Maddie Mastro & Ayumu Hirano Qualify First in the Burton U·S·Open Halfpipe Semi-Finals
Competition went off today at the 36th annual Burton U·S·Open Snowboarding Championships with Maddie Mastro (USA) and Ayumu Hirano (JPN) taking the top spots in halfpipe semi-finals. Riders put down their most progressive runs under sunny skies in Vail’s 22-foot halfpipe. Today’s event narrowed the field down to six women and 10 men advancing into Saturday’s halfpipe finals in the battle for the Burton U·S·Open halfpipe title and a piece of the $343,000 prize purse.
The women’s competition was absolutely heated today with 720s across the entire field. Maddie Mastro (USA) dropped in with two fully-committed runs to earn the top spot. Saving the best for first, Maddie launched into a huge frontside 900 Indy on her first hit landing high up on the tranny. She threw down a frontside 720 and a stylish Haakon Flip stalefish to earn the top women’s score of 85.87. Halfpipe Olympic gold medalist and defending Burton U·S·Open champion Chloe Kim (USA) blasted down the pipe landing two precision runs featuring back-to-back 720s and a huge frontside 900 tail grab for a score of 85.12. Xuetong Cai (CHN) took the third spot with a score of 83.12.
Men’s pipe featured shakeups right to the very end as the 32 riders competed for the coveted 10 spots to advance into Saturday’s finals. Two-time Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano (JPN) broke into the 90s with a huge score of 92.37 on the very last run of the day to take first. Hirano was clearly intent on strategically taking over the clutch number one spot as he dropped in with a huge Indy, into back-to-back 1080s and ending with a huge frontside double cork 1260 Indy, landing on the last piece of transition in the pipe. The Hirano family was in full force at today’s contest with Ayumu’s older brother Eiju and younger brother Kaishu both competing.
Chase Josey (USA) continued his streak as one of the most consistent halfpipe riders stomping both of his runs and upping his score to 89.12 on his final run which he kicked off with a bold double cork 1080 stalefish, also stomping a switch double Michalchuk and a stylish switch frontside double cork 1080 truck driver. Olympic bronze medalist Scotty James (AUS) took the third spot with an 87.25.
Competition continues tomorrow Friday, March 9th at 11:00am MST with the men’s and women’s slopestyle finals at Vail’s Golden Peak featuring first place qualifiers Mark McMorris (CAN) and Jamie Anderson (USA). The Burton U·S·Open halfpipe competition picks up again with the finals on Saturday, March 10th at 11:00am MST.
Tonight, check out the Burton Concert Series featuring a free double-set by Pigeons Playing Ping Pong on the Solaris Concert Stage starting at 6:00pm MST, followed by Late Night Live Music featuring New Orleans Suspects at 10:00pm MST.
Women’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results
1. Maddie Mastro (USA), 85.87
2. Chloe Kim (USA), 85.12
3. Xuetong Cai (CHN), 83.12
4. Haruna Matsumoto (JPN), 79.99
5. Jiayu Liu (CHN), 76.75
6. Kelly Clark (USA), 76.37
Men’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals Results
1. Ayumu Hirano, (JPN), 92.37
2. Chase Josey, (USA), 89.12
3. Scotty James, (AUS), 87.25
4. Raibu Katayama, (JPN), 84.75
5. Pat Burgener, (SUI), 80.75
6. Benjamin Ferguson, (USA), 80.50
7. Jake Pates, (USA), 75.25
8. Jan Scherrer (SUI), 71.62
9. Derek Livingston (CAN), 67.12
10. Naito Ando (JPN), 65.00
There’s never a dull moment at the Burton U·S·Open. So tune in, buckle up, and hang on, because this is sure to be a wild ride. Keep your eyes on the BurtonUSOpen.com and the Burton U·S·Open app for daily updates on the competition, concert and entertainment schedule, live broadcasts, special events, and all that’s going on this week in Vail, Colorado.