Under the blazing lights and streaming cameras, veteran Winter Olympians Kelly Clark and Elena Hight, along with newcomer Arielle Gold, finished 1-2-3 on the Aspen, CO 22’ pipe in front of a stoked crowd.
Hight threw-down an incredible first run, highlighted by a never-before-landed backside double alley-oop rodeo – a competition first for either of the sexes. She stomped the rest of the run and was awarded with a sick 90.0 score.
“I was trying to decide if I should throw (the double rodeo) on the first run or not, but that's what I came here to do, so I thought I'd just throw it," said Hight in an ESPN interview.
Yet, two-time Olympic medalist, and defending X Games champion, Clark was not ready to yield to her close friend’s performance. In her final run, Clark went huge by opening with a frontside 1080 and cab 720. The near-flawless tromp down the pipe earned her a 90.33 mark, just enough to edge Hight on the podium.
“Tonight was the most technical run I've ever put together," said Clark who took Gretchen Bleiler's spot in the finals after she decided to pull-out.
The sixteen-year-old phenom Gold is riding the crest of a raging series of superb event finishes. Fresh off her FIS superpipe championship win last weekend, she was the only rider who consistently laid down three gnarly runs of 75.00 points and greater. Her second run (85.00) was insane as she ripped a cab 900 as her final trick.
Bright (82.00), Teter (81.00) and Spain’s Queralt Castellet (78.00) rounded-out the top six.
The men take over the superpipe tonight in the X Games capstone event.