White leads superpipe qualifying | AspenTimes.com

White leads superpipe qualifying

Aspen Times StaffAspen, CO Colorado

Shaun White soars up in the lights on his way to a top finish in the mens snowboard superpipe elimination event Saturday evening at Winter X Games 11 at Aspen. (Mark Fox/Summit Daily)

ASPEN Many questioned whether Shaun White’s disappointing slopestyle result earlier in the day would affect him during Saturday night’s superpipe elimination. The 20-year-old defending champion answered quickly and definitely. White, who won all eight halfpipe events he entered in 2006, posted a score of 93.33 on his first of two runs under the lights to qualify first. His run, which included a backside 900, an off-axis rodeo flip and a 1080 with a nose grab, caught the attention of the judges who awarded just three scores higher than 78 during the first round.Following in second was Breckenridge rider Steve Fisher, the fifth competitor of the night, who posted an impressive 90.33. Californian Mason Aguirre showed off the amplitude and landed a 1080, 900 and front-side 540 in succession to record an 87.33. Aguirre took second last year.Scotty Lago, who finished third last year, finished a disappointing 20th. Lago, outside of the top 10 entering his second run, fell on his second hit to end all hopes of advancing.While Olympic teammate White’s status place in the final was assured, Danny Kass was forced to sweat it out until the very end. The 2006 silver medalist in Turin laid down a conservative first run and was 11th. Kass, the second to last competitor of the evening, needed some late heroics to sneak into the final. He completed a clean run that included a cab 1080, a frontside 700 and a 900 to score a 72.33, good for ninth place. In the process, he bumped X Games newcomer Mike Goldschmidt of Truckee, Calif., out of tonight’s final.Notably absent from the top 10 was Sandy, Utah’s Louie Vito, who finished fifth one year ago. Vito, 19th after a sloppy first run, flew out of the pipe on his second run and slammed his hip on the deck.The top 10 advancing to tonight’s superpipe final are:1.Shaun White2.2. Steve Fisher3.Mason Aguirre4.Kevin Pearce, Norwich, VT5.Antti Autti, Rovaniemi, Finland6.J.J. Thomas, Golden, CO7.Tommy Czeschin, Mammoth, Cali.8.Mathieu Crepel, Anglet, France9.Danny Kass10.Chad Otterstrom, Breckenridge

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