Vermont’s streak of women’s half-pipe gold came to an end last night when Australian Torah Bright defeated defending champion Hannah Teter of Belmont by 2.6 points to win the gold. Teter took the silver medal. The 2002 champion, Kelly Clark of West Dover fell on her first run and hit the deck on an awkward landing on her second but still took bronze.
It was a messy night on the halfpipe, and all of the top contenders fell at least once. But Torah Bright strung five technically superior jumps together on her second attempt and landed them all. Bright won without trying the double-flipping jump she’d been practicing all year. The move hasn’t yet been tried by a woman in competition.
Also yesterday, in the women’s downhill super-combined, Leanne Smith of Conway, New Hampshire finished in 21st place.
And there was more disappointment yesterday on the biathlon course. Tim Burke of Paul Smiths, New York had the best finish, in 45th place, Lowell Bailey came in 57th in the 20k pursuit. And in the women’s 15k, Haley Johnson of Lake Placid finished 66th.
The event to watch today is the women’s cross country 15k pursuit. Caitlin Compton, formerly of Warren, will be competing again, along with Liz Stephen of East Montpelier. Earlier this week Compton posted the best finish for an American in over 20 years in the 10k freestyle.
Bode Miller of Franconia, New Hampshire and Andrew Weibrecht of Lake Placid will take to the slopes in the downhill Super-G. And Nick Alexander of Lebanon, New Hampshire and Peter Frenette of Saranac Lake, will enter the qualifying rounds for the men’s individual ski jumping event. The finals will take place tomorrow.