Lake Tahoe athletes fare well in Grand Prix halfpipe
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, Calif. — It was a highly successful day for the American halfpipe riders at the first stop of the U.S. Grand Prix in Mammoth on Sunday.
American women swept the podium with Kelly Clark taking the win, Chloe Kim finishing second and rookie team member Maddie Mastro earning her first pro-level podium with third. Elena Hight of South Lake Tahoe placed fifth, while former Meyers resident Hannah Teter was sixth and Jenna Dramise of South Lake Tahoe was 12th.
For the men, American riders took four of the top-five positions, led by Chase Josey in second and Gabe Ferguson in third. Ryo Aono of Japan topped the field for the win, while 15-year-old Toby Miller of Truckee was ninth.
Due to stormy weather, there was no qualification round.
Wise records podium finish
Northstar California pro David Wise of Reno finished second behind Gus Kenworthy in the men’s ski halfpipe, and Aaron Blunck rounded out the podium in third.
Because of heavy snow, Saturday’s final was canceled and the results were determined off the qualifying round, which took place Thursday.
“We knew the weather was going to be coming,” Blunck said. “So everyone tried to put down the best qualifying run possible. It was probably the highest-level qualifier I’ve ever seen.”
Kenworthy claimed his second major victory of the season with a beautiful run that included three doubles. He also topped the field in slopestyle at the Breckenridge Dew Tour, where he was skiing with a bruised heel.
Wise, who won Olympic gold at Sochi in 2014, was leading the field when he dropped in for his second run. He was forced to leave the competition, however, when he took an uncharacteristic fall on a switch left double 1080.
Kyle Smaine of South Lake Tahoe finished eighth.
Bowman back in action
In the women’s ski halfpipe on Friday, Devin Logan finished runner-up to Ayana Onozuka of Japan, while Maddie Bowman of South Lake Tahoe was fifth in her first competition since injuring her right knee in February 2015.
Bowman qualified second on Thursday, but she under rotated a 900 in her finals run, which affected her score.
“I mean the goal was just to get (Maddie) back in the halfpipe, have her prove to herself that she’s still Maddie Bowman and that she can still ski really well,” said U.S. Freeskiing Halfpipe Coach Andy Woods. “I think ultimately she’s really happy with how everything turned out and how her body feels and she’s ready to get a good start into the rest of the season.”
Although the first run started under somewhat clear skies, snow moved in quickly and the athletes were only able to complete one run.