Arielle Gold led the field in superpipe, qualifying first with a run that included a crippler and a Michalchuk. (Dew Tour-George Crosland)
BRECKENRIDGE, CO (Dec. 10, 2015) – The first major snowboard competition of the 2015-16 season is kicking off in Colorado this week with the Dew Tour Breckenridge. U.S. athletes are facing off against an international field in both superpipe and slopestyle competitions.
Preliminary competition got underway on Wednesday with women’s semifinals in both superpipe and slopestyle. U.S. Snowboarding member Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) led the field in superpipe, qualifying first with a run that included a crippler and a Michalchuk, which she perfected this past summer. Fifteen-year-old Hailey Langland (San Clemente, CA), who is new to the U.S. pro team, led the American women in slopestyle, besting veteran Canadian rider Spencer O’Brien to nab the top qualifying spot. Langland’s run was smooth from top to bottom, including a switch backside 180 and a cab 720.
On the men’s side it was Shaun White (Carlsbad, CA) who took the top spot in the superpipe qualifiers, relying on his huge amplitude and signature style. U.S. team members Taylor Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Ben Ferguson (Bend, OR) followed close on his heels to round out the top three spots. Men’s slopestyle qualifiers will run Friday at 11:15 a.m. MST.
Other U.S. athletes that made it through the preliminary qualifying rounds and will compete in the final include: Chloe Kim (La Palma, CA) qualified third in superpipe; U.S. rookie team member Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, CA) surprised the field by qualifying fourth in superpipe; Olympic champion Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) qualified fifth in superpipe; Chase Josey (Hailey, ID) qualified sixth in superpipe; Brett Esser (Breckenridge, CO) qualified eighth in superpipe; young Gabe Ferguson (Bend, OR) joined his older brother in the finals by qualifying ninth in superpipe; Matt Ladley (Steamboat Springs, CO) qualified 10th in superpipe.
U.S. athletes that did not advance to the finals: Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) seventh in superpipe; Summer Fenton (San Francisco) 14th in superpipe; Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe, CA) DNS; Karly Shorr (Milford, MI) 11th in slopestyle; Danny Davis (Highland, MI) 20th in superpipe; Jake Pates (Eagle, CO) 21st in superpipe; Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, CA) 24th in superpipe; Benji Farrow (Ludlow, VT) 26th in superpipe; Spencer Shaw (Stratton, VT) 28th in superpipe; Louie Vito (Bellefontaine, OH) 30th in superpipe.
Check out the Dew Tour schedule for a full list of the weekend’s competitions. Then, go to the Dew Tour livestream to watch your favorite athletes in action. Or tune in to the TV broadcast on NBC.
Hailey Langland’s slopestyle run: backside lipslide, 50-50 gap 50-50 180 off, switch backside 180, frontside 360, 50-50 up to frontside lipslide down, backside 180, cab 720.
15-year-old Maddie Mastro is a member of the U.S. rookie halfpipe team but she’s on the fast track to the pro podium; she made the superpipe final on Wednesday against a stacked field that left veterans on the outside looking in.
Wednesday was the first time Arielle Gold threw a Michalchuk into her already-impressive superpipe run; she learned he trick training at Mt. Hood over the 2015 summer.
U.S. team member Elena Hight fell hard in training and was forced to withdraw from competition.
Shaun White is a perennial podium favorite, but he was beat at the last Dew Tour he competed in (2013) by Greg Bretz. Bretz did not make the final in 2015. Shaun’s run on Thursday included his huge signature method followed by back-to-back double cork 1080s.
Ben and Gabe Ferguson, brothers from Bend, OR and members of U.S. Snowboarding, are on the come-up. Older brother Ben has won Danny Davis’ Peace Park event the last two years in a row.
QUOTES Ricky Bower, U.S. Pro Halfpipe Team Coach Semifinals for the women went really well—all the ladies landed some very high-level runs for the first event of the year. We had all but one pro team rider make the final and Hannah was very close. We have some weather coming but we’re hoping to have a great day on Saturday.
Arielle Gold, top superpipe qualifier Qualifying first was unexpected because I was falling a lot during the practice; it was just great to land when it mattered. It’s always stressful going into the first contest of the season and feeling rushed to get all your tricks back. I’m really happy with the way that I’m riding, I learned my Michalchuk this summer at Mt. Hood and I was really happy to be able to put it in my contest run.