Mastro Makes History at Burton U.S. Open Halfpipe Finals
A field of six Olympians took to the halfpipe at Vail Mountain Resort in Colorado for the final day of the 37th Annual Burton U.S. Open with women's halfpipe finals. U.S. Snowboard Pro Team member Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.) not only earned her first-ever U.S. Open victory and her first ever top-level international win but also made history landing the first ever double crippler in women’s halfpipe competition.
“I can't even express how happy I am,” said Mastro. “I am speechless and overwhelmed. I have been going to bed and dreaming about doing that trick. I didn’t do any in practice at all but decided if I could visualize it, its on. I was able to and I decided not to think, but to just do. I am fully overwhelmed and could not be any more filled with happiness. This is the first contest I have won and for it to be at the U.S. Open is an incredible feeling. I can’t put it into words to describe how good I feel right now. The double crippler has been a shadow just following me around so it’s really nice to show everyone what I got.”
The work Mastro has put in perfecting the double crippler in the spring and fall of 2018 paid off in a big way. After not practicing the trick at all throughout the week, Mastro’s mental toughness proved dividends as she put it down for the first time ever in competition. Also, her breakthrough performance disrupts the flawless season of Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.). Expect the battle for the top spot on the halfpipe podium to continue at the 2019 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area next week as both Mastro and Kim return to their home turf.
Kim would finish in second place behind Mastro and just ahead of Cai Xuetong of China in third. Kim’s highest scoring run contained a frontside 1080, cab 900 and a cab 1080, which is a different run than what she’s done previously this season. U.S. Pro Team member Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) also rode very well landing all three of her runs and increasing difficulty as the competition went on. Gold may have had the fan favorite hit boosting a huge frontside 1080 tail to start of her runs that lit up the crowd. She would finish in fourth just outside the podium. The top three riders all were in one point of each other illustrating the high level of riding for the women.
For the men, American Danny Davis (Truckee, Calif.) finished just outside the podium in fourth. Davis Kicked off the men’s competition with a massive amplitude which undeniably energized the rest of the field. U.S. Snowboard Pro Team member and Olympian Jake Pates (Eagle, Colo.) would have challenged the podium on his third and final run, but on his last hit, he slipped out in the flat bottom. Pates put on a great show for the Vail crowd, but could not reach the podium.
Australia's Scotty James added yet another win to his collection as he remains perfect and undefeated in the 2018/19 season. Japan’s Raibu Katayama finished in second-place and Yuto Totsuka in third. Katayama summarized the 2019 Burton Open best by simply stating, "we go higher and higher,“ highlighting the endless progression that took place in the halfpipe on Saturday.
U.S. Snowboard Team members will continue halfpipe and slopestyle competition at the 2019 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area March 6-9. Tune in on NBC To catch all the action.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Saturday, March 9
4:00 p.m. - Toyota U.S. Grand Prix men and women’s halfpipe - Mammoth Mountain, Calif. - NBCSports.com & NBC Sports Gold
11:30 p.m. - Toyota U.S. Grand Prix men and women’s halfpipe - Mammoth Mountain, Calif. - NBCSN*
All streams are available via desktop (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/Gold and OlympicChannel.com) as well as mobile, tablet and connected television platforms. The NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Gold app and Olympic Channel app are available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass.