By Elle Forchielli for Dave Crichton threw down yesterday at the US Freeskiing Open, proving that he is the man when it comes to the superpipe. Pulling off the sickest run of the day and debatedly in the Open’s history, Crichton killed it with a score of 89.00. Second place went to Tanner Hall for a very smooth run, while Simon Dumont took the bronze with his usual big airs. Local favorite Peter Olenick walked away with fourth, and Jon Olsson heads back to Sweden with a fifth place finish. The weather that had been baring its teeth at recent freeskiing competitions finally lifted on Sunday, blessing course workers with clear skies as they converted the previous day’s powder ditch into a polished pipe for the start of the semifinals. Although the colder temperatures kept the walls pretty icy, the snow softened up enough in time for the finals. Despite its location farther up the mountain than the skiercross and slopestyle courses, the superpipe was still able to attract a solid group of spectators. The Open may not have the presence in the skiing world that it deserves yet, but a crowd definitely showed up to see some of the newest breakthrough talents pit themselves against the biggest names in freeskiing. An enormous inflatable Red Bull arch marked the start at the top of the halfpipe. Athletes slowly amassed there, watching the end of the women’s qualifiers and preparing for their first runs. Uncle E began badgering them almost immediately, wearing what one can only describe as an orange troll-hair hat. With the first heat underway, it became clear which athletes would be progressing to the final round. Team France made its presence known not only in numbers, but with solid runs on behalf of its members. Laurent Favre started out well, but was unable to stomp his landings further down the pipe. Non-Frenchman (but still francophone) Charles Gagnier pulled off back-to-back corked 9s, but didn’t make the cut either. Other near-notables include Sean Pettit, a four foot 11-year old, who got as much air out of the pipe as some of the full-size competitors. And now-established newcomers TJ Schiller and Dan Marion made it to the finals as well, but they were unable to display the level of technical difficulty and style that the judges were looking for. The brothers Olenick proved once again that it runs in the family, both making the finals, and Pete barely missing another medal. NS Clothing’s Doug Bishop was there, saying “My only goal for today is just to have a really fun day skiing halfpipe, because I find if I think about it too much I generally just get stressed out and hate skiing, and that’s not a good way to do it.� Another NS Clothing team member, Oakley White-Allen, the self-proclaimed, but not in a cocky way, but rather, a I’m the nicest person in the world way, “Superpipe God,� was out from the competition due to a broken collar bone. Bishop said that Oakley had been ripping up the pipe during practice, and that he would’ve owned the comp had he been able to compete. In the finals, the top finishers threw technical tricks with big airs, affirming their statuses as some of the best newschool skiers. Props go out to Pete Olenick for a sick run, as well as Jon Olsson for his usual class and fluidity, although both failed to impress the judges this time. Simon Dumont threw arguably the biggest airs of the day in what’s now known as his signature style. Tanner Hall stepped it up as well, stomping several burly tricks including a flatspin 540 sandwiched between a corked 9 and 7. But even with all the dispute surrounding competition judging recently, it’s difficult to argue that Dave Crichton didn’t deserve first place and the $7,000 check. Really, the only valid argument is that he should have gotten more. Despite the abundance of big amplitude and incredible style in the finals, Crichton’s run blew the other competitors away with a huge cork 9 from the start, followed by an alley-oop flatspin 5 critical. It was truly the halfpipe run to end all halfpipe runs. Pictures and video are on the way!