X Games Recap: Nyjah Huston Scores Big in Skateboard Street, Lopez Wins Stadium SUPER Trucks Debut
The fourth and final day of X Games Austin 2014 at the Circuit of the Americas did not disappoint, with tumbling trucks, frontside flips and off-the-charts performances as hot as the Texas sun. In total, 60 medals were awarded in over 20 events throughout the Games, which celebrated its 20th anniversary during the competition.
The rescheduled Moto X Freestyle event was set for Sunday afternoon, but it was soon canceled completely after officials said the winds were still too strong for the bikers to compete. The remaining events of the day provided plenty of action for the thousands of fans, and even gamers got a chance at the podium: Major League Gaming held an invitational tournament for Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Team OpTic Gaming claimed the first-ever X Games gaming gold medal.
Men’s Skateboard Street
The sweltering sun and strong winds added extra pressure to the skaters in the Monster Energy Men’s Skateboard Street final, but Nyjah Huston fought through the elements and closed out X Games Austin 2014 with a historical gold medal win.
“We all had a good chance of winning so I was definitely a little nervous watching everyone as they took their runs from the sideline,” said Huston.
But after Huston notched a 95.00-point run in the second round – the highest score ever posted in an X Games Skateboard Street final – it was the 11 other skaters who were feeling the heat.
Veteran Ryan Sheckler and California native Torey Pudwill both fell in the final round, while Chaz Ortiz scored low in his last run. A big run from Brazilian skater Luan Oliveira bumped him up from sixth to second place to take home the silver with 87.66 points, while rookie Alec Majerus won bronze.
The clouds may have shaded the blazing Texas sun on Sunday morning, but Austin native and crowd favorite Chase Hawk brought the heat to the BMX Park finals.
Hawk was the top-qualifier coming into the six-man final, but had to watch as the other five competitors took their runs first. Five-time BMX Park gold medalist Daniel Dhers took a quick lead in the opening round, but X Games Munich bronze medalist Daniel Sandoval hit a front-flip flare to tie Dhers’ score.
Hawk got off quickly and had an impressive run, giving him the top slot with a score of 89.00. He improved his score to 89.66 in round two, hitting transfers like a 270 from the shallow end to the deep end of the concrete bowls, a 360 over the triple set and foot jam nosepick at the buzzer. Only Drew Bezanson would come close to catching Hawk on the leader board, landing two moves and earning himself a score of 88.00.
Heading into the final round, Hawk knew he had already won first place. After his run, he was “speechless,” clenching his gold medal between his teeth in front of his hometown crowd. Bezanson won his first X Games medal in six appearances with a second place finish, while Sandoval took third.
Stadium SUPER Trucks
The first-ever X Games Stadium SUPER Trucks race made its debut Sunday afternoon, delivering an action-packed competition full of speed, spills and smash-ups. Apdaly Lopez of Tecate, Mexico finished at the top and became the first Mexican male competitor to win an X Games gold medal.
The Stadium SUPER Trucks race features identically made, 600-horse-power trucks that race on regular truck tires, launch off of man-made jumps and hit speeds up to 150 mph. Robbie Gordon, founder of the series and former NASCAR competitor, won the second heat and was the fastest qualifier, but found himself trailing in the final race after he went up on two wheels and nearly flipped his truck. While Gordon saved himself from a spill, Bobby Runyan Jr. landed on his roof in the biggest crash of the day. In lap 4, Runyan went off the side of a banked jump on only two wheels and sent his truck flying into the air, causing a red flag on the course.
With Runyan out, it was 19-year-old Lopez who took an early lead and held onto it through the hard-hitting laps. While some trucks took a serious beating, Lopez’s red, white and green truck finished almost untouched. California native and 16-year-old Sheldon Creed earned a silver medal, while Gordon finished in third.
Women’s Skateboard Street
California native Lacey Baker earned her first X Games gold medal, beating out two Brazilian skaters with her crafty tricks.
Sporting a bleach blonde ‘do, Baker nailed her winning run with tricks like 360 flips, a frontside flip and a technical nose manual onto the down ledge of the hubba. With a score of 90.66, Baker watched as two-time Women’s Skateboard Street winner, Leticia Bufoni, and 14-year-old Pamela Rosa took their final runs to try and beat her score. “I was just stoked to see everyone going for it,” she said. “Everyone rips so hard!” Following the final runs, Baker jumped around the park celebrating her win. Rosa placed second with a score of 87.33 and Bufoni took third finishing with 86.33 points.