Capping off night two of Winter X Games 16 was the women’s snowboard superpipe finals. Seven of the world’s best lady pipe riders duked it out under crystal clear, chilly skies in Aspen’s pristine 22′ U-tube. Each lady had three runs to stomp their best tricks on snowboarding’s biggest stage.
The field was stacked with three former Olympic gold medalists and up-and-comers who were all vying for this year’s X Games Gold. Reigning champ, Kelly Clark, was looking solid throughout practice, even stomping her famed 1080 prior to the contest.
Gretchen Bleiler has also been practicing all season for this event, and has been focusing on perfecting her inverted tricks. After taking a two year hiatus from the contest scene, Torah Bright also made a return to the superpipe and noted that she was riding for her dear friend, Sarah Burke. Unfortunately Bright was unsuccessful in stomping any of her runs and winded up in seven place.
The first runs for all the ladies were a bit shaky, as the contest jitters were visibly affecting everyone. By the second and third runs, the ladies had settled down and began to break out the big guns.
In Elena Hight’s second run, she spun a backside 9 into an alleyoop 5 that oozed style and was easily one of the best combos of the night. This run earned her a solid 83.66 which put her in first, until Kelly Clark dropped in for her second run.
Clark stomped a huge, smooth frontside 1080 that was easily the biggest trick of the night. She wooed the judges and the crowd with this massive spin and earned a 90.0, which propelled her into the coveted first place spot.
As the ladies dropped in for their third runs, each was trying to unseat the unbeatable Kelly Clark. The last to drop was Bleiler who rode her heart out, but was only able to post up a score of a 65.0 which was good enough for fourth place.
In the end, birthday girl, Hannah Teter took third, Elena Hight took second, and Kelly Clark nabbed her 13th win in a row with a score of 93.66
Following the contest Kelly said “I just take it one contest at a time, and the X Games is one contest that is always at the top of my list to win, and I’m just so grateful.”
This year’s women’s snowboard pipe finals were easily the most progressive to date, as all of the riders were laying it on the line.