U.S. Freestyle Championships: Reno’s David Wise wins halfpipe title " again | SierraSun.com

U.S. Freestyle Championships: Reno’s David Wise wins halfpipe title " again

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Jen Schmidt/Sierra SunDavid Wise of Reno flies to a first-place finish in the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championship at Squaw Valley on Saturday.
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SQUAW VALLEY USA ” Skier David Wise of Reno won his fourth straight halfpipe title at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championship at Squaw Valley on Saturday.

“Before I dropped in I felt pretty nervous. I was in fourth place, not even on the podium,” Wise said. “But then I just had this moment where I looked at the pipe and got this feeling that I had it.”

Wise, dropping in to his final run with speed, threw a massive cork 900 on his first hit, followed by a right-side (unnatural) 900 into a soaring 1260, to an alley-oop flat spin 360 to a switch rodeo 720. Wearing a smile as he skidded into the finish area, he spun his ski pole around his finger, gun-slinger style, to the cheer of supporters.

He had knocked off Walter Wood of Evergreen, Colo., by a score of 48.3 to Wood’s 47.3.

Clayton Villa of Block Island, R.I., rounded out the podium in third, while Truckee’s Michael Bochenek finished seventh.

In the women’s competition, Jess Cumming of Wilton Conn., took the title with a score of 34.5. Devin Logan of West Dover, Vt., placed second with a score of 33.1, and Brita Sigourney from Carmel, Calif., was third with a score of 28.1. Maddie Bowman of South Lake Tahoe took sixth.

The men were impressive from start to finish, boosting high above the walls of the halfpipe despite increasingly gusty winds. Wood’s second-place run drew spectators’ approval, as he threw a giant 360 into a left-side 900 mute grab, rodeo cork 1080 tail grab and switch alley-oop 700.

Villa, whose first run was good enough for third place, put a scare into the crowd when he lost a ski soon after taking flight on the first hit of his second run. He continued to spin his trick with one ski before crashing from high in the air to the bottom of the transition. He rolled around in pain momentarily, then picked himself up and retrieved the detached ski.

“These are tough kids out here,” said the announcer.