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Teen phenom Wells rules 48 Straight superpipe

Under bluebird skies New Zealand’s Jossi Wells earned his first major career victory Sunday, winning the 48 Straight/Jeep King of The Mountain Skier Superpipe at Squaw Valley. Canadian freestyle legend and X Games superpipe champion Sarah Burke won the women’s competition.
    “I was able to take a week off from skiing before this event, which allowed me to get my pipe legs back,” said Wells who earned $12,500 for his efforts “I’ve been thinking about my runs all week, and just threw my thing down and won it."
SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. — Under bluebird skies New Zealand’s Jossi Wells earned his first major career victory Sunday, winning the 48 Straight/Jeep King of The Mountain Skier Superpipe at Squaw Valley. Canadian freestyle legend and X Games superpipe champion Sarah Burke won the women’s competition.
    With late afternoon sun softening its 18-foot walls, the overflowing crowd of spectators lining the superpipe were wowed by the 17–year-old Wells from Wanaka, South Island. The oldest of four brothers, the silver medalist in slopestyle at the X Games, skied solidly top to bottom. He went clean and big, nailing a right side 900, left side 900 and then another rightside 720. He finished his run by stomping a Switch 900. Wells had the highest score of the competition, 94, the day’s only score in the 90s. Second place went to France’s Xavier Bertoni who shredded a nearly flawless run with back to back 900s. Colby West from Canterbury, New Hampshire, finished third. Nineteen-year-old Justin Dorey from Vernon, British Columbia, rounded out the finals in fourth. Noticeably absent was three-time X Games superpipe gold medalist Tanner Hall. Last year’s tour event champion, Simon Dumont, bothered by a sore shoulder, did not make it into the finals.
    “I was able to take a week off from skiing before this event, which allowed me to get my pipe legs back,” said Wells who earned $12,500 for his efforts “I’ve been thinking about my runs all week, and just threw my thing down and won it. Unfortunately Simon kind of messed up a bit today, which left me on top. I’m super stoked.”
    “Simon’s injury was playing with his head. It really was bothering him,” explained Tour announcer Chris “Uncle E” Ernst. “Even without Tanner it was a strong field. I saw Jossi at age 13 at the U.S. Open. I knew he’sd win a major event before he turned 18 years old.”
    In the women’s competition, X Games Superpipe champion Sarah Burke, 25, from Whistler, British Columbia, added another crown to her illustrious career. The woman who has done more than any other to raise the level of women’s skiing has five superpipe podiums alone at the U.S. Open. Sunday, she spinned to win, throwing down a solid run by completing a flawless 900 and Alley Oop 700.
    Park City’s Jen Hudak finished second followed by Canada’s Roz Groenewould in third and Norway’s Grete Eliassen in fourth.
    “With only a one-run final you had to play it safe. I wouldn’tsay I performed the greatest run, but I did land a 9 and a 7. I felt a lot of pressure being the last woman to run, but I had confidence from my performance in qualifications. It feels great to win here.”
    The 48 Straight/Jeep King of the Mountain event concludes Monday with a snowboard superpipe competition.

MEN’S RESULTS – SUPER FINAL
 
1. Jossi Wells – New Zealand - 94
2. Xavier Bertoni – France - 85
3. Colby West – Canterbury, N.H. - 78
4. Justin Dorey – Canada - 39

WOMEN'S  RESULTS – SUPER FINAL

1. Sarah Burke – Canada - 87
2.  Jen Hudak – Park City, Utah - 82
3. Roz Groenewoud – Canada - 64
4. Grete Eliassen – Hollowlay, Utah - 71

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