New Zealand’s Sadowski-Synnott wins women’s slope at Burton Open
VAIL — With a median age of 19 for the six female competitors in the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships slopestyle finals on Vail Mountain on Friday, 17-year-old Zoi Sadowski-Synnott put down the winning run of the day with her first of three runs — despite dropping her phone on the course and suffering two “massive core shots” on her second run.
Sadowski-Synnott came into the event with momentum, winning at X Games Aspen and also the world championships — she’s off to an impressive start to her snowboarding career. She won with a first-run score of 82.55.
“It’s kind of just like a cherry on top winning here. This whole season has been amazing,” she said in the news conference following the finals.
The competition featured four lead changes during the three-run finals, along with some wind and snow moving in toward the end.
“I’m just happy to be here and have such good support out here. I’m just happy to put down a run,” the New Zealander said from the finish corral. “This was one of the first contests I watched since I started competing. I’m just so stoked right now.”
Julia Marino, 21, finished second and Miyabi Onitsuka, 20, pulled off a third-place run with her third and final run.
Onitsuka is the second female Japanese rider to podium at the Burton U.S. Open.
“I’m so stoked to be on the podium,” she said, trying to find the words in English.
Onitsuka jumped into third place with her third and final run, landing the second-highest scored trick with a cab 900.
“She said she can’t even express (her excitement) in Japanese, either,” a translator said.
Hailey Langland, 18, finished fourth after Onitsuka’s final run pushed her off the podium. It’s not a matter of if Langland can win this competition, the announcers agreed, it’s a matter of when. Langland helped set the tone for the competition with a 77.5 score on the second run of the day.
Annika Morgan, 17, finished fifth, and Enni Rukajarvi, 28, finished sixth.
‘One of the biggest contests of the year’
For the first year ever at the Burton U.S. Open in Vail, Jamie Anderson was missing from the finals after failing to qualify.
“She’s always there — every contest and every final. She always sends it and sets the bar for everyone. I think today everyone went for it as if she was there,” Marino said.
The field started strong on the course with the athletes pushing each other throughout the finals.
“All of the girls put their runs down on the first run which was amazing. I don’t think that’s happened before this year. The second run I think maybe most of us fell, and then the third run most of us fell, except Miyabi,” Sadowski-Synnott said.
For Marino, it’s back-to-back podiums at Burton.
“Doing well at the U.S. Open is a huge accomplishment,” she said. “Not to mention it’s one of the biggest contests of the year.”
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