Parity reigns as Whistler’s Lipscomb wins pipe gold | SummitDaily.com
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Parity reigns as Whistler’s Lipscomb wins pipe gold

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily news
Vail Daily/Preston Utley Danny Davis goes big for the camera to take the silver medal during the men's snowboard superpipe finals at the Winter Gravity Games at Copper Mountain. It was the first podium finish for the 16-year-old high schooler, and it came among some of the sport's biggest names.
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COPPER MOUNTAIN – Picking a winner in men’s snowboard superpipe competitions is getting tougher and tougher.Take Sunday’s Winter Gravity Games pipe contest at Copper Mountain, for example. Filled with the best of the best, the international field included the last two Winter X Games gold medalists (Breckenridge’s Steve Fisher and Finland’s Antti Autti) as well as the reigning Olympic champion (American Ross Powers). Plenty of other big names speckled the rest of the 19-man start list.Still, top-notch riding from all the well-knowns wasn’t enough to prevent two who don’t get the same level of ink from going home with the gold and silver medals.Canadian Crispin Lipscomb of Whistler, B.C., posted two of the day’s top three scores, and won gold (and $20,000) with his 93.7-point effort on his last run. A backside 900 helped him improve on his early score of 91.0, which stood up for most of the two-hour jam session under bright blue skies.”I was thinking all last night about this run,” said Lipscomb, who learned the backside 900 in January and also did two 1080s – one frontside, one backside – on the winning run. The 25-year-old competes primarily in World Cup events and is well-regarded among his fellow riders, but didn’t receive an X Games berth this year. “No, no, no, I didn’t get invited,” he said. “I’m just a new kid, I guess. New face.”As it turned out, Lipscomb needed every bit of his last-run heroics, because 16-year-old Stratton Mountain School (Vt.) student Danny Davis used Sunday’s competition to announce to the snowboarding world he’s here to stay.With less than two minutes to go in the contest, Davis put together a run that included a combined 4,200 degrees of rotation and plenty of off-axis body angles. The judges gave him a 91.3, good enough for silver.Afterward, the shaggy-haired package of spunk could hardly contain his excitement. It was his first podium in a professional competition (his previous best finish was 16th at a Vans Triple Crown event last season, though he did take seventh at a FIS World Cup contest last week in Korea). It was also, he pointed out, the first time he’d beaten all of his fellow Burton team riders.

“I’m so surprised right now, so surprised, so surprised,” he said. “So excited right now.”Asked what he was going to do with the $10,000 prize, Davis said, “Pay back my parents for all the travel. I’ve been spending a lot of money.”The Gravity results proved, once again, that parity rules on the current freestyle men’s pipe circuit. Not only did two relative lesser-known riders top the podium, the second- through seventh-place finishers ended up separated by just 2.3 points.Finland’s Risto Mattila (90.3), American Keir Dillon (90.0) and Golden’s JJ Thomas (89.7) rounded out a tightly grouped top five. Andy Finch (89.4) and the reigning Winter X gold medalist Autti (89.0) also took home some of the event’s $42,000 purse.As Autti said, “Anybody can win these days.”Breckenridge riders Chad Otterstrom (86.0) and Steve Fisher (82.7) finished ninth and 13th, respectively, while two more locals, Jessie Csincsak (64.3) and Matt Lindenmuth (58.3), took 17th and 18th.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or doneil@summitdaily.com.


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