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Mastro, Hirano top qualifiers in Burton U.S. Open halfpipe at Vail

Gold medalist Kim second in women's comp; Eagle's Pates seventh on men's side

March 8, 2018, 6:48 pm

Two-time Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano of Japan was the top qualifier in Thursday’s halfpipe semifinals at Vail (Burton US Open photo).

Day two of the 36th annual Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships went off with Maddie Mastro (USA) and Ayumu Hirano (JPN) taking the top spots in halfpipe semi-finals. Jake Pates of Eagle qualified for Saturday’s finals in the seventh spot Thursday.

Riders put down their most progressive runs under sunny skies in Vail Mountain’s 22-foot superpipe. Thursday’s event narrowed the field down to six women and 10 men advancing into Saturday’s halfpipe finals and a chance to compete for the Burton U.S. Open halfpipe title and a piece of the $343,000 prize purse.

The women’s competition was absolutely heated with 720s across the entire field. Maddie Mastro (USA) dropped in with two fully-committed runs to earn the top spot. Saving the best for first, Mastro launched into a huge frontside 900 Indy on her first hit landing high up on the tranny. She threw down a frontside 720 and a stylish Haakon Flip stalefish to earn the top women’s score of 85.87.

Halfpipe Olympic gold medalist and defending Burton U.S. Open champion Chloe Kim (USA) blasted down the pipe landing two precision runs featuring back-to-back 720s and a huge frontside 900 tail grab for a score of 85.12. Xuetong Cai (CHN) took the third spot with a score of 83.12.

 Men’s pipe featured shakeups right to the very end as the 32 riders competed for the coveted 10 spots to advance into Saturday’s finals. Two-time Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano (JPN) broke into the 90s with a huge score of 92.37 on the very last run of the day to take first.

Hirano was clearly intent on strategically taking over the clutch number one spot as he dropped in with a huge Indy, into back-to-back 1080s and ending with a huge frontside double cork 1260 Indy, landing on the last piece of transition in the pipe. The Hirano family was in full force at Thursday’s contest with Ayumu’s older brother Eiju and younger brother Kaishu both competing.

Chase Josey (USA) continued his streak as one of the most consistent halfpipe riders stomping both of his runs and upping his score to 89.12 on his final run which he kicked off with a bold double cork 1080 stalefish, also stomping a switch double Michalchuk and a stylish switch frontside double cork 1080 truck driver. Olympic bronze medalist Scotty James (AUS) took the third spot with an 87.25.

Competition continues Friday, March 9 at 11 a.m. MST with the men’s and women’s slopestyle finals at Vail’s Golden Peak featuring first place qualifiers Mark McMorris (CAN) and Jamie Anderson (USA). The Burton U.S. Open halfpipe competition picks up again with the finals on Saturday, March 10 at 11 a.m. MST.

Thursday night, check out the Burton Concert Series featuring a free double-set by Pigeons Playing Ping Pong on the Solaris Concert Stage starting at6:00pm MST, followed by Late Night Live Music featuring New Orleans Suspects at 10:00pm MST.

Women’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results

  1. Maddie Mastro (USA), BILLABONG, 85.87
  2. Chloe Kim (USA), BURTON, 85.12
  3. Xuetong Cai (CHN), AUDI, 83.12
  4. Haruna Matsumoto (JPN), ROXY, 79.99
  5. Jiayu Liu (CHN), NIKE, 76.75
  6. Kelly Clark (USA), BURTON, 76.37

 Men’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results

  1. Ayumu Hirano, (JPN), NIKE, 92.37
  2. Chase Josey, (USA), ROCKSTAR, 89.12
  3. Scotty James, (AUS), RED BULL, 87.25
  4. Raibu Katayama, (JPN), BURTON, 84.75
  5. Pat Burgener, (SUI), SAMSUNG, 80.75
  6. Benjamin Ferguson, (USA), BURTON, 80.50
  7. Jake Pates, (USA), ROCKSTAR, 75.25
  8. Jan Scherrer (SUI), NITRO, 71.62
  9. Derek Livingston (CAN), 686, 67.12
  10. Naito Ando (JPN), KISSMARK, 65.00

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