Words & photos by Rocky Maloney

After being blessed with a respectable amount of good weather here in Waterville Valley over the course of the last few days, the second day of The North Face Park & Pipe Open saw steady winds ranging from 20 to 50 miles per hour and falling snow (but then again, it wouldn't be a true east coast competition without a little bit of gnarly weather). The women were supposed to kick off the day with their semi-final round, but after a few late drop outs seven ladies were sent straight to finals and would compete immediately after the men's semi-final round.

At 11am the 32 men gunning for one of the 16 spots in finals began dropping into the treacherous slopestyle course. After being pre-qualified from the previous stop LJ Strenio snuck his way into finals in 10th place, earning the exact same score as Scott Nelson with a 86.00. And after winning his heat in qualifiers yesterday Tim McChesney also found his way into the top 16, finishing with a score of 86.75 and the eighth place spot.

LJ Strenio

Scott Nelson

Tim McChesney

Nick Martini made it up to check out the slopestyle competition today for his first time back on skis since his injury.

Chris Laker took his first crack at the competition today after being pre-qualified to semis. Laker was throwing big dub cork 1260's the day before in practice, but had to take it down a notch today due to the nasty weather, and put together a right 720 into a left 720 to get himself qualified for finals.

Chris Laker

Ben Moxham was also pre-qualified, and laid down two smooth runs that included a switch right 900 to forward left 900 that scored in the high 80's, solidifying his spot in finals by taking fifth.

Ben Moxham

Jamieson Irvine kept his run alive in the frigid weather today by linking together a left 900 over the first jump and a switch right 900 over the last, earning him fourth place, while Erik Hughes stayed consistent all day long and scored an 89.75 on both of his runs, which was good enough for third.

Erik Hughes

Brothers Charles and Vincent Gagnier showed up ready to compete today and didn't seem to have any difficulties with the weather, as Vinny made it to finals by finishing in seventh while his big brother Charles took the second place spot with a score of 92.00.

Charles Gagnier

Vinny Gagnier

And laying it all on the line today amidst the nasty weather to take top honors in semis was Dale Talkington, who stomped a switch right 720 into a switch left 1080 high mute and showed the judges just how bad he wanted to be on the podium in finals.

Dale Talkington happy about his semi-final run.

After all 32 men had taken their semi-final runs it was time for the ladies to take to the slopestyle course for their finals. Taking third place was Annalisa Drew, who threw a 360 and 720 over the jumps, helping her snag her second podium in a week after also placing third at last weekend's Aspen/Snowmass Open.

Annalisa Drew

In second place was 13-year-old Julia Krass with a score of 86.00, who stomped a stylish 360 mute and 720 on the jumps, and was one of the only ladies to spin out of the rails today, lacing a smooth 270 out of the flat rail towards the end of the course and earning herself a nice big check to take home and hang on the wall.

Julia Krass

And the top spot on the podium today went to none other than Dara Howell. Howell put together a beautiful run that included a super corked out 720 into a massive 540 over the last jump, and kept things smooth on the rails, helping her obtain a score of 91.75 and an impressive win on her resume.

Dara Howell

After the ladies' competition was all said and done the 16 men in finals had their last opportunity to strut their stuff. Just as finals began, the skies cleared up enough for the sun to shine, but it was still very icy, windy and bitter cold.

Alex Beaulieu and Vinny Gagnier hanging out before finals.

Jamieson Irvine kept himself near the top of the leader board all day, eventually finishing in sixth place with an 82.00, while Ben Moxham seemed to enjoy his fifth place position in semi-finals so much that he finished off in the same spot with a score of 83.75.

Jamieson Irvine

After grabbing the top score overall in yesterday's qualifiers, Alex Beaulieu had himself another good day despite the weather. Kicking things off with a 450 onto the down box into a switch right 720 and capped off with a beautiful switch left 1080 high mute, the Canadian scored himself an 84.50 and fourth place.

