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Snowboarding - 20. August 2009.

Clark wins seasons opener

Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, VT) dropped in for her season's first win Saturday as she bested the field in typical Clark fashion at the Burton New Zealand Open.

Clark put down a frontside air, backside 540 indy, frontside 720 tailgrab, cab 720, to frontside 540 indy to take the win, which she said is a good way to start her haul to Vancouver.

"I felt really good today. I got to try new things," Clark said. "I like progressing, and when you ride against a solid group of competitors it pushes me to do more. I’m happy that I did well for my first contest of the summer, especially going in to an Olympic year."

The Chinese contingent finished on Clark's heels with Jiayu Liu in second and Zhifeng Sun third.

U.S. Snowboarding rookie Lizzy Beerman (Weston, VT) threw her name in the hat for young riders most likely to ascend the stairs to snowboarding fame as she finished sixth and earned the women's best trick of the day award by throwing a massive frontside 900. Best trick for men went to none other than the double Michalchuck of Luke Mitrani.

With the competition season officially underway U.S. snowboarders are now looking toward Dec. 11-12 where the first of five Olympic qualification competitions begins at the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix. The series opens in Copper, CO.

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Burton New Zealand Open
Cardrona, NZE - Aug. 15

1. Kelly Clark, Mt. Snow, VT
2. Jiayu Liu, China
3. Zhifeng Sun, China
4. Linn Haug, Norway
5. Soko Yamaoka, Japan
6.  Lizzy Beerman, Weston, VT
8. Jamie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, CA

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