American women swept the podium with Maddie Mastro (left) in third, Kelly Clark taking the win, Chloe Kim in second. (U.S. Snowboarding)
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CA (Jan. 24, 2016) – It was a highly successful day for the American halfpipe riders at the first stop of the U.S. Grand Prix in Mammoth on Sunday.
American women swept the podium with Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) taking the win, Chloe Kim (La Palma, CA) finishing second and rookie team member Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, CA) earning her first pro-level podium with third. The U.S. men took four of the top-five positions including a pair of podium finishes: Chase Josey (Hailey, ID) grabbed second and Gabe Ferguson (Bend, OR) finished third; Ryo Aono of Japan topped the field for the win.
Mammoth Mountain has seen snowy, stormy conditions since the Grand Prix began on Thursday, which affected several competitions, including the cancellation of qualifications for the snowboard halfpipe.
“I’m glad that we were able to get the contest off today,” Clark said. “It’s been a challenging week of weather.”
Kelly Clark took the win at the U.S. Grand Prix.
The four-time Olympian used her veteran knowledge to approach the competition, landing a “safety” run on her first pass and then bumping it up by adding her signature 1080 on the second pass, which earned her the win. “We had an early start,” she said. “I just tried to make the most of my practice because we didn’t really have any this week.”
Fifteen-year-old Kim, who broke Clark’s five-year winning streak at X Games Aspen in 2015, also landed what she called her “back-up plan” to land in second. “I’m just happy that I had a back-up plan,” said Kim, who wanted to throw a relatively new tailgrab 1080 she first landed at the U.S. Open in 2015. “I was really excited to maybe throw one today, but unfortunately that wasn’t able to go down.”
Chloe Kim nailed another podium, taking second.
Mastro, a member of the U.S. Snowboarding rookie halfpipe team and Mammoth Mountain team, was thrilled to earn her first pro podium in front of family and friends. The 15-year-old will hopefully use the momentum rolling into her first X Games appearance in Aspen this week.
Rookie Maddie Mastro was third - her first pro prodium.
Idaho native Josey earned his first Grand Prix podium with a similar mindset to that of the ladies.
“There was definitely strategy going into the first runs, just wanting to land a run and then kind of see where you can go from there,” he said. “The weather got better and the second run I just stepped it up and went for two more double corks, and that’s what got me my score. It’s my first Grand Prix podium and it really means a lot to U.S. Snowboarding and USSA, so I’m stoked.”
Young Gabe Ferguson not only topped most of the field to earn his first Grand Prix podium, he also topped his fellow U.S. Snowboarding teammate and older brother, Ben Ferguson, who finished 24th. “This is my first Grand Prix podium and I’m super excited,” Gabe said. “It’s been tough with all the weather that’s come through the last couple days so I’m just happy we’re out here having fun today.”
Chase Josey was second in the Grand Prix.
Rounding out the men, Jake Pates (Eagle, CO) was fourth, Ryan Wachendorfer (Edwards, CO) fifth, Toby Miller (Truckee, CA) ninth, Joshua Bowman (Mammoth Lakes, CA) 12th, Nathan Jacobson (Bend, OR) 17th, Robert Pettit (Aspen, CO) 20th, Chase Blackwell (Longmont, CO) 22nd, Dru Brownrigg (Bend, OR) 23rd and Ben Ferguson (Bend, OR) 24th.
For the women, Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe) was fifth, Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) sixth, Zoe Kalapos (Vail, CO) seventh, Jenna Dramise (South Lake Tahoe, CA) 12th, Hannah Merson (Stowe, VT) 16th, McKinzie Johnson (Park City, UT) 19th, Autumn Inouye (Hood River, OR) 20th and Madison Taylor Barrett (West Chesterfield, NH) 22nd.
Kelly Clark won the women’s event. Her second run scored a 87.40: Frontside air, backside 540, frontside 1080, Cab 720, frontside 540, Backside Air, frontside corked 720.
Chloe Kim finished second. Her second run scored an 87.40: Switch method, Cab 540, switch backside 360, McTwist, frontside 720, Cab 720.
Maddie Mastro was third, earning the first pro podium of her career. Her second run scored an 83.20: Frontside 720, backside 720, crippler, backside 540, frontside 540.
Chase Josey was second. His second run scored a 90.20: Michalchuk, frontside double 1080, switch crippler, switch backside 900, Cab double 1080, frontside 900.
Gabe Ferguson was third. His second run scored an 85.80: Method, frontside 720, Cab 720, frontside 900, backside 900, frontside double 1080.
Kelly Clark I just tried to play it strategically today. I had a good practice and I got the runs done that I needed but I definitely played it safe, or smart, with my first run, with a basic, solid run. Then I was able to really go for it on my second run. I was really happy with my riding today and it was a big confidence booster for me heading into (X Games) Aspen next week.
It’s been amazing to see what Mammoth has been able to do with the challenging weather conditions this week. I think they did a great job putting this event together and making the right call for the riders.
I think the Grand Prixs are a great event—I’ve been doing them since I was a kid. I think these events showcase, more so than any other event, the next generation of talent. I’m thankful to be doing this after all these years and to be able to put down a run like that here at home in Mammoth I’m just really thankful.
Chloe Kim Today went pretty well. I’m stoked I had a rebate on my second run. Originally I wanted to do my 1080 but I think we’ll save that for Aspen. I’m really stoked I did a few during practice here the other day and I was landing them consistently with a lot of speed into the next hit.
Maddie Mastro It was a perfect day at Mammoth and I’m just really excited to be here. It was my first podium at a pro event so I’m pretty happy. It feels so good to be home, to have my coach and all my family and friends here is really nice. I basically just came in with the mindset to have fun, stay on your feet, land a run and don’t worry about the rest. It seemed to work.
Chase Josey There was definitely strategy going into the first runs, just wanting to land a run and then kind of see where you can go from there. The weather got better and the second run I just stepped it up and went for two more double corks. That's what got me my score.
I saw Gabe's run and I saw that he landed super clean and I didn't know what his score was because he was just like two riders ahead of me, but I kind of had an idea it might have beaten my score so I just wanted to do what I could do and it worked out.
Gabe Ferguson was third in the Grand Prix at Mammoth.
Gabe Ferguson It’s definitely a confidence booster. I’m going to be feeling good just to know that I’m riding well for X Games and as long as I’m having as much fun as I can I’ll be fine.
U.S. GRAND PRIX TELEVISION SCHEDULE (all times EST) Jan. 27, 1:00 a.m. – NBCSN – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals Jan. 30, 3:00 p.m. – NBC – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix - Halfpipe Finals Feb. 6, 8:00 p.m. – NBCSN – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals (reair) Feb. 7, 5:00 p.m. – NBCSN – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals