Winter X Games 15 roundup
summit daily news
For the second straight year, Breckenridge freeskier Keri Herman finished runner-up in the Winter X Games 15 women’s slopestyle competition. And on Thursday afternoon, she needed all three of her runs to do so.
Some slight mistakes on her first run and a wholesale fall on the second left Herman in the precarious position of needing to stomp her third and final run to have any chance of medaling.
Defending champ Kaya Turski set the bar on Run 1, scoring a 93.66 and leaving everyone else to play catch up.
Herman was in eighth before dropping in for Run 3 but threw two corked 540s and a switch cork 720 on her three jumps to score a 93.33.
“I felt good when I landed, but I wasn’t sure (if it was good enough),” the 28-year-old told The Aspen Times. “Everyone was killing it today with such amazing runs. I really wanted a podium spot, and I’m really glad it worked out for me.”
The silver medal actually marked the third straight Winter X comp Herman finished as runner-up to Turski. After finishing second in Aspen last year, Herman also took silver at Winter X Games Europe in March.
Grete Eliassen was third, as a total of six women scored above 90 points in the final.
Anna Segal – an Australian who lives and trains in Breck – was seventh.
While Shaun White breezed through his first day of competition since the Vancouver Olympics, the three Summit County snowboarders in Thursday’s superpipe elimination round were, well, eliminated.
Zack Black and J.J. Thomas both failed to put down clean runs and finished in the back of the pack.
And Summit High senior Brett Esser – thrown into the competition as a last-minute replacement for the injured Iouri Podladtchikov – finished as the bubble boy in his first-ever Winter X Games appearance. Esser landed a smooth second run that momentarily put him inside the top-eight (the cutoff to advance), but Steamboat Springs’ Matt Ladley knocked him out as the second-to-last rider to drop for Run 2.
White topped the field after throwing down a mellow first run that scored 90.33 – the only score of the night over 90 points.
Scotty Lago, wired-shut jaw and all, was second, and Peetu Piiroinen was third.
Others to advance were Louie Vito, Markus Malin, Kazuhiro Kobuko, Ladley and Mathieu Crepel.
The finals are Sunday night at 6:30.
While his Breckenridge roommate Gus Kenworthy easily moved on from Thursday’s men’s freeski slopestyle elimination round, Bobby Brown – the defending champ and overwhelming favorite heading into the week – didn’t have quite the day he was hoping for.
The 19-year-old Breck team skier put a hand down to brace himself on the final jump of his first run and was docked accordingly. Still needing to solidify a spot in the finals on Run 2, Brown wiped out on the top rail section.
Fortunately, the X Games is one of the few competitions that gives riders three runs. Brown took advantage, laying down a relatively safe run that vaulted him into fifth place, well inside the top-eight skiers who advanced.
Kenworthy had a much calmer day, stomping his first run and finishing second in the round.
Russ Henshaw was the top qualifier, while Sammy Carlson was third and Andreas Hatviet was fourth.
Kiwi Jossi Wells was bumped to ninth when Brown landed his final run.
The finals are set for Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Most of the attention was on Simon Dumont’s near miss (he fell on his first run and had to put down a solid second to advance), but Summit native Duncan Adams was one of the eight men’s freeskiers to advance to Friday’s finals.
Adams scored an even 80 on his first run and wound up in seventh place.
Kevin Rolland, David Wise and 15-year-old Torin Yater-Wallace were 1-2-3, respectively.
Justin Dorey, who won Copper Mountain’s U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix in December, was fourth, and Dumont was fifth.
Thomas Krief and Xavier Bertoni also advanced.
The finals are at 4:45 p.m.
For the latest Winter X Games Coverage go to http://www.aspentimes.com/xgames15
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