Breck’s Esser finishes third at US Grand Prix slopestyle contest |

Breck’s Esser finishes third at US Grand Prix slopestyle contest

Summit High senior Brett Esser came into this weekend’s U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California already in the midst of, by all accounts, a breakout season.

In fact, he was named the Winter Dew Tour’s Breakthrough Athlete of the Year last month. This coming after numerous finals appearances in big-time events and making his debut at the Winter X Games in January.

On Friday, though, Esser added another highlight to his season by finishing third in a hotly contested slopestyle competition at the Grand Prix.

The 18-year-old Breckenridge rider qualified fifth in the 55-man preliminary round then jumped up the leader board after a smooth first run in the finals. Esser hit a switch, backside 720 and a cab 900 on two of his jumps and scored a 24.4 (out of 30 points).

He went bigger on run two – throwing a cab 1080 and a cab 900 again – before falling on his final hit, what would’ve been a backside 1080.

While that final trick may have cost him a spot higher on the podium, Esser still notched one of the best finishes of his career.

Chas Guldemond won, stomping his final run as the last rider to drop. Spencer Shaw was second.

Esser will compete alongside SHS graduate and Breck buddy Zack Black in today’s halfpipe competition. Both are looking to advance to the finals in a star-studded field that includes J.J. Thomas, Louie Vito and Greg Bretz.

Another SHS student, Mike Campbell, is also slated to compete.

The qualifying round starts at 9:30 a.m.

Live streaming of today’s finals can be found at starting at 5 p.m.

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