Stratton Mountain Survives Philips US Open Snowboarding Championships Travis Rice, Ross Powers, Gretchen Bleiler, Hana Beaman, Shaun White

And Hannah Teter all Reach the Podium



    STRATTON, Vt., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philips US Open Snowboarding
 Championships ended today, bringing to a close one of the most exciting and
 successful events in the Open's 21-year history.  Tens of thousands of
 spectators flooded Stratton Mountain, enjoying the Open's Rail Jam, Superpipe,
 Slopestyle and Junior Halfpipe events.  Outdoor Life Network broadcasted most
 of the events live for the first time in Open history.
     Today's Slopestyle event attracted quite a crowd with top riders like
 Shaun White, Hana Beaman, Kelly Clark, Travis Rice and Rahm Klampert competing
 in the event.  With the warmest temperatures Vermont has seen in months, the
 course was soft.  Hana Beaman, who placed fourth in last year's Open
 Slopestyle contest, dominated the women's field and won the event.  She took
 home $15,000 in prize money and a Philips DVD recorder.  Priscilla Levac came
 in second.  And Hannah Teter landed in third place, winning her second US Open
 podium spot after her third place finish in Saturday's Halfpipe Finals.  After
 the Slopestyle event, Hannah was named the overall winner of the 2003 Philips
 US Open, which landed her a Jeep(R) Wrangler X.
     In the Men's Slopestyle, no one could touch Shaun White.  He took the lead
 after his first run and never lost it. Shaun's smooth style was in full effect
 and he was nailing everything, including frontside 7s, backside 9s and Cab 9s.
 With this victory, Shaun has now won all four major Slopestyle contests this
 season including the X Games, Vail Sessions, Vans Triple Crown and now the US
 Open Slopestyle event. After winning the Open Slopestyle and placing second in
 the Rail Jam, Shaun will add another $20,000 and a Philips DVD recorder to his
 season's winnings.  Nate Sheehan placed second and his Cab 1080 earned him
 $2,500 Clif Bar's SupaStyle award.  Travis Rice took third in the event,
 adding to the Rail Jam title he won on Friday night.
     While the big guns competed in the Slopestyle Finals, snowboarding's
 future stars showcased their skills in the Junior Halfpipe event.  Every year,
 the event attracts young riders from the world over to compete for the US Open
 Junior Halfpipe title.  This year's Junior Halfpipe Champions are Stephanie
 Bedard and Sam Luebke.
     The Open kicked off on Friday night with the event's first Rail Jam.
 Travis Rice made US Open history, winning the first Rail Jam ever held at the
 Open as well as $10,000 and a Philips Wall of Sound audio system.  The course
 replicated an ideal urban handrail spot and was almost entirely designed by
 professional snowboarder Jeff Anderson who recently passed away in a tragic
 accident. Jeff's brother Billy gave a tribute speech at the event.  Shaun
 White placed second, adding another $5,000 to his ever-growing pool of
 winnings.  And Zach Leach placed third. Up-and-comer Nik Batko went home with
 $5,000 after winning the Best Trick award from SoBe.  He definitely earned it
 with a gap to backside 270 on the upper rail, a Cab 270 and later, a backside
 450 on the upper rail, taking out a movie camera attached to the handrail.
 Nick's camera-smashing run earned one of the loudest responses from the crowd
 all night.
     After a frigid evening at the Rail Jam event, the weather turned milder
 for the Superpipe, the Open's pinnacle event.  The event began with a moment
 of silence in honor of three loved snowboarders who passed away this season --
 Tristan Picot, Craig Kelly and Jeff Anderson.  After the tribute, the event
 got off to an incredible start.  This year's US Open Halfpipe competition was
 the first contest to rival the level of riding seen at the 2002 Olympic Games.
 And like the Olympics, Ross Powers dominated the men's finals on his home turf
 with his signature smooth straight airs and tight trick combinations.
 Fourteen-year-old Kazuhiro Kokubo made Open history, becoming the first
 Japanese rider and the youngest competitor to ever make it to the Halfpipe
 podium.  Kazuhiro threw some of the highest airs ever seen at the Open, ending
 his last run with a Method after an enormous frontside 9, which could easily
 be as big as the one Ross did at the Olympics.  After a strong showing in the
 semifinals and finals, Daniel Franck got third place at the Halfpipe finals.
     The women also put on a strong show.  It all came down to Hannah Teter,
 Gretchen Bleiler and Natasza Zurek.  In the final round of three, Gretchen and
 Natasza had very similar runs but Gretchen was a little smoother and took
 first and the $2,500 Best Trick from Right Guard Extreme Sports with her
 Crippler 7.  Two-time US Open Champion Natasza Zurek took second and Hannah
 Teter landed in third, stepping on the US Open Halfpipe podium for the first
 time.
     To top things off, the Misfits played on the Philips Digital Widescreen
 Concert stage after the Halfpipe award ceremony. From an extremely tight
 finals competition, to crazy crowd antics to the music of DJ Z-Trip and the
 Misfits, this year's Open Halfpipe contest was definitely a landmark event.
 Impressive riding kept the thousands of spectators entertained all day. Even
 during the live TV coverage commercial breaks, riders poached the halfpipe and
 kept the crowd amped for the event to resume.
     Outdoor Life Network is providing video feed of the US Open. The footage
 can be located from 6:00 - 6:15 PM ET on Sunday March 16th at the following
 satellite coordinates:
 
