Steamboat Springs' Ladley qualifies 5th at X Games

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Matt Ladley

— Steamboat Springs snowboarder Matt Ladley qualified for the finals of the X Games super-pipe on Thursday, throwing down a slick opening run in the elimination event in Aspen.

Ladley, who had the burden of being the first rider in the pipe Thursday, put up an 80 in his first run to qualify fifth.

Ladley landed a baskside 540, frontside 1260, backside 900, frontside double cork 1080, cab 720 and frontside 1080.

Ladley fell in his second run on his third trick, the backside 900.

Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov qualified first, Shaun White was second, Scotty Lago was third, and Markus Malin was fourth.

Ladley, who finished fifth last year, will join the eight-person finals field at 7 p.m. Sunday. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club rider Benji Farrow struggled in his first American X Games, finishing 16th.

Farrow previously had competed X Games Tignes (the European X Games).

Fellow Steamboat Springs snowboarders Maddy Schaffrick and Arielle Gold take to the women’s snowboard super-pipe at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Schaffrick had an invitation, and Gold was the first alternate.

Gold found out early Thursday morning she would be competing coming off a World Championship run in Canada last weekend

“It’s amazing,” Gold said. “I never though that this was going to happen for me when I was younger and watching it on television. I’m still a little bit in shock about all of it.”

Gold came to Aspen after winning the World Championship in Canada last weekend. It was her best result to date.

Two Steamboat Springs snowboarders make up the eight-women, three-run finals event Saturday.

Gold said with three runs, she’ll continue to get more progressive with each.

“To be honest, it’s a little overwhelming,” the 16-year-old said. “I’m going to try and have fun with it. I love riding with this group of riders.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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