Megan Gunning Qualifies First in X Games Superpipe

Megan Gunning Qualifies First in X Games Superpipe

The first official event of Winter X Games 14 is in the books: Women’s Superpipe Elimination. Elimination rounds are a first for women at X Games, and there is no time like your first time. Trimming the field down from 12 to 6 left zero room for error tonight. Tonight, it was 17-year-old Megan Gunning’s time to shine, putting dow two more than solid runs to easy coast into first, with last year’s silver medalist Jen Hudak qualifying second and last year’s bronze medalist Roz Groenewoud taking the third spot.

Gunning’s confidence and impressive bag of tricks blew the competition out of the water tonight. Her cork 900, 540, corked 720 and switch alley oop 540 were stylish and stompy. After a disappointing finish in Snowbasin, Megan is out for blood and X Games will be her time to make a name for herself. Jen Hudak looked characteristically solid, utilizing her 900, 540 and 720 to cruise comfortably into 2nd. Roz G boosted the highest of any woman tonight (height meter reading 14 ft), which coincidentally elevated her ranking to 3rd place.

Frenchwoman Anais Caradeux may be small in stature, but she lets her riding speak for her. A 540, alle oop 540 and a slew of straight airs and alley oop airs allowed her to coast into 4th place. Mirjam Jaeger, who has be absent of late due to injury, has come back with a vengeance. Spinning both ways and airing like nobody’s business, the Swiss rider took home the 5th spot. And rounding out our qualifiers was none other than Sarah Burke, defending three time Gold medalist. Sarah who fell on her first run, dialed it back a bit for her second go ’round and held on despite a bobble to snag the last spot for Friday’s big show. Her 900, 540 and 720 were enough to bump Grete Eliassen off the bubble spot.

Tonight’s display of Superpipe trickery was just a sampling of what will come on Friday during the finals. With three runs each, the women will surely be going bigger and taking more risks in hopes of grabbing gold. While it remains to be seen if Sarah Burke can defend her title and take an unprecedented fourth straight gold medal, all eyes will be on Megan Gunning and her freshman performance.”It looks like she is Gunning for Sarah Burke,” mused superpipe analyst John Symms. Indeed.

Women’s Top 6 Qualifiers:
1) Megan Gunning
2) Jen Hudak
3) Rosalind Groenewoud
4) Anais Caradeux
5)Mirjam Jaeger
6) Sarah Burke

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