South Lake Tahoe’s Jamie Anderson wins big air at U.S. Grand Prix
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. — Jamie Anderson just can’t be stopped.
Less than a week after Anderson won the women’s slopestyle crown at Dew Tour in Breckenridge, the South Lake Tahoe native and force of pure nature won another competition at the first-ever U.S. Grand Prix snowboard big air at Copper Mountain this past Saturday. And she didn’t even do it with the highest single-run score of the day.
Things started slow for Anderson. She flailed on her first run to drop behind Enni Rukajarvi of Finland and fellow American Julia Marino. The 19-year-old Marino had the best first-run hit with a massive, tweaked-out 1080 to score 84.75, and was only bested in the third and final run by Slovakian Klaudia Medlova with the highest score of the morning, a 91.00.
But Anderson was more consistent than the other three vying for gold. She returned in the second run to score a 72.25 with a 1080 of her own, only to see Marino botch the landing on her next hit for a ho-hum 52. The rider with the best two-run combined score after three runs would walk away with the win, and things were down to the wire with just one run remaining.
Anderson dropped in again for a cab 1080 and scored 79 — hardly the best score of the day, but enough to clinch the lead when it mattered with a combined 151.25. Rukajarvi was hot on her heels the entire time with scores of 76 and 71 for a combined 147 to land in second place, while Medlova’s impressive 91 for the final run was enough to bump her past Marino with a combined score of 146.50. Marino couldn’t recapture the magic of her first run and ended with scores of 84.75 and 52 for a combined 136.75.
Great Britain’s Katie Ormerod and Norway’s Kjersti Buaas didn’t start.
Men’s snowboard finals
This is the definition of Canadian domination.
Like Anderson — the unstoppable women’s slopestyle champ — Canadian slope specialists Max Parrot and Sebastien Toutant stuck around Summit County after making the podium at Dew Tour last weekend for the U.S. Grand Prix men’s snowboard big air. Also like Anderson, the two were cheated out of the jump finals by bad weather at Dew Tour, and so they were itching to throw down on the Main Vein jump.
And throw down they did. The rider with the best two-run combined score after three runs would walk away with the win, and Parrot worked the field up, down and back again with massive switch 1260s and one of the most impressive triple 1440s in the game. That earned him a score of 97 on his second run, the highest of the day by far. Only Norwegian Markus Olimstad came close to breaking the 90-point barrier with a 92.25 on his first run, but he couldn’t match Parrot’s intensity and dropped to fifth overall after three runs. Parrot’s combined 188.75 was the highest of the day by more than 10 points.
Behind Parrot in second overall was Toutant, who consistently scored in the high 80s for a combined 176. Behind him in third was American Ryan Stassel with 167.50, while Breck local Eric Willett just couldn’t find his feet and scored a combined 95.75 for eighth overall in the 10-man final. Steamboat local Nik Baden fared slightly better with 112.25 for seventh overall.
Editor’s note: Phil Lindeman is the sports editor for the Summit Daily, a sister media organization of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, based in Frisco, Colorado.