Skier David Wise wins Grand Prix opener
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. — In a heated early-season battle in the halfpipe Friday, Olympic champion David Wise of Reno took home top honors ahead of U.S. teammate Torin Yater-Wallace on the first stop of the Sprint U.S Grand Prix tour.
The event also was served as the opener of the FIS Freestyle World Cup.
The new three-run, best-run-counts format gave the finalists a lot of opportunity for progression, but Wise’s consistent skiing and back-to-back double cork prowess set the stage early in the game.
Wise won the contest with his first run of the day, in which he linked both right and left double cork 1260s for a score of 92.40. Yater-Wallace recorded a score of 91.00 on his second run.
“Today was amazing,” said Wise, who is sponsored by Northstar California resort. “I was feeling really good right from the start. Practice was great. My first run was my best run because I think I was still in the zone from practice. I’m stoked I was able to put my first run down and ride that wave.”
Benoit Valentin of France rounded out the podium with a 90.80, while American Alex Ferreira (88.40) was fourth.
U.S. Freeskiing members Gus Kenworthy (87.80) and Aaron Blunk (85.40) rounded out the top seven.
Progression was the name of the game on the women’s side as well, with New Zealand skier Janina Kuzma landing her first 900 in competition to win with a score of 85.00.
For the U.S., Olympic slopestyle silver medalist Devin Logan earned second place with her stellar first run combo of a left 720 mute to switch alley-oop 540, which earned her a score of 83.00.
Olympic halfpipe silver medalist from Japan Ayana Onozuka edged American Annalisa Drew, 77.20 to 75.80. American Kimmy Sharp was fifth with a 63.40.
Teter third in Grand Prix opener
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. — American riders put on an impressive display to open the season at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix on Saturday, clinching five of the six podium spots.
Veteran Kelly Clark led an American sweep on the women’s side, with Arielle Gold finishing second and Hannah Teter, a part-time resident of Meyers, rounding out the podium.
“Today started off a little on the wrong note; I fell on nearly every practice run, so I decided to take a moment and get my stuff together. And thank goodness we had a third run because it all clicked on that third run,” Teter said.
Clark’s first run proved to be enough to win the contest, but she continued to push herself and the sport, adding an inverted frontside 720 to a run that already included a frontside 1080, a trick few other women have landed.
Gold put down both a frontside and Cab 900 in her run while Hannah Teter, who struggled to land on her feet in runs one and two, stomped a classic Teter run with a perfectly executed backside 900 on her last hit to complete the American sweep.
In the men’s final, Taylor Gold took home top honors ahead of Chinese rider Yiwei Zhang and American teammate Ben Ferguson, who entered as the top qualifier.