SLT’s Smaine takes sixth in Grand Prix ski halfpipe
PARK CITY, Utah — Skier Gus Kenworthy showed his prowess with a first-place finish at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix halfpipe contest last Saturday, while South Lake Tahoe’s Kyle Smaine finished sixth.
French skier Kevin Rolland placed second while Northstar California-sponsored skier David Wise of Reno took third.
Kenworthy was the second competitor to drop, so after his final run, he watched teammates Wise, Alex Ferriera and Torin Yater-Wallace try and top his score. Yater-Wallace would have came close, but was unable to land on his feet on the last hit. Wise also struggled to put down a clean run, but was able to secure the third and final podium spot and walking away with his 10th national championship.
“Today right from the start was kind of a tough day for me,” said Wise, who won Olympic gold at the 2014 Winter Games. “I was struggling all through practice. My last practice run I finally put something to my feet and I was like, ‘OK, I think I can pull this off.’ Unfortunately, the weather really came in on our last run and I wasn’t able to get enough speed to finish my run.”
If Wise would have had enough speed, the fans crowded along the 22-foot superpipe may have seen him throw a right dub 14, which he’s done only once before at the X Games. But the trick will have to wait until the next contest.
“That just means it [the dub 14] is still out there and it still hasn’t been done by anyone else yet,” Wise said. “I’m glad to be standing on the podium today, glad to have fought through and landed a run, and looking forward to the next competition.”
Smaine, Yater-Wallace and Ferriera rounded out the U.S. men’s roster, finishing sixth, eighth and ninth, respectively.
In the women’s competition, Devin Logan led the U.S. team with a fourth-place finish. Olympic gold medalist and South Lake Tahoe native Maddie Bowman was unable to compete.
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