Friday, January 28, 2005
Updated: January 30, 5:43 PM ET
Quick Hits: W Snowboard Slopestyle Prelims
By Alyssa Roenigk
At the start of competition, the story of Slopestyle was an old one: Janna vs. Tara (last year's one-two punch). By close of the event, the storyline had changed dramatically. This year, neither headliner made headlines.
In her first run, Tara Dakides flubbed a backflip and finished round one far out of the top 10 (Only 10 riders move into finals). In her second and final run, she threw a backside 3 over the first booter, clipped the cameraman standing on the deck and spun out on a landing reminiscent of her 2004 Late Show appearance.
Tara sat down on the transition, pointed up to the camera man, unstrapped and waited for a sled to run her up to the start. She was awarded a re-run, which unfortunately started off just as rough.
Attempting a nose press on the first obstacle, a flat-down box, she hung up on her nose and flew to her back on the landing. Obviously defeated and unhappy with her circumstances, she laid on the snow for a few minutes until Swiss rider Anne-Flore Marxer rode down to talk to her and coax her back to the top.
Tara took a third run, but was clearly affected by the earlier eventsand the two broked ankles she's been nursing since August. She looked timid and un-Tara-like, barely landing her signature backflip, missing grabs on a couple straight airs and decking out on the final jump. She sat down at the bottom of the course and didn't even look up when her score of 62.66 (14th place) flashed across the screen.
Although the five-time Winter X gold medalist won't make finals for the first time since she began competing at X in 1998, she had one final chance to medal, as she was invited to compete in SuperPipe for the first time since 2001, when she finished 19th. After Slopestyle, she decided to pull out of Pipe, rest her body and wait till next year.
Janna Meyen finished in eighth place and will advance to Saturday afternoon's finals.
Chanelle Sladics, 20, of Newport Beach, CA, (12th place) was competing in her first X Games.
Anne-Flore Marxer celebrated her 21st birthday earlier in the week. Also a first-time WXer, Anne competed with a cast on her right arm. Not enough carnage? Anne landed hard in her first run and bit through her tongue, but came back for a second attempt. She finished prelims in 16th place (out of 16 riders).
The best trick of prelims: German rider Silvia Mittermueller's frontside 7 with a frontside grab over the last-chance booter. She finished prelims in third place.
27-year-old Izumi Amaike of Yokohama Kanagawa, Japan, made her X Games debut with a first-place finish in prelims. If she can hold on to that spot, Izumi will be the first Japanese rider to medal in any Snowboard event (men's or women's) at Winter X.
The steez report: Black, pink and green are out this year. Their replacement: plaid, digi-cammo and argyle prints, and a whole lotta fur-lined hoods.
Hana Beaman scored a 66.66 on her first run, evoking an eerie "Ooooo" from the crowd and a scary reaction from Beaman. The score held her in 10th place until Mary Sallah's second-run 67 knocked her out of finals.