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SUN VALLEY, Idaho – March 16, 2008
– An already stellar season for rider Colby West grew that much sweeter today as the young standout from Canterbury, N.H., captured the individual event title and season championship at the Paul Mitchell Halfpipe Competition at the 48Straight sports, music and entertainment event in Sun Valley, Idaho. Immediately following the event, Aspen, Colo.’s, Peter Olenick earned a win at the “Monster Hit” Halfpipe Competition.
West, who arrived in Sun Valley from Monaco only one day prior to the event, had already earned a bronze medal at the X Games and won the U.S. Freeskiing Open Championship in 2008. He wasted no time in securing the best qualifying time among a deep and talented line-up of riders that included Bethel, Maine’s, Simon Dumont, Waterville Valley, N.H.,’s J.P. Solberg, Breckenridge, Colo.’s, Taylor Felton, and Olenick, among others.
The first run of the finals were owned by Solberg, a world superpipe championship bronze medalist who combined a 900 and 1080 with straight airs and ally-oop flairs to earn a score of 90 and sole possession of first place. Behind him was the always dangerous Dumont, the event’s defending champion and a two-time X Games gold medalist and world champion. “The Dumont,” as he’s known, pulled a 540 followed by three consecutive 900’s to land in second with an 86.8. West’s first run, a nice procession that included a first hit 900, 540, back-to-back 720’s and a 1080, scored an 83.8 which was good for third place heading into the second and final run of the day.
During the final runs, the world’s best separated themselves from the pack, with several riders washing out while trying to earn a score that would put them into contention.
Felton, who stood in fourth place after a very solid first run, crashed while chasing back-to-back 720’s. Olenick put together a final run that included a flair, back-to-back 900’s and a 1080 for his best score of the day, a 79.8. Dumont scored a 74.6 in his second run, featuring a 540, consecutive 900’s and an ally-oop 1080. With no competitor having topped the 90 scored by Solberg in the first round, it was down to West, the final rider of the day, to try and take the title. He answered the challenge with style, landing a first hit 900, followed by a 540, a 720 switch to another 720 and a final 1080. It didn’t take long for the judges to respond, and the 92.2 they bestowed on West gave him first place and the individual event title. Solberg finished in second place, with Dumont, Olenick and Felton rounding out the top five.
“This feels great, and I’m stoked to do this in front of friends and fans here in Sun Valley,” said West. “I’ve felt really good all season, and I came into today’s event with the same game plan. I decided to do what I do best and let the rest take care of itself. I knew I had to go bigger on that last run to overtake J.P. (Solberg), and fortunately it all worked out.”
Following the Paul Mitchell event, the “Monster Hit” Halfpipe Competition began, with each rider trying to top one another in a single hit showcase. Olenick began with a huge-air flair to get past Felton in the first round. Then he met West in the semi-finals, where he displayed his signature move, the “Whiskey Flip,” to advance to the finals. Battling him for the title would be Solberg, who pulled a tremendous 16-foot flair and then another smooth Whiskey Flip to top Duncan Adams and Dumont in consecutive rounds. In the finals, Olenick’s final Whiskey Flip was just enough to top Solberg’s own double flip and earn him the victory. Dumont ended up in third with West in fourth place.
“It was great to see some of the other competitors pulling off double flips, and on my final run I came down low at the end but had enough strength to ride it out,” said Olenick. “I’m very happy to get this win against this group of riders.”
With his win at the Paul Mitchell event, combined with fourth place at the “Monster Hit” competition and a third place finish at the previous event in Squaw Valley, Calif., also brought home the 48Straight season championship.
Judges for the ski halfpipe competition included Sean Carney, Chris Hawks, Mike Laroche, Evan Raps and Skogan Sprang.
Coverage of the action from Sun Valley will be televised to a national broadcast audience on March 29 and 30 on CBS Sports and on nationally syndicated television beginning March 28. Check local listings for specific airdates and times. Photos and videos from the competition can be found at
, under the Media Distribution link.
Billed as the “Loudest Show on Snow,” 48STRAIGHT emerged from the consolidation of the Jeep® King of the Mountain Series, one of the most renowned professional race programs over the past 15 years and Ketchum-based The Ski Tour, an event that in its inaugural year redefined the merging of high-level racing with high demand musical offerings. The result is a jam-packed weekend of on-snow and off-snow social, educational and recreational activities ranging from ski and snowboard cross racing and halfpipe competitions to over a dozen live concerts, street parties, art exhibits, stage productions and environmental expos.
The Jeep® King of the Mountain was established in 1993, and Jeep serves as the event’s title sponsor. The winter series, now in it’s 15th season, is the sister event to the Mountain Biking World Professional Championships. Other marketing partners for the Jeep King of the Mountain Series include Crocs, Firm Green, Infinity, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Monster, Scott USA, Sprint, Spyder and Sun Valley.
FINAL RESULTS – PAUL MITCHELL SKI HALFPIPE COMPETITION
1. Colby West – Canterbury, N.H. 92.2
2. J.P. Solberg – Waterville Valley, N.H. 90.0
3. Simon Dumont – Bethel, Maine 86.8
4. Peter Olenick – Aspen, Colo. 79.8
FINAL RESULTS – “MONSTER HIT” SKI HALFPIPE COMPETITION
1. Peter Olenick – Aspen, Colo.
2. J.P. Solberg – Waterville Valley, N.H.
3. Simon Dumont – Bethel, Maine
4. Colby West – Canterbury, N.H.
48STRAIGHT SEASON CHAMPION – Colby West