was taken by Jamie Warner. She was followed by Shannon Dunfey in second, Wendy Chan, the self-professed Bay Area weekend warrior (She’s been there just two years and grew up in British Columbia) in third and Jules Glende in fourth.