Aussies sweep snowboard superpipe |

Aussies sweep snowboard superpipe

Janice Kurbjun
summit daily news

The Australians were all smiles when the sun came out, warming up the frigid air at Copper Mountain during the final day of U.S. Grand Prix competition Saturday morning.

Torah Bright and Nathan Johnstone swept the podium for both men’s and women’s halfpipe, a feat that “feels weird,” at least for Johnstone.

“I’m super happy for Torah. I’ve been good friends with Torah for many years. For her to win on the podium as well is real special. I can’t believe we both just won. It’s kinda weird. It’s really good for Australia,” Johnstone said.

He put together a second run that topped out the scoring at 94.75, which was a pleasant surprise, given he felt he boggled his front 900.

“I think my amplitude helped me out a lot. I tend to go a bit higher than the other competitors. I think that’s where I get better scores from the judges,” Johnstone said.

His score bumped Americans Luke Mitrani and Louie Vito down a notch, though both put together stylish and technically sound runs.

Bright topped the podium, but it wasn’t easy given sub-zero temperatures that kicked off the morning, making the snow tricky to work with – and possibly being the cause of so many unfinished runs.

“Everybody did extremely well, really, the conditions with the snow being so cold, it was just really sticky,” said Bright, who topped American Kelly Clark, who placed second and is currently the World Cup leader – opening up a spot for the women’s snowboard team – and potentially Clark herself – at the Olympics.

“These events are still pretty early in the season. They’re building blocks for the rest of the year. … (I’m) taking steps to the runs I want to be doing at X Games in two weeks,” Clark said, adding, “I’ve got some more technical tricks that I’m going to put in my run. If I hadn’t messed up my first run, I would have done that here my second run today.”

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