Fisher’s king of the Breckenridge superpipe
BRECKENRIDGE – Steve Fisher moved to Breckenridge in October, joined the Breckenridge freeride team and Sunday at the Mountain Dew Pro Nationals, Fisher became king.
Like a man who long had his eyes on the throne, Fisher stomped the world-class competition with a velvet-smooth landing off a frontside 1080 on his second run, if only to make a point. Not only did Fisher’s first run earn him the $12,000 first prize with a succession of a McTwist 540, a frontside 900 and a frontside 720 to score a 92.5, he beat Olympic silver medalist Danny Kass (90.5) and defending champion Luke Wynen (88.2).
“This is a huge thing,” said Fisher, a native of St. Louis Park, Minn. and world championship bronze medalist. “I just moved here and, so far, I’m feeling pretty comfortable.”
Only three landed 1080s in the competition, and nobody was rewarded extra for the effort. Ohio native Louie Vito followed Fisher in the superpipe and dropped a 1080 as well, but finished 13th, one spot behind 13-year-old Luke Mitrani.
Mitrani, who usually hides behind his goggles and long, brown hair, might be inheriting the nickname “Future Boy,” given first to pro boarder Shaun White when he started winning snowboard events before he could drive.
Wynan, who automatically qualified for the finals because he won last year’s event, lists Jesus as his No. 1 sponsor and couldn’t help noticing the big-air 1080s being landed.
“I wanted to throw one, but I never got to it,” Wynan said. “I saw some guys doing 1080s that were pretty styling.”
If Fisher is king, than 16-year-old Hannah Teter is Breck’s new queen. Teter’s recovery from a first-run crash (where she lay still for a few moments before throwing up bull-horns with her hands to the crowd) included a frontside 540 and a solid 900.
“You never expect this,” said Teter, who won $8,000 for winning the superpipe and $5,000 for placing second in slopestyle. “I was just trying to stay relaxed (after the crash). I was trying to throw a McTwist and fell on my ass.”
U.S. Snowboard Team’s Kelly Clark, an Olympic gold medalist, finished second, just in front of Anne Molin Kongsgaard.
Both had two solid runs, unlike many racers who suffered hard spills – like Molly Aguirre, who dropped her pants to show the crowd the bruises left from a frightening first-run crash.
Even Vermont’s Lindsey Jacobellis knocked her head on the first run, but, like Teter and Aguirre, she rebounded for a solid second. If you can’t do that, Jacobellis said, you won’t be competing at the highest level for long.
“My body’s still shaking,” Jacobellis said after her second run, good enough for seventh. “When I put it in my head to do something, I do it. It becomes more motivation for me when I fail.”
With the big names covering the superpipe podiums, a new face was lurking off to stage right. Minturn’s Clair Bidez, a 16-year-old halfpipe specialist with Team Summit, won last year’s USSA regional halfpipe competition and placed 12th Sunday.
Bidez’s run lacked a McTwist, an inverted trick she wanted to land, but this was her best performance in a Vans Triple Crown event.
Guillaume Morisset, a 23-year-old from Quebec, won Sunday’s slopestyle finals, even though he considers himself a halfpipe specialist.
Morisset took home the $12,000 first place prize, followed by Andreas Wiig in second and Josh Dirksen in third. It’s Morisset’s first Vans Triple Crown victory.
Natasza Zurek took home the women’s $8,000 first place prize, followed by Teter and Californian Tara Dakides. Teter was so confident after her first run, she didn’t even perform a second run.
For more information, visit http://www.vans.com. The Breckenridge event will be televised Jan. 17 at 1:30 p.m. on NBC.
Ryan Slabaugh can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User