David Wise & Jen Hudak Qualify first at Winter Dew Snowbasin Superpipe Prelims
Kevin Rolland and Thomas Krief combat the chilly Snowbasin night.
Under the lights, in a night that can only be described as — for lack of a better word — cold, the men and women took to the almighty stunt ditch at Snowbasin to throw down their knowledge and see where the pipe gods would sort them. In end end, David Wise and Jen Hudak took the top qualifying spots with names like Dorey, Riddle, Logan and Sigourney chasing them for those ever-so-important qualifying positions.
David Wise practicing going huge on his 900.
Over on the men's side of things, David Wise took commanding lead in his second run with signature large amplitude, a double cork and perfect landings. Teammates Justin Dorey and Mike Riddle followed up Wise in the standings with technical runs (each with a double cork 1260) that were large and in charge. The top three runs:
David Wise – Corked 900 mute, alley-oop flatspin 360, switch left 720, rightside 900 to a double cork1260.
Justin Dorey – Double cork 1260, rightside 900, rightside alley-oop flatpsin 540 alley-oop flatpsin 360 to switch 720.
Mike Riddle – Double cork 1260, rightside 900, leftside 900, alley-oop flatpsin 360 bwarrow, switch 900.
A different view of Mike Riddle's alley-oop flatpsin 360.
While the top three men finished in the 90s, Tucker Perkin's pipe double 900 and Duncan Adams' switch-dominated run wasn't good enough for the 90s, but good enough to grab the 4th and 5th spots. Jossi Wells brought his smooth style and pipe double 900 back to play to qualify for finals while Matt Margetts put together his standard very technical run, ending things off with his rightside 1080.
Benoit Valentin's run was pretty stock until his double cork 1260 true tail that was so crisp and choice that many in the crowd wept. He ended up 8th and Byron Wells ended up on the bubble. Wells signature first his switch 1080 is becoming something of a staple and he's replaced that large 540 at the bottom with a large 1080. The Lobster is making moves, look for him to make more in tomorrow's finals.
Byron "Lobster Face" Wells tweaks that rightside 900.
The women, who started before the men in that time of day that isn't quite day, yet isn't quite night, had their work cut out for them. Dropping 10 names to get to the final six is no easy task, but the women were up to the task.
Jen Hudak is back on top (of qualifiers) putting down her 900, 540, alley-oop 540 and stomping that 720 of hers at the bottom. After a decidedly safe run her first go round, she picked up the pace, amplitude and difficulty, putting her in a very familiar place. Devin Logan, who qualified first on the slopestyle course today, sat on top after the first run, only to be bumped off. Logan's stylish pair of 540s, rightside flare and 720 were good enough for second. In fact, Logan was the only female to stomp a flare tonight, with the absence of Sarah Burke and with Maddie Baker failing to land hers. Logan even went for the alley-oop flatpsin in her second run, decking out, but upping the ante for the ladies once again.
This lady is a a big Tyler Peterseon fan, apparently.
Brita Sigourney, who lost a shoe on the first run, brought back her big time amplitude to the 900, 540 and 720 to show that her X Games performance wasn't a fluke. Look for her to go bigger and more technical in tomorrow's finals. Roz Groenewoud skied with a little less amplitude than we're used to seeing, but she's in finals and that's all that matters. Her back-to-back 540s, leftside 360 to switch 540 and big first straight air contributed to her nice, round 85.00.
Keltie Hansen utilized back-to-back 540s, with another left 540 in there for good measure, to snake into that fifth spot. She sustained a pretty big spill in her second run, but she stayed injury free and expect her to bust out that 900 tomorrow. Maddie Bowman snuck in on the bubble, her score being quite a bit lower than the other ladies. Her 540 and alley-oops may not be podium worthy (today atlas), but they got the job done and she'll draw up a new strategy for tomorrow.
Wing Tai Barrymore before things went sour.
On the men's side of things, Tyler Peterson and Taylor Seaton just missed out on finals, both with technical and smooth runs. Dan Marion's pipe double 900 on his first run couldn't pump him up enough and he kind of washed out on his second. Noah Bowman was oh-so-close to putting down a switch double flip 1080, but clipped slightly and fell. Peter Olenick, who has been battling injury this year, skied valiantly, just slightly tipping over on his runs. JP Solberg sustained a scary crash after he was bucked in the transition and deposited on the pipe deck, but all seems well with the mustachioed skier.
The Full Throttle award is split between Wing Tai Barrymore and Nils Lauper. Both don't know what a speed check is, dropping big tricks without regard to life or limb. Wing Tai's massive double cork 1260s and Nils' large everything were crowd-pleasing, death-defying and unfortunately, not stomped. Hopefully these two will continue to push that gas pedal until it won't go any further at future comps.
Justin Dorey about his night.
A number of the man and women had scratches today (both before and during the event). Torin "Tater Tot" Yater-Wallace sustained what seemed to be a thumb or hand injury, taking him out of tonight's prelims. Xavier Bertoni had been suffering from a nagging back injury and pulled out. Colby West sustained some sort of knee injury and Patrick Baskins received an injury to his shoulder or collarbone during practice. Mirjam Jaeger, during her first run fell on an alley-oop awkwardly and forceful, putting her in a ski patrol sled, where she was apparently taken to a nearby hospital via helicopter. We wish the best to Mirjam and the other injured warriors and hope they all make quick recoveries.
With pipe prelims over, the stage will be set for the nine men to meet the three super-qualified skiers (Simon Dumont, Kevin Rolland and Thomas Krief) tomorrow afternoon for a showdown under the Wasatch sun. More than a podium is on the line, the Dew Cup race between Dumont and Rolland has reached a tipping point and someone will walk away with the Cup. The women might not have a Dew Cup to compete for, but they do have cash and glory on the line as well.
Matt Margetts flowing in the wind.
While nothing is set in stone, the one thing that is certain is that the antics in the pipe will be going absolutely richter tomorrow. Stay tuned for all the recaps and action from Saturday's finals, here at Snowbasin.
2. Justin Dorey — 92.00
3. Mike Riddle — 90.00
4. Tucker Perkins — 86.75
5. Duncan Adams — 84.75
6. Jossi Wells — 83.25
7. Matt Margetts — 81.50
8. Benoit Valentin — 79.25
9. Byron Wells — 76.00
1. Jen Hudak — 91.00
2. Devin Logan — 87.75
3. Brita Sigourney — 87.50
4. Rosalind Groenewoud — 85.00
5. Keltie Hansen — 80.75
6. Maddie Bowman — 78.25
For more information on what's going on this weekend at all the competitions, including the Winter Dew Tour, visit our Weekend Action Hub to find out.
Justin "Bonesaw" Dorey after his successful campaign tonight.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com.