CANA­DIAN O’BRIEN FI­NALLY LANDS GOLD RUN

The Denver Post - - OFF & RUNNING -

aspen » Spencer O’Brien ended her 10year X Games gold drought with a 91point run Fri­day to win slopestyle.

The 27- year- old snow­boarder edged four­time X Games gold medal­ist Jamie An­der­son in the eight- woman fi­nals. O’Brien’s win­ning run in­cluded a switch back­side 720 and fin­ished with a frontside 720.

Af­ter strug­gling on her first two runs, An­der­son, who never has missed the podium at X Games, also threw a cou­ple of 720s with a big back­side rodeo in be­tween but was two points shy of O’Brien. An­der­son’s sil­ver is her 11th X Games medal.

“It’s hard to deal with pres­sure and nerves and en­ergy,” said An­der­son, rid­ing in her se­cond com­pe­ti­tion since re­turn­ing from a bro­ken col­lar­bone that left her laid up for four­weeks. “Iwas strug­gling onmy first cou­ple of runs. Didn’t feel re­ally solid.”

In her first trip to X Games, 15- year- old Hai­ley Lang­land of San Cle­mente, Calif., picked up bronze with an 88- point run.

Back­ward for gold.

Joe Par­sons, the most dec­o­rated snow­mo­biler in X Games his­tory, claimed his fourth X Games gold in the re­turn of freestyle. The 28- year- old from Wash­ing­ton state threwthe rare sit- and­spin trick, which is a back­flip­where he spins and lands sit­ting back­ward, on his fi­nal run to lock in his 15th X Games medal. He hadn’t thrown the trick in a year. “It’s not a very fun trick to prac­tice. It’s kind of an in- the- mo­ment thing,” said Par­sons, who last won freestyle in 2009.

Idaho’s Heath Frisby won sil­ver, his 11th X Games medal in as many X Games. De­fend­ing freestyle cham­pion ColtenMoore crashed twice on his two runs.

Four in a row.

Cal­i­for­nia freeskier Maddie Bow­man claimed her fourth con­sec­u­tive gold medal in the half­pipe. Bow­man, 22, started with back- to- back 900s, then a first- ever switch 900 to fin­ish.

Bow­man, who had knee surgery in Fe­bru­ary last year and re­turned to com­pe­ti­tion last month, learned that switch 900 only two nights ear­lier dur­ing prac­tice.

Ayana Onzuka, who was the first woman from Ja­pan to win a sil­ver medal in the X Games in last year’s pipe con­test, re­peated her sil­ver- medal per­for­mance Fri­day with a pair of 720s and a first- hit 540 that reached nearly 10 feet above the deck.

Sketchy fore­cast.

The sched­ule could get dicey for the week­end be­cause the area is un­der a win­ter storm warn­ing un­til 9 a. m. Sun­day. The Na­tion­alWeather Ser­vice is fore­cast­ing snow ac­cu­mu­la­tions of 8 to 16 inches and winds of 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 45 mph. The heav­i­est part of the storm is ex­pected to hit Satur­day night. Satur­day’s sched­uled fi­nals are the men’s snow­board slopestyle at noon and half­pipe at 6: 15 p. m.; monoskier at 11 a. m. and ski­cross start­ing at 2 p. m.; and ski big air at 8: 15 p. m.

Tim Reed, who over­sees the day- to- day X Games op­er­a­tions, said Fri­day they have “flex­i­bil­ity to move some things around.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.