Huston, Hawk shine on XG Austin's final day
AUSTIN, Texas -- Over 160,000 people helped welcome X Games to Texas this week, a four-day event that wrapped up Sunday at Austin's Circuit of the Americas.
As X Games celebrated its 20th anniversary, Sunday marked the crowning of local boy Chase Hawk, the X Games debut of Stadium SUPER Trucks racing, a new Women's Skateboard Street leader and the first Major League Gaming event in the X Games. All told, 60 medals were awarded in 20 events over the course of the week. Everything, as they say, really is bigger in Texas.
Nyjah Huston closed out X Games Austin 2014 with a bang on Sunday, winning the Monster Energy Men's Skateboard Street final with the highest score ever posted in an X Games Skateboard Street final. Huston's sixth career Skateboard Street win now makes him the street skater with the most X Games gold medals.
Tricks in his best run included a switch 50-50 down the eight-stair handrail, a noseblunt slide on the Jersey barrier and a Cab 270 backside lipslide down the handrail.
"I felt super on-point as soon as I started skating in semifinals -- I was like, 'I feel really good today' -- but the wind makes you question how your tricks are going to go," he said. "It messes up the whole feel of the pop when you pop your board and it makes everything so much more sketchy ... somehow I pulled it off. Street skating requires so much precision."
Brazilian skater Luan Oliveira took silver for his fourth career X Games medal. X Games rookie Alec Majerus won bronze.
Skateboard Street - Men Final
Skateboard Street at X Games Austin 2014
The only person who could beat Nyjah's Huston's first-run score was Huston himself. His second-run score was the highest ever recorded in Men's Skateboard Street. His third-run victory lap ended early, but not before he threw in a nollie backside overcook on the midcourse rail for good measure. This is Huston's fifth Skateboard Street gold medal. He holds three more medals, two silver and one bronze, as well as a gold from Real Street 2012.
Women's Skateboard Street
Big tricks and fluid style propelled Lacey Baker to her first X Games gold on Sunday in Women's Skateboard Street.
"It means the world," said Baker, who hails from California. "I love everyone here and we're all supportive of each other."
Baker's winning run included tricks like a frontside flip, 360 flip and a technical nose manual onto the down ledge of the hubba. Baker previously won bronze in her X Games debut in 2006, when she was just 16, and collected two silver medals in 2013 at X Games Foz do Iguaçu and X Games Los Angeles.
"I just try to do my best and see what happens," she said.
Pamela Rosa, just 14, earned her first X Games medal with silver, and fellow Brazilian Leticia Bufoni, a two-time Women's Skateboard Street gold medalist, took bronze.
Skateboard Street - Women Final
|1||Lacey Baker||90.66 R|
|2||Pamela Rosa||87.33 R|
|3||Leticia Bufoni||86.33 R|
|8||Marisa Dal Santo||75.33|
After watching Austin
"I'm speechless right now," he said, before turning to address his home crowd. "This is unbelievable. All of you are amazing. This couldn't mean more to me. This is the city I grew up in, so this just means that much more."
Hawk, an X Games competitor since 2006, put on a show for his many friends and family members in the audience. He was the top qualifier coming into the final, ahead of a stacked field that included X Games Barcelona 2013 gold medalist Gary Young, X Games Munich bronze medalist Daniel Sandoval, two-time BMX Park gold medalist Ryan Nyquist and five-time BMX Park gold medalist Daniel Dhers, with Drew Bezanson rounding out the six-man final.
Hawk took the lead early in the finals, scoring 89.00 in his first of three runs and improving to 89.66 in his second, the two highest scores of the day.
His winning run featured huge transfers like a 270 from the shallow end to the deep end of the concrete bowls, a fastplant on the Texas longhorn feature, a 360 over the triple set and a foot jam nosepick at the buzzer. Hawk rode the course faster and smoother than any other competitor in the finals, favoring style and flow over technical trick combinations.
Bezanson won silver -- his first X Games medal in six appearances -- and Sandoval took the bronze.
BMX Park Final
Stadium SUPER Trucks
Apdaly Lopez helped usher in a new era on Sunday, winning gold in the X Games debut of Stadium SUPER Trucks racing. It was a big day for the 19-year-old driver from Tecate, Mexico -- the first Mexican male to win an X Games gold -- who also won in Heat 1 before advancing to the 16-man final.
Lopez took an early lead and mostly held onto it, staying out in front through 24 rough-and-tumble laps. In a race where nearly every other truck came out smashed up, Lopez finished with barely a scratch.
Sheldon Creed, just 16 years old and the current leader of the Off-Road Championship Series Pro Lites class -- won silver. Stadium SUPER Trucks series founder and 2013 series champion Robby Gordon took bronze.
Gordon won Heat 2 and was the fastest qualifier in Round 1 on Sunday. In the finals he went up on two wheels and nearly lost it at one point but managed to reign his truck back in.
In the most dramatic spill of the day, Bobby Runyan Jr. landed on his roof after barrel rolling off the side of a banked jump on the course, causing a red flag on the course that briefly stopped the action in Lap 4 and took Runyan out of the race, unable to restart his vehicle.
Lopez also won the Stadium SUPER Trucks race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May and now leads the 2014 Stadium SUPER Trucks point standings, ahead of Gordon.
Stadium Super Trucks Final
|1||Apdaly Lopez||27:29.567 R|
|16||Bobby Runyan Jr.||16:39.999|