Steamboat's Arielle Gold and Taylor Gold Compete in the US Open in Vail
By Joe Lauber
Arielle Gold in halfpipe. Photo Courtesy: Oliver Kraus/FIS
VAIL, CO (Mar. 7, 2015) — Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) led a U.S. team sweep in the women’s halfpipe competition at the 33rd annual Burton US Open in Vail, CO. 14-year-old Chloe Kim (Torrance, CA) and local Coloradan Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) rounded out the podium taking second and third, respectively.
13 years after taking home her first US Open win, Clark put together a near perfect run, landing a huge frontside air, backside 540 mute, frontside 1080 indy, cab 720 mute, crippler stalefish, finishing with a method air, nabbing a record eight US Open wins. Kim—hot on veteran Clark’s heels all season—landed her first-ever frontside 1080 tail grab, grabbing it all the way around, but missing the top spot on the podium by two points. Gold was also in the 1080 hunt and fell on her third and final run, attempting a frontside 1080 stalefish.
“Today I saw these girls doing tens, and I was like, yes, that's what I was waiting for! It's about the progression of women's snowboarding,” said Clark after her run. “I was proud and I was excited, I was also pretty overwhelmed getting to stand on the podium for the eighth time at the Open—it's a big deal for me. I'm so grateful to still be a part of snowboarding and I know women's snowboarding will be in good hands whenever these girls take over.”
The men’s finals featured a super competitive field with the podium ultimately decided on the final runs. American riders Ben Ferguson (Bend, OR) and Taylor Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) failed to put down a solid run in finals with Gold taking a hard crash on his first of three attempts. Japanese rider Taku Hiraoka, put down a frontside 540 indy, to a backside 900 mute, frontside double cork 1080 stalefish, cab double cork 1080 mute, ending with a lofty frontside 1260 tail grab on his second run to win his first major event and the 2015 US Open title. Frenchman Arthur Longo took home second place with an enormous air-to-fakie. Fellow Japanese rider and Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano took third.
Saturday’s halfpipe finals also determined the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series champions with Kelly Clark and Ayumu Hirano taking home the halfpipe titles.
Women's Halfpipe Finals Results
1. Kelly Clark, 91.00
2. Chloe Kim, 88.74
3. Arielle Gold, 83.87
4. Xuetong Cai, 71.00
5. Hikaru Oe, 62.62
6. Queralt Castellet, 52.50
Men's Halfipe Finals Results
1. Taku Hiraoka, 90.99
2. Arthur Longo, 84.99
3. Ayumu Hirano, 84.75
4. Jan Scherrer, 78.62
5. Iouri Podladtchikov, 73.25
6. Christian Haller, 67.87
7. Danny Davis, 62.12
8. Taylor Gold, 61.12
9. Ben Ferguson, 49.12
10. David Habluetzel, 24.87
Kelly Clark, US Open winner
I’m pretty overwhelmed, to tell you the truth. I’ve been coming to this event since I was a kid. It’s one of my favorite events out there. I can’t believe I get to stand on the podium for the eighth time, on top.
No matter how many times you’ve done it, it’s always challenging when you fall first run. This is one of the better women’s finals I’ve been a part of, as far as level of riding. I thought the women rode so well today. I had to step up and I had to do it perfect and I had to send it. I think you value things by what they cost you. This was a good event today and I really had to step up to the table and I was able to.
Chloe Kim, second place
I’m really excited I was able to put that down. This was the first time I’ve ever done [a 1080] in a contest. I actually learned it three weeks ago, so I was really glad I could put that down. I was surprised.
I’m just so glad I was able to put down that run. Results don’t even matter to me at this point. I’m just like, well, I just put down the best run I’ve ever done in my life. I don’t care. I’m just so excited and I’m really looking forward to next season.
It’s definitely a great way to end the season. It’s going to be really fun and I’m so excited. [The US Open] means a lot. I would always watch it on my live stream. I started competing at the Open when I was 11 or 12. It definitely goes far back with me. It’s so nice to always come here at the end of the season. It’s a great contest to end on. It’s always been so much fun. Everyone goes for the craziest things ever at this contest. I’m really looking forward to watching men’s.
Arielle Gold, third place
It went really well today. I’m happy with the way I was riding. You know, again, I just wish I had been able to land the runs, because I had more to give. But I’m really happy that I was able to try the 10 and it was close, so hopefully I’ll be able to get it in the near future.
I think this is the best contest that women’s snowboarding has ever seen. It’s only on the up-and-up from here. To see three 10s tried in this events is pretty amazing. Hopefully we’ll be able to see more contests like this in the future.