Americans dominate women's field

STRATTON, Vt. -- Shaun White is "exhausted" and didn't compete at the U.S. Open snowboarding championships.

The Vancouver Olympic gold medalist was scheduled to compete in the men's halfpipe Saturday.

U.S. Open officials issued a one-sentence statement after the first run of the men's semifinals: "Unfortunately Shaun White is exhausted and not feeling well enough to compete in today's U.S. Open halfpipe event."

Meanwhile, Kazuhiro Kokubo of Japan and American Kelly Clark won their halfpipe events.

Kokubo scored 97.17 points after pulling off moves that included a McTwist chicken wing, a rotation done while bending back and holding the board, while American Louie Vito, who did three double corks in two of his three runs, finished second with 96.16.

Iouri Podladtchikov a Swiss rider nicknamed "iPod," earned a 96.00 despite landing White's signature move, the double McTwist 1260, as one of three double corks in his second run.

"I was surprised, of course, I was for sure very surprised," Podladtchikov said. "I'm not one to bad mouth judges ever. But when I was done I thought I had the best run I ever had and it wasn't enough? What did they want?

"But in the end, I heard everyone screaming madly and I could feel them feel it was my best run. And I can't even complain."

In the women's competition, Americans took the top three spots, with Kelly Clark winning the day with 94.17 points. Kaitlynn Farrington (90.33) was second and Ellery Hollingsworth (86.33) third. American Hannah Teter placed fourth (82.50).

Though difficult, the McTwist likely scored lower than Vito's three corks in a row because of the precise timing needed to land each of the corks, said Matt Johnson, a spokesman for The Swatch Ticket to Ride, which crowns the World Championship snowboarding winners.

Vito said his set of corks likely earned more points because it's rare to see three in succession.

Podladtchikov went on to say while he hasn't spoken with White about doing the double McTwist, the two practiced together this week.

"I think he's stoked I'm doing it," Podladtchikov said. "I think we both respect each other so much, because we are the only ones that know what it takes to do that trick."

Podladtchikov said he was having trouble with the trick during practice and that doing it at all was a risk since the week's warm weather made the halfpipe soft.

But by the time his run came, he said he was confident and knew he was going to pull it off.

White, who was supposed to compete on Saturday, complained of exhaustion and withdrew.

American Scotty Lago pulled out a sixth place with 90.17 points and Peter Piiroinen of Finland, who took the World Championship, placed 12th with 68.33.

Many of the riders at the competition also paid tribute to Kevin Pearce, of Norwich, who's still recuperating from a head injury suffered in a training accident Dec. 31 in Park City, Utah.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.