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Clark Takes Silver at Winter X
ASPEN, CO - U.S. Snowboarding's Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, VT) led the way for the women Friday, reining in the silver at the Winter X Games. Australia's Torah Bright came back from silver in 2008 to win the second X Games gold of her career.
"Tonight was great, I was really happy with my riding," Clark said. "Everyone was riding so well and the level of riding was stepped up a lot."
Clark's first run of frontside air, backside 5, frontside 5, backside air, front 7, cab 7, earned her the silver status. But, according to U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Head Coach Mike Jankowski, Clark has a few more tricks up her sleeve enroute to reaching her overall goals.
"I think what she did do was go really big and what she's doing right now in terms of progressing women's snowboarding is truly awesome," Jankowski said. "It's always better when you're able to land the run you wanted to land and you're able to let the judges decide what they think of it. Unfortunately she wasn't able to land her best run, but it's positive in that she was able to get silver."
Joining Clark on the podium in third was teammate and fellow Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) who, according to Jankowski, is using each competition as an opportunity to ramp up for her ultimate goal of reclaiming the Olympic gold.
"Hannah has been working super hard to push her snowbarding to the next level," Jankowski said."I think every day and every contest is just a step toward her goal of winning the gold medal. We just take it one day at a time and one contest at a time and try to see the big picture."
Ellery Hollingsworth (Stratton, VT) had a standout night, finishing fourth against an international field of the best female snowboarders there are. Following Hollingsworth in fifth was U.S. Snowboarding rookie Kaitlyn Farrington (Sun Valley, ID). The Westminster College student laid down the first X Games runs of her career Friday night.
X Games 12 gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO) took a nasty spill on her second of three runs and had to withdraw from the competition.
"It's a great halfpipe and a good environment. I think it's more than just a contest night, it's all week and all the riders have been pushing themselves, progressing and looking at the big picture," Jankowski said.
2009 WINTER X GAMES
Aspen, CO - Jan. 23, 2009
1. Torah Bright, Australia, 91.33
2. Kelly Clark, Mt. Snow, VT, 88.33
3. Hannah Teter, Belmont, VT, 83.00
4. Ellery Hollingsworth, Stratton, VT, 70.66
5. Kaitlyn Farrington, Sun Valley, ID, 66.00
6. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, CO, 40.00