Vail, Colo. (February 28, 2017) — The celebrated Junior Jam went off at the 35th Annual Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships on the biggest stage in snowboarding. The field featured 25 of the top boys and girls halfpipe riders ages 14 and under competing in Vail Mountain's 22-foot superpipe in a best run format. Stoke levels were at an all time high as the 2017 Junior Jam marked an unprecedented exposure opportunity for these groms with the entire contest webcast live around the world. First place went to two extremely consistent riders—12-year-old girls winner Mitsuki Ono (JPN) and 14-year-old boys division winner Joonsik Lee (KOR). These two top riders dominated the competition from the start with both posting the only scores in the 90s. With this win, Lee and Ono earned the opportunity to compete against the pros in Thursday's halfpipe semi-finals competition.
Twelve-year old Mitsuki Ono (JPN) took the win in the girls division. Ono dominated her division, holding the top spot through all three runs and winning with a 93.49, the highest posted score of the day. Ono linked up back-to-back 540s and a Cab 7 showing off huge amplitude and consistency. Ono hopes to one day compete for her country in the Winter Olympics and looks up to 2016 Burton U.S. Open Champion Chloe Kim, who she'll now be competing against in semi-finals. 2016 U.S. Open Junior Jam winner Tessa Maud (USA) took second place, followed by Berenice Wicki (SUI) in third.
Joonsik Lee (KOR) has been dominating local contests around his home resort of Breckenridge, Colorado this winter. Today, he added a crowning victory with a top score of 92.49 to win the boys division and a spot in Thursday's halfpipe semi-finals competition. Lee's winning run stood out with amplitude, great execution and a variety of tricks including a frontside 900, backside 540, frontside 720, a Haakon Flip and a Crippler. Eleven-year-old Valentino Guseli (AUS) bumped up his 2016 Junior Jam fifth place finish to take second this year. A visibly excited Guseli said of his finish, "I'm beyond hyped, I'm so stoked!" Kohlman Lecroy (USA) out of Big Bear, Calif. took third place for the boys.
Additionally, the winners of the Clif Bar 'Raise the Bar' award, rewarding two athletes for the best trick of the day's competition, went to Mitsuki Ono for her Cab 720 and Joonsik Lee for his 900 melon grab.
Girl's Halfpipe Junior Jam Results
- Mitsuki Ono (JPN), MIZONOKUCHI-R246, 93.49
- Tessa Maud (USA), OAKLEY, 88.87
- Berenice Wicki (SUI), BURTON, 77.50
Boy's Halfpipe Junior Jam Results
- Joonsik Lee (KOR), BURTON KOREA, 92.49
- Valentino Guseli (AUS), VOLCOM, 88.62
- Kohlman Lecroy (USA), RIDE SNOWBOARDS, 82.74
- Dusty Henricksen (USA), 82.37
- Lachlan Blackmore (NZL), BILLABONG, 80.12
- Joey Okesson (USA), LIB TECHNOLOGIES, 70.99
Competition continues tomorrow March 1, 2017 with the men's and women's slopestyle semi-finals on Vail'sGolden Peak slopestyle course with Sochi 2014 Olympic Slopestyle Medalists Mark McMorris (CAN), Stale Sandbech (NOR) and Jamie Anderson (USA) among others competing to earn a spot in Friday's slopestyle finals.