White, Clark pick up third Grand Prix victories
PARK CITY, Utah – Two weeks after locking down their Olympic spots, Shaun White perfected his double McTwist 12 and Kelly Clark bested the women’s field Friday night during the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix victory at Park City Mountain Resort.
“It was just the run of my life, I don’t know how to say it,” White said. “I’ve basically been practicing this trick for as long as I can remember, and I don’t think I’ve crashed as much (as I have) in the last couple years I’ve been learning it.”
It was another solid night for South Shore riders. Hannah Teter was runner-up to Kelly Clark, Elena Hight placed fifth and Elijah Teter was fourth.
White stole the show with a historic second run where he dropped double cork, double cork, 540 into double McTwist 12.
His reward for going so big on the 22-foot megapipe? An astronomical score of 49.
“I’m just going to keep dialing it in and keep practicing,” White said. “You know there’s always room for improvement. The judges are looking for big air and style tricks, that’s why I keep the 540 in there as a break in the spin madness.”
Clark edged U.S. teammate Teter for the win, falling in her first run before making up the ground in a solid final performance.
Teter entered competition with a second and a third, putting her strong position to contend for the U.S. Team, which Gretchen Bleiler of Aspen, Colo. will certainly belong to after fourth place Friday to accompany a victory and two second-place results.
“It feels really good,” Teter said. “I want to go and represent the U.S. in the biggest contest in the world.”
Not to be forgotten in the Olympic picture, Ellery Hollingsworth of Stratton, Vt., was third under the lights.
“I’m really excited I landed the run I wanted to land,” Hollingsworth said. “I wanted to bring my 9s into my run, and all week I’ve been trying to do it, and I landed it in practice, then in my run. So I’m really happy.”
Saturday night’s event marks the final chance for U.S. halfpipe athletes to make the 2010 Olympic Team. The full Olympic roster will be announced Jan. 25.