Four locals into pipe finals at Dew Tour | SummitDaily.com
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Four locals into pipe finals at Dew Tour

Bryce Evans
summit daily news

After a strong showing in Friday’s preliminary round, Summit County snowboarders will make up one-third of today’s 12-man superpipe final at the Winter Dew Tour’s Toyota Championship in Ogden, Utah.

It’s the third and final stop of the winter action sports series, and locals will surely leave their mark.

J.J. Thomas, Steve Fisher, Zack Black and Brett Esser – who all ride out of Breckenridge – made it into the final.

Thomas had a bye through the prelims based on his second-overall position in the Dew Cup standings.

The other three riders had to do it the hard way and, for the most part, made it look easy.

Fisher and Black were third and fourth, respectively, in the 22-rider prelim. Fisher, the two-time X Games champ who’s had a pretty laid-back schedule this season, scored a 93.0, finishing behind only Luke Mitrani (96.0) and Gerg Bretz (94.25). Black advanced to the finals for the second straight Dew stop, posting a score of 92.25. Black’s a 2009 Summit High grad.

Esser, meanwhile, squeaked into the final as the last qualifying rider, finishing ninth in the prelim. For the 18-year-old SHS senior, it’ll be his first-ever Dew Tour final.

He’ll be the first to drop into the pipe for today’s final runs starting at 5 p.m.

Seeing Eric Willett in a major slopestyle final is about as normal as seeing riders hit jumps. After a breakout season a year ago, the Summit County native has established himself as one of the top slope snowboarders in the world.

Still, that doesn’t make advancing out of prelims an easy task.

Willett needed every bit of his two runs Friday to secure a spot in Sunday’s final. As has been the case for him much of this season, he wasn’t able to land a clean first run. But, as riders usually say, that’s why you get another one.

He stomped his second trip through the course, scoring an 89.83 to qualify second in a field of 27 riders. He’s now made the finals in all nine of his Dew Tour appearances in the last three years and should be among the favorites when the finals kick off Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Willett’s brother, Chris, failed to advance. The same went for Esser and Black’s older brother, Jake.

Breckenridge skier Keri Herman advanced to Sunday’s six-woman final for freeski slopestyle Friday after finishing fourth in Friday’s prelims.

Herman has medaled in every major competition this season, including a bronze at the first-ever slope competition of the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in Park City at the beginning of the month.

Summit High grad Duncan Adams finished fifth in Friday’s freeski superpipe prelim and advanced to today’s final, which will take place at 12:30 p.m.

David Wise won the qualifying round.


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