Scotty James wins Burton Open for perfect season; Mastro lands first-ever double crippler to upset Chloe Kim
VAIL – Australian halfpipe rider Scotty James won his first-ever Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships on Saturday, completing a dream that’s been more than a decade in the making.
James said his first US Open halfpipe competition was in 2007, when he was just 12 years old.
“I went with my mom, when it was in Vermont, and I remember just saying to her that I’d love to be a part of the halfpipe finals one day,” he said. “Now, to be crowned US Open champion, I’m absolutely speechless.”
The win capped off a perfect season for James, who has competed in six events since the season started with the Grand Prix at Copper Mountain Resort in December.
After winning the Grand Prix on Dec. 8, James went on to win the Dew Tour at Breckeridge Ski Resort, the Laax Open, X Games, the World Championships and the Burton US Open.
James was part of a new cast of winners at the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships in 2019; every competitor to notch a win at the event had never won before.
Mastro rides new trick to upset of Kim
James said he found inspiration in watching new winner Maddie Mastro put down a winning run with a trick that has never been landed in competition by a female snowboarder, a double crippler 900.
“I still go out every day and get nervous about doing double corks,” James said. “Absolute credit to Maddie for doing that today, absolutely amazing to watch. It put a bit of fire in my butt to go out there and try and do a similar kind of thing.”
With the trick, the California snowboarder Mastro accomplished something once thought impossible to win the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships. The impossible part of the accomplishment was defeating Chloe Kim, who has won every contest she has entered this season and most of last season. The last time Kim finished second was on Jan. 13, 2018, at a Grand Prix event in Snowmass.
There was lots of speculation over whether Mastro would be performing the double crippler today. Back in May, she made history as the first female to land the trick in the pipe during a spring training camp. She documented the historical stomp on her Instagram page.
She had done the trick during training camps a few times since Resort, but hadn’t given it another shot since Fall 2018. Sometimes, third-round pressure is all it takes to push such tricks into the competition spotlight.
“I’ve been thinking about it for who knows how long … This is the first time I’ve done it this winter,” she said. “On the second run, I had a completely different game plan … I was wonky on the first hit, and had trouble scrambling back together.”
Third place finisher Xuetong Cai, of China, said there was an excitement about Saturday’s competition from the very start.
“I think when the competition started I felt more energy from everybody,” she said.
Mastro said the Burton US Open was the perfect competition to make history.
“It’s pretty incredible for me to be able to do it at such an amazing event like the US Open,” Mastro said. “It’s such a snowboarder and rider based event, and I don’t think I would want to try it or land it at any contest but this.
“I couldn’t be more happy to land it here,” she added.
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