      Satellite:               Galaxy 3C
      Transponder:             C3
      Feed Time:               1800 EDT - 1815 EDT (6 PM ET - 6:15 PM ET)
      Feed Date:               3/16/03
      Orbital Slot:            95 Degrees West
      Downlink:                Frequency: 3760 MHz
      L-Band:                  Frequency: 1390
      Polarity:                Horizontal Down
      Audio Subcarriers:       6.2/6.8
 
     This feed will contain 60 seconds of the highlights from the Finals. The
 clip will loop for the duration of the window.
     Check out the final results for all Open events below:
 
     FRIDAY NIGHT RAIL JAM
     1. Travis Rice
     2. Shaun White
     3. Zach Leach
 
     MEN'S HALFPIPE FINALS                WOMEN'S HALFPIPE FINALS
     1. Ross Powers                       1. Gretchen Bleiler
     2. Kazuhiro Kokubo                   2. Natasza Zurek
     3. Daniel Franck                     3. Hannah Teter
     4. Andy Finch                        4. Tricia Byrnes
     5. Steve Fisher                      5. Stine Kjelldaas
     6. Shaun White                       6. Kelly Clark
 
     MEN'S SLOPESTYLE FINALS             WOMEN'S SLOPESTYLE FINALS
     1. Shaun White                      1. Hana Beaman
     2. Nate Sheehan                     2. Priscilla Levac
     3. Travis Rice                      3. Hannah Teter
     4. Danny Kass                       4. Kelly Clark
     5. JP Solberg                       5. Emily Thomas
 
     BOYS' HALFPIPE FINALS               GIRLS' HALFPIPE FINALS
     1. Sam Luebke                       1. Stephanie Bedard
     2. Ross Baker                       2. Brooke Shaw
     3. Mikkl Bang                       3. Elizabeth Beerman
     4. Olivier Gittler                  4. Millie Chapman
     5. Jed Anderson                     5. Maggie Newman
 
 
     For more information on the US Open, including contest results, photos and
 video clips visit www.opensnowboarding.com
 
     The Philips US Open Snowboarding Championships is the pinnacle
 snowboarding event of the season.  Founded by Jake Burton, the US Open has
 grown from a grassroots event to a global spectacle attracting tens of
 thousands of spectators and riders from the world over.  Thanks to 2003
 sponsors Philips, Burton Snowboards, Stratton Mountain, Right Guard Xtreme
 Sport, Jeep, SoBe Beverages, FHM, GORE-TEX and Clif Bar the event will be
 stronger than ever.  The US Open is proud to be one of the first and only
 contests that rewards equal prize money to both men and women riders.  Since
 the beginning, the Open has been driven by riders, for riders evolving with
 snowboarding and riders' needs over the years.  With events held in Europe,
 Japan and the United States, the Open sets the standard for snowboarding
 events around the globe.
 
 

SOURCE Burton Snowboards

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