X Games rookie Raven Tershy won the Skateboard Park finals on opening night of X Games 17, beating out 2010 champ Pedro Barros and newcomer Ben Hatchell for the top spot in a tight fight for the podium.
Tershy qualified for Thursday night's finals in fourth place behind Hatchell, Kevin Kowalski and Barros in the elimination round. He then led the first round of the finals with 79 points, putting him ahead of a three-way tie between Hatchell (Thursday's Skateboard Park Elimination winner), defending champ Pedro Barros and X Games 16 bronze medalist Kowalski, each with 76 points. Omar Hassan also edged his way into the five-man final, bumping Andy Macdonald out of the bubble spot in the final seconds of the first round.
"I had no idea I'd already won," said Tershy, who took a hard fall in a last-minute trick attempt at the buzzer that marked the end of finals. "Everybody was ripping."
Tershy is on a tear after winning the 2011 Copenhagen Pro Bowl Jam in June, and was skating fast and furiously here at X Games 17 with some of the night's fastest lines, including a huge transfer up the step-up gap on the course.
"I'm stoked. I wasn't expecting this," Tershy said. "It was a great time."
Barros was throwing down 540s in every run -- stalefish 540s, melon 540s, indy nosebone 540s -- and powering his way across every inch of the park course, but fell just short of defending his X Games 16 gold. Tershy beat him by just one point, 82-81 in the final score tally.
Hatchell -- an accomplished all-around skater on the amateur circuit with recent podium finishes in vert, street, park and pool contests -- first popped up at X Games in 2007, winning vert am gold. He finished 16th in Skateboard Park at X Games 16, and last week he took second place at the first stop of the 2011 Dew Tour in Ocean City, Md. Thursday's park finals was his first podium finish at X Games.
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