US Open hits Stratton

Snowboarding’s elite riders took over Stratton Mountain Resort last week for the Burton US Open.The event, the last stop in the Burton Global Open Series, began on March 17 with preliminary qualifiers and concluded with the men’s Halfpipe competition on Sunday.Final events took place over the weeked. On Saturday, with temperatures approaching 40 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, fans labored up the hill to line the edge of the halfpipe.With a go big or go home attitude, the competition was fierce, with amazing runs from riders like Kevin Pierce who was hot on the heels of first place winner Shaun White. White was the big winner of the weekend, taking first in both the halfpipe and slopestyle competitions, adding to his extensive trophy case.On the women’s side, Tora Bright of Australia took first place in the women’s Halpipe finals for the second year in a row. Kelly Clark gave Bright a run for her money and finished a close second.In the SlopeStyle competition, Kjersti Oestgaard Buaas of Norway earned first-place honors, with Jamie Anderson finishing second.While White was able to take home both big-money prizes over the weekend, it was not enough for him to overtake Finland’s Peetu Piiroinen in the overall standings.Bright’s win was enough for her to capture the overall women’s crown.The US Open, the mother of all snowboarding competions, is now in its 26th year of existence, making it the longestrunning snowboard competition in the world.Each winner took home a cool $100,000, making the Open the largest prize payout in snowboarding.