One hundred, twenty-one Men. Two sessions. Two heats per session. Two runs per rider and best score counts. Top five scores from each heat and the next ten best scores from any heat advance. Numerous world class riders from around the planet fail to make this cut every year. Young guns step up and get noticed.
SMS Riders Jin Wook, Joe Mensch and Hunter Wood all made the cut. SMS Alumni Chris Waker, Jeremy Thompson, Nate Farrell, Mike Goldshmidt and Tyler Emond all made that cut too. The amplitude, smoothe style and technical difficulty of the SMS Snowboarding Shredapalooza was respected by the worlds' most travelled Judging Crew. Other alums Nick Russel and Mike Farnum were up there throwing big fun runs while Louis Vito (prequalified) and Jack Mitrani (preq'd but injured) are practicing and making the scene respectively.
Alex Bayer, Randall Stacy, Connor Hudson, Mike Perle and Austin Schweyher (super tech to back nine finish!) put up respectable bids among the worlds finest this year as well and know that their USOPEN careers are just getting started.
Joe Mensch is still alive and practicing while sitting in the bubble spot. The semi final number is still yet to be called full until the invited, prequalified show up, check in or not.
Pipe Training with Rick. Mount Snow Training with Scotty for non entered athletes, alpine training with Mallon and Slope Prequal's. Again the Heavy Cut. This time Big Jumps following a double jib line. Tough times with the start list lottery. We were only able to get three riders entered. They made the best of their chance. Chris Tierney landed his first ever US OPEN
slope run and then landed too far right on his second run front five and couldn't make the second jump happen. Super respectable middle of the wolf pack. Hunter struggled with his cab five in first run but laid down two sevens in the second half of the run to stay confident. Second run put him in just out of the automatic "in" but well in under the next random top scores from any heat. Beauchemin once again landed a bomb run from top jibs to bottom banger. Qualified into the next round in the top five.
Today was the womens Pipe qualifier round and slope training. SMS Women all landed strong first runs in the pipe which is always a positive start. Lizzy Beerman qualified through to join preq'd team mate Ellery Hollingsworth. Shelby was on fire in practice. Throwing her recently patented "most progressive run of the day"- dropping into switch back three, back five, front five...come on. So cool. She had to work extra hard putting it down on first try and still ended up top Ten. She tried to up the amplitude ante as well as smoothe out the run but the trench of the week caught the most progressive run of the day and run number two did not break her into the top five.
Jen Cohen had smoothe style, Sadie and Emily put up senior year sized amplitude. Makayla and Phoebe both stood up US Open runs and the day was successful all over the place.
Tomorrow is slopestyle qualifiers (rnd. two) and more pipe practice. SMS athletes will be training competeing and watching on all venues. Have fun and be safe.