Torin takes bronze
The Aspen Times
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado – The past year has produced big changes for David Wise.
Since last January’s Winter X Games, the Reno, Nev., product married girlfriend Lexi and became a father; daughter Nayeli was born Oct. 5.
“Life has definitely accelerated for me lately,” he admitted, “but I’ve been in a really good place.”
Saturday, that place was on top of the podium at Buttermilk.
The 21-year-old produced a near wire-to-wire victory in one of the games’ marquee events. The top qualifier Friday night, Wise seized the lead Saturday with a technical second run that judges rewarded with a score of 93. The effort was good enough to secure gold and end France’s three-year reign; two-time defending champion Kevin Rolland (89.33) wound up fourth.
“It’s been a Frenchy sweep for a while now, so to just come out and ski well and have an all-North American podium is sweet,” Wise said.
Canadian teenager Noah Bowman, an alternate making his Winter X debut, nabbed silver with a 90, while some third-round heroics landed Basalt pipe phenom Torin Yater-Wallace, last year’s surprise runner-up, on the podium once more with an 89.66.
Wise’s second run was delayed for a few minutes when fellow competitor Justin Dorey drilled the coping, double ejected and fell to the flat. The 23-year-old from Vernon, British Columbia, lay motionless for a few moments as medical personnel rushed up the pipe but ultimately was able to walk off under his own power. He did not return for a third run, however.
“Dorey fell on the trick I was most scared of in my run, so it was kind of nerve-wracking for him to fall right before me and really blast himself,” said Wise, who finished seventh here last year. “You have to take a moment, refocus and tell yourself, just another run. All the outside influences don’t matter.”
Wise responded with the run of the competition. He kicked things off with a switch double-corked 1080, back-to-back 900s and an alley-oop flatspin 540 before finishing with a near-flawless double-corked 1260.
The effort momentarily dropped Bowman into third place, but the 19-year-old made the most of his final run, which included three 900s – among them a switch alley-oop double-corked 900 he learned just days before the competition – and two 720s.
Not bad for a competitor who did not learn he was in the field until two hours before Friday night’s qualifier.
“Sadly, a couple guys got hurt, but it’s nice to be in and just making the finals, I’m glad I did that,” Bowman said. “I was kind of looking at this week as a good practice week and having fun. There was no pressure.”
The same could not be said for Yater-Wallace, who morphed from relative unknown last year to presumptive contender this time around.
“I definitely felt like I was kind of expected to do well,” the 16-year-old said. “I tried to put the pressure aside, but it’s hard when you’re standing at the top about to drop, looking down a massive, big snow ditch. It’s scary.”
That feeling increased dramatically after Yater-Wallace found himself sitting in sixth position following two lackluster runs. He made Run 3 count, landing a double-corked 1260, a left-side 900, a double-corked flare, an alley-oop flatspin 360 and a switch 720 – the same run that helped him top the field at last week’s Dew Tour stop at Killington, Vt.
“I was just happy I put it down. Quite frankly, I didn’t care what score I got,” Yater-Wallace said. “When I woke up this morning, this was exactly what I was hoping for, anywhere on the podium. It ended up happening, so I’m stoked.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
SILT — Water managers are dealing with the after effects of the Grizzly Creek Fire and subsequent mudslides in Glenwood Canyon by continuing a water quality monitoring program.