Vail local, Ryan Wachendorfer, snagged 2nd Place in the halfpipe at the U.S. Grand Prix in Mammoth on Sunday! This was his first major podium and he definitely earned it, with 29 riders all competing in the final due to the qualifier being cancelled from high winds. The stacked lineup of riders competing in the final included Scotty James who just won X Games Gold in Aspen, Brett Esser, Greg Bretz, Shaun White, Louie Vito, Benji Farrow, and Chase Josey who won the Laax Open a few weeks ago. Wachendorfer didn't seem phased by the pressure of competing against such talent, as he threw down a solid run that landed him a spot on the podium between Shaun White (first place) and Louie Vito (third place).
Ryan's best run of the day earned him a score of 90.75 with a front 9 tailgrab, double Michalchuk, front double cork 1080, cab 720, frontside 720, and a cab double cork 1080. Definitely some strong riding from the 21 year old, who was just one of two riders to break the 90 point mark out of all 29 riders in the final. Shaun White had a much better showing than he had at X Games and had a solid run that gave him a winning score of 94.75. The next stop for Ryan will be Rev Tour heading to Mammoth shortly, so he will stay in California in hopes of another podium finish.
The Women's Halfpipe event was a little different, as three of the six finalists who made it past qualifiers could not compete because weather pushed back the final one day and they had to leave town. Kelly Clark had a very clean technical run that gave her a winning score of 91.75. Her run included a frontside air, backside 540, frontside 1080, a crippler, and a backside air, which was more than enough for the win. Second place went to Japanese rider Haruna Matsumoto who layed down a run that gave her a score of 87.50, and Hannah Teter had a solid run until her last hit where she fell on a backside 900. She did not take her second run after that fall and kept her first run score of 36.25.