The Winter Dew Tour snowboard superpipe finals kicked off with bluebird skies and a field of riders looking to set the bar in Killington’s 22-ft pipe.
In the women's field, it was Vermont's own Kelly Clark who boosted huge, clean tricks and back-to-back spins to take the lead on her first run with a score of 94.75.
Clark stole the lead from Gretchen Bleiler, the first rider to score in the 90s after starting off with a massive crippler and mixing a backside 9 into her run.
"I'm psyched because I've been working on that back 9 and it was the first time I landed it in competition and it was exactly what I wanted to do," Bleiler said after finishing second with 92.25.
Kelly Clark – Snowboard Pipe Finals, Killington 2011
Clark went on to increase her lead and leave with the win after a flawless 95.75 point second run that went like this: front 9, back 5, front 7, Cab 7 and front 9.
"It's great to come back to Vermont and do so well," Clark said. "I grew up in these conditions so maybe I'm a little more used to it than most."
Nike 6.0 Open event winner Queralt Castellet earned a third-place finish in Vermont after scoring 86.00 on her first run. With a solid backside 9, back-to-back 5s and a clean 7, the Spanish powerhouse showed she has what it takes to earn the overall lead in the Race for the Dew Cup.
"I feel so good to make the podium because the level today was so high and we had to do our best," Castellet said.
In the men's field, Louie Vito backed up his Nike 6.0 Open win with a win at the Killington stop. His first run started off with back-to-back double corks, and scored a 90.00 to give him the lead, but a slight butt check at the end left him unsatisfied going into his second run.
"I just wanted to do a cleaner run than my first run and do a run that I was stoked on so I just wanted to put it down," Vito said.
Louie Vito – Snowboard Superpipe Finals, Killington
In what could have been a cruisy victory lap after already being named the winner, Vito upped the ante with his front double cork 10, cab double cork 10, crippler roast beef, Michalchuk and frontside 10. When the score was tallied, Vito earned 3 more points to take with win with a 93.00.
Consistency is key on the Winter Dew Tour and with back-to-back wins, Vito is now sitting in the overall lead heading into the season finale at next month's Toyota Championships in Snowbasin. This could be the year he'll take home his first Dew Cup.
But the rest of the guys are gunning for an event win and the overall Dew Cup title, including reigning Dew Cup champ J.J. Thomas, who earned his first-ever second place finish today. As one of the oldest guys in the field at 29, he proved that's he's still got what it takes and earned a score of 88.00.
"It feels good because last month I got close twice, I had a fifth and a fourth, so I wanted to podium bad," Thomas said.
Third-place went to Mason Aguirre with an 86.50 on his second run. He threw down back-to-back 10s and said the key was to be easy on his edges and take the line to the next wall after landing each trick.
"Being hurt last year and coming back and getting a podium in my second contest of the year gets me fired up for the next event so I'm pumped," Aguirre said.
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SNB SUPERPIPE MEN FINALS