FREESTYLE NATIONALS: Hudek, Hibbert take inaugural halfpipe competition


FREESTYLE NATIONALS: Hudek, Hibbert take inaugural halfpipe competition{mosimage}KILLINGTON, Vermont – Freestyle nationals featured the first-ever USSA-sanctioned superpipe championship.

Although X Games stars such as Tanner Hall and Simon Dumont skipped the championship, no doubt due to the lack of prize money, the event was a look to the future. Canadian Scott Hibbert, a geriatric 23, performed a back flip as his last trick in the pipe and won the men’s title ahead of a slew of teenagers.

‘After falling on my first run, I was a little nervous’ Hibbert said. ‘I was not happy that I fell on my very last trick. So I decided I’ve got to put it down. If I fall, whatever, I’m already in third. So I killed it: 540, 540 to a 900, mute grab, then a big old laid-out back flip. It’s a crowd pleaser. You can spin like a top. But you get inverted, do a back flip, they love it.’

The women skied more conservatively, mostly performing grabs with no twists. Jennifer Hudak, the silver medalist in halfpipe at World Cup Finals, went bigger in the pipe than anyone else and won the superpipe title – a step toward 2010, she hopes.

The superpipe is up for consideration at the 2010 Olympics. ‘USSA was not scheduled to host superpipe nationals until next year’ Killington spokesman Tom Horrocks said. ‘We told them as part of our bidding for this event, we wanted to host superpipe this year. … We see this as the future of the sport. These athletes need a launching pad to get them to the Olympics, hopefully in 2010.’

Skier halfpipe
Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships
Killington, Vermont
March 23, 2006

MEN
1. Scott Hibbert, Canada, 86.0
2. David Wise, Reno, Nev., 83.6
3. Tony Seibert, Edwards, Colo., 75.2
4. Troy Cook, Truckee, Calif., 72.6
5. Noah Labow, Jeffersonville, Vt., 70.4
6. Tyler Homen, Roseville, Calif., 69.4

WOMEN
1. Jennifer Hudak, Park City, Utah, 65.8
2. Sophia Schwartz, Ketchum, Id., 63.4
3. Kim Sharp, Park City, Utah, 56.4
4. Allison Lee, Manchester, Conn., 56.2
5. Calli DeGrace, Plymouth, N.H., 53.6
6. Elizabeth Maney, Hartland, Vt., 40.6

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