Alex Beaulieu

Tim McChesney kept it consistent throughout the day as well, and put down two rock solid runs that included a 270 on 270 out of the top rail feature into a switch right 720 to switch left 1080, followed by a switch 270 on blind switch-up over the flat-gap-down box and finished his run with a front switch-up on the urban setup. After claiming "one of the worst days skiing" (in reference to the weather), McChesney ended up in third place and $1000 richer, just a week after claiming first in the Aspen/Snowmass Open.

Tim McChesney

After taking the top spot in semi-finals Dale Talkington was on the hunt for the podium, and after falling on his first run had only one chance to put it all together. Starting with a switch lip 270 onto the down rail to a switch right 720 into a switch left 1080, Talkington stomped out the rest of the course and earned himself a score of 86.75 and the second place podium spot.

Dale Talkington

But in the end, it was Chris Laker who held the biggest novelty cheque over his head today. Laker was the only competitor to attempt a double cork and was rewarded for his efforts. After kicking things off with a 270 on 270 out of the rail feature into a switch left 900 tail, he then unleashed his forward left dub cork 1080 japan, into a uphill 450 out of the flat rail and a switch tails over to switch out on the urban setup. Laker was very anxious to get himself onto the podium and did so in a well-fashioned manner, scoring a 93.50 and earning himself a $2000 bonus for his victory.

Chris Laker

Stay tuned to Newschoolers for more coverage on The North Face Park & Pipe Open, which continues today with Men's and Women's Superpipe Qualifiers, Semi-Finals and Finals, and big ups go out to all of the competitors who were out there today in the nasty weather!

Annalisa Drew (3rd), Dara Howell (1st), Julia Krass (2nd)

Results

Women

1) Dara Howell - 91.75

2) Julia Krass - 86.00

3) Annalisa Drew - 80.50

4) Maggie Stout - 77.50

5) Jess Breda - 74.00

6) Julia Marino - 71.75

7) Kirsten Cooley - 67.25

Men

Semi-Finals

1) Dale Talkington - 93.50

2) Charles Gagnier - 92.00

3) Erik Hughes - 89.75

4) Jamieson Irvine - 89.50

5) Ben Moxham - 88.00

6) Chris Laker - 87.75

7) Vincent Gagnier - 87.50

8) Tim McChesney - 86.75

9) Scott Nelson - 86.00

9) LJ Strenio - 86.00

11) Clayton Vila - 85.75

11) Frank GP - 85.75

13) Alex Beaulieu - 84.50

14) Kyle Keating - 83.25

15) Evan Schwartz - 78.25

16) Lucas Evans - 78.00

cut-off

17) Brian Kish - 77.00

18) Ben Smith - 75.25

19) Ted Porter - 75.00

20) John Brown - 72.75

21) Tyler Mega - 72.50

22) Brendan Wall - 71.50

23) Chase Mohrman - 70.25

24) Jaeden Schneider-Clark - 66.00

25) Justin Perry - 65.00

26) Brent Whipple - 58.75

27) Sam Parker - 57.00

28) Dan Jones - 55.25

29) James Campbell - 48.25

30) Lyman Currier - 35.25

31) Colin Vaykovich - 28.00

32) Colin Sirois - DNS

Finals

1) Chris Laker 93.50

2) Dale Talkington 85.75

3) Tim McChesney 85.50

4) Alex Beaulieu 84.50

5) Ben Moxham 83.75

6) Jamieson Irvine 82.00

7) Frank GP 80.00

8) Erik Hughes 77.50

9) Scott Nelson 75.25

10) Charles Gagnier 67.50

11) Lucas Evans 57.75

12) Kyle Keating 54.75

13) LJ Strenio 31.25

14) Clayton Vila 30.50

15) Vincent Gagnier 17.75

16) Evan Schwartz DNS

Tim McChesney (3rd), Chris Laker (1st), Dale Talkington (2nd)


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