White defends U.S. Open title

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VAIL, Colo. (AP) — Shaun White cruised through the sun-splashed halfpipe at a leisurely pace, sending sprays of snow at the cheering crowd lining the sides.

His work finished for the day, White was simply having fun with his final pass through the pipe, an all too customary victory lap. Once at the bottom, he tossed his goggles to a fan and then waved farewell to the audience.

With that, White called it a season, going out in style by defending his title at the U.S. open snowboarding championships on Saturday. He went big in his opening run, holding little back, and only got better on his second pass when he turned in the high score of 95.58 points. Japanese teenager Ayumu Hirano finished second and Louie Vito of Sandy, Utah, took third.

Later in the day, Kelly Clark captured her sixth U.S. Open halfpipe title, the most in the history of the competition. Clark’s electric opening run earned a score of 84.45 points as she edged Hannah Teter by 2.32. Arielle Gold, an up-and-coming 16-year-old from Steamboat Springs, Colo., finished third.

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