Throwing best and biggest at Spring Massive halfpipe |

Throwing best and biggest at Spring Massive halfpipe

BRECKENRIDGE – It was the warmest day (thus far) of the season at Breckenridge Thursday, and a field of primarily local riders were throwing down tricks like there was no tomorrow in the Spring Massive halfpipe contest, because, as they said, “there’s nothing to lose.”

Then, U.S. Snowboard Team rider Steve Fisher from Minnesota launched into the pipe, cleared the walls by at least 15 feet on each hit, spinning like a top and landing flawlessly.

He blew everyone away.

Fisher scored 28.95 points for the win in the male snowboarder division, which featured 24 riders. Spencer Tamblyn took second with 24.5 points and Wyatt Glynn was third with 24.2.

“I kind of feel bad taking it away from someone who, you know … lives here,” Fisher said after his final run, which ended with a huge frontside 1080. “But, I’m just here to ride. It’s such a good day, and I can’t pass up riding this great pipe.”

Fisher also won the U.S. Chevy Trucks Grand Prix Snowboard finals in Aspen Sunday, beating the likes of Andy Finch and Tommy Czeschin. He also took third in the World Championships halfpipe contest Jan. 17 in Kreischberg, Austria.

Fisher went bigger than the rest, but nobody seemed to be holding back Thursday.

“No one’s really worried about hurting themselves right now,” Glynn said. “We just throw down. The pipe is really good. It’s perfect. I love it. There’s a bunch of kids out having fun, and it’s not too competitive.”

Fifteen-year-old Minturn resident Clair Bidez won the women’s snowboard competition with 24.5 points, while her brother, 12-year-old Dylan, took 13th after throwing one of his many spins a little too early and washing out in his second run. Dylan Bidez recently won his age group at the USASA national halfpipe contest in Sunday River, Maine, and said that Led Zeppelin often helps him through his runs through the pipe.

“If I get nervous, I usually fall, so I just try to relax and not fall,” he said. “I try to relax and get my run in. Listening to music helps. I listen to Led Zeppelin.”

Breckenridge resident Leslie Glenn took second in the women’s halfpipe contest and agreed that, despite the variety of big airs and complicated spins prevailing in the pipe Thursday, competitors were primarily out to have a good time.

“This is just a fun competition,” she said. “It’s not too big and scary.”

Halverson pulls out big gun for skier win

Iron crosses were the least of the trick repertoire for skiers in Thursday’s halfpipe contest.

And when local Tommy Halverson landed something called an “alley-oop inverted seven with an option safety,” he deserved to win.

Halverson had 21.7 points in the men’s skier division for the win, while Kevin Czahor and Paul Cotter took second and third. Gina Gmeiner won of the five women skiers competing, while Kelley Baskins took second and Katherine Lynch third.

Halverson said he was inspired to go big due to soft spring conditions that made for forgiving landings, not that he had to worry about those, since he stuck every hit he attempted.

“It’s so soft on the left wall, it doesn’t hurt if you crash, so you might as well do it,” he said. “I did an alley-oop inverted seven with an option safety that I just learned today, and I’ve never seen anyone else do it. So, I’ll take it. It’s soft out there though. It doesn’t hurt.”

Competition continues at 2 p.m. today with a rail jam on Peak 8 to benefit Breckenridge snowboarder Matt Wyfells, who was injured in last year’s high jump competition at Copper Mountain.

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