Dorey breaks scoring record at U.S. Freeskiing Open
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
COPPER MOUNTAIN ” After more than a year off the hill rehabbing his knee, Breckenridge skier Matt Philippi once again made his mark on the U.S. Freeskiing Open.
Unfortunately, he had to settle for second place, as Canadian Justin Dorey set a new mark for highest score ever in a U.S. Open final.
All in all, it added up to an exciting finale at Saturday’s competition on Copper Mountain’s Main Vein superpipe.
Dorey stomped a run of 96.6 to dominate the field, while Philippi snagged second place with a score of 92.8.
Though both skiers were arguably among the favorites entering the 12-man final ” as Philippi qualified in first place and Dorey has long been among the top in the sport ” neither of them would have guessed the outcome at the start of the day.
Philippi, the 2007 U.S. Open runner-up, missed all off last season after blowing out his right knee just before the X Games.
And in Dorey’s training run Saturday, he took, what he called, “one of the worst crashes” he’s ever had in the pipe.
“I was super tired and sore,” Dorey said. ” … I wasn’t sure if I was going to do finals or not, but I decided, ‘I’m here, I might as well do it.'”
It appeared to be the right decision when he jumped out of the gates and nailed a double flip on the first hit of each of his first two runs in the finals. He finished off with a switch 1080 before stomping into the flat of the pipe for the win.
“It hurt, but it also felt good,” Dorey said. “Mentally, with the adrenaline going, I was like, ‘Yeah!’ Now, I’m a little sore.”
Dorey’s win ended a near three-year personal drought, as he’s finished second in nearly every competition this season.
“It’s been too long,” Dorey said of winning. “I’m so stoked.”
For Philippi, second place felt like a win, especially with Dorey breaking the old scoring record by more than two points.
“That’s the best run I’ve done in my life,” a jubilant Philippi said of his first run where he started with a switch 1080 tailgrab and ended with a 1260.
“That’s the best I’ve ever seen Dorey ski, too,” added Philippi, who was edged out by Tanner Hall in 2007. “It was great to finish behind him. I can’t complain. It’s the best skiers in the world, and I’m right there with them.”
Local Copper Mountain skier Taylor Seaton, 18, got a good look at the best of Saturday’s competition, as he was the next skier after Dorey’s record-setting run.
“Me running right after Dorey was pretty ridiculous, just watching him stomp probably the best run I’ve ever seen him do,” Seaton said. “It was hard to get back in the vibe after seeing it. But I just figured he was first place and the rest of the spots were still open.”
Seaton put together a solid third run and finished in fourth, a mere point behind third-place Mike Riddle.
Aspen’s Peter Olenick struggled to a 12th-place finish, while 16-year-old Breck skier Duncan Adams finished in sixth.
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