Langland wins first women’s big air competition in Aspen X Games history
California teen Hailey Langland might have thrown down the first buzzer-beater in snowboarding history. And she had no clue she was even tossing up a Hail Mary.
“I honestly had no idea what the time was. I still thought we had like 20 more minutes,” Langland said. “It’s a bit surreal. I can’t honestly believe that this just happened. But I’m super stoked.”
On Thursday, Langland won the first women’s snowboard big air competition in X Games Aspen history, landing her winning run in the final seconds. Athletes competed in a 25-minute “jam” session, with the top two runs per rider combining to create their score.
Langland, in only her second X Games Aspen, scored 49 out of a possible 50 on her fifth and final run as the clock ticked under 10 seconds. That run, combined with a 17 in her second run, pushed her to 66 and past runner-up finisher Anna Gasser, who scored 64. X Games rookie Julia Marino was third with 61.
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“I could definitely tell the girls were gunning for that top spot,” Langland said. “The jam format was pretty new. I actually really liked it for some reason. Normally I like to relax before a run and just chill, but I liked how high speed this was.”
Langland, 16, is from San Clemente, California, and is close friends with Chloe Kim, snowboarding’s superpipe queen. Langland made her X Games debut in 2016, taking third in slopestyle.
Gasser’s opening run of 38 set the pace, with Langland not looking like a factor. Jamie Anderson, the most decorated X Games snowboarder in slopestyle history, looked strong early, with runs of 28, 23 and 29. But her fourth run ended with a nasty crash that knocked her out of the competition. She finished fourth.
With Gasser all but having the gold medal around her neck, the 16-year-old Langland laid down the run of her big air life, landing the first cab double cork 1080 by a woman in X Games history.
“I can’t even believe that all just happened,” Langland said. “It was awesome and I’m really stoked I even got to put it down.”
While men’s big air has been around for years in Aspen, this was the first women’s big air competition. There will be a women’s ski big air competition Saturday night, also a first.
Hibbert denied 10th gold
Earlier Thursday, Swede Petter Narsa stunned the crowd by winning the snowmobile snocross competition. It was his first X Games Aspen medal. Taking second was Adam Renheim, also of Sweden, and third was American Lincoln Lemieux.
The stunning part came with the fourth-place finish of Minnesota’s Tucker Hibbert, who was going for his 10th straight gold in the competition.
In the snowmobile snocross adaptive race, Minnesota’s Mike Schultz cruised to his sixth career gold medal in the event.
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Many of the trails in the Roaring Fork Valley, especially from the midvalley up, are far from ready and it’s important that people stay off of them despite having cabin fever.