Local 17-year-old Torin Yater-Wallace won his third-straight Winter X Games medal with a silver in the ski superpipe on Friday, while reigning champion David Wise took gold with the second-highest score in the competition’s history.
In the superpipe finals, eight skiers have three runs to earn a high score. The event features skiers flying up and down a 567-foot-long superpipe with 22-foot-high walls.
The competition was high right out of the gate. Yater-Wallace scored a 90 out of 100 on his first run, throwing a variety of big tricks. These included a double-cork 1260-degree spin, which is when a skier rotates three-and-a-half times, while doing two backflips.
Wise, 22, of Reno, Nev., skied immediately after Yater-Wallace and took the lead with two consecutive double cork 1260s, reaching 17.9 feet of air, which was more amplitude than Yater-Wallace’s run. Wise was also able to rotate his spins in different directions on the consecutive tricks.
He locked down the win on his second run, where he repeated his performance with even bigger air. He scored a 95.67, the second-highest score in ski superpipe X Games history.
At the end of the run, Wise threw up his hands.
“It’s mine,” Wise said. “It’s my night.”
Yater-Wallace steadily gained on his initial score, ending up with a 93.00, but it wasn’t high enough to take over first place. The Basalt native didn’t have the right-side double cork 1260 in his repertoire of tricks so he couldn’t copy Wise’s winning run, he said at the bottom of the pipe. Still, he was super stoked to win second, he said. Yater-Wallace took bronze in the Winter X Games ski superpipe last year and silver in 2010.
The 23-year-old Kevin Rolland of France won bronze.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Maddie Bowman won gold in the women’s skiing superpipe earlier in the evening, while defending champion Rosalind Groenewoud placed second and the 20-year-old Canadian Megan Gunning took third.
Bowman took the winning run on her first lap where she pulled consecutive 900-degree spins turning on both the left and right side. Her clean, technical run won her a score of 93 out of 100.
The real crowd pleaser of the night was 19-year-old rookie Annalisa Drew, who threw a tight 1260-degree — or three-and-a-half rotations — spin on her second run. However, Drew could not stick a clean landing, so she did not receive podium-winning points. It was the first time a woman attempted the trick during competition in the X Games.
Before her final run, Drew affirmed that she was going to try the trick again.
“It’s mine to land,” Drew said. “I’m landing it.”
She went for it, but landed in the back seat of her skis. Drew finished in sixth place, with a top score of 81 points.
Bowman said she was impressed by the 1260 attempt. Drew pulled it off during practice when all of her fellow competitors were watching, drawing cheers from the crowd, Bowman said.
The fact that Drew is attempting the trick, which Bowman called terrifying, is just another example of how the women’s game is progressing, she said. Next year there will likely be more women pulling the trick.
“I’ll try it in my future,” Bowman said. “I’m gonna — I don’t know when — but I’m gonna.”