MINNEAPOLIS - Returning for the second day, the 2018 Summer X Games at US Bank Stadium had four athletes come away with their first career gold medal.
Liam Pace, Giovanni Vianna and Alex Hiam all won an event for the first time, while Chad Kerley took his first gold medal since 2013.
Before any of the Friday, July 20, finals took place, however, there were a three qualifying events.
Women’s skateboard street athletes kicked the day off with Mariah Dunn taking the top spot with her second-run score of 89.66. Alexis Sablone and Julia Brueckler also punched their ticket to Saturday’s final with scores of 81.33 and 79.00, respectively.
In the BMX dirt qualifier, Brian Fox put up a run of 92.66 to take the first place, followed by Mike Varga (87.66) and Pat Casey (87.00). Last year’s gold medalist, Colton Walker of New Richmond, Wis., automatically qualified for Saturday’s finals based on his performance in 2017.
Lastly, men’s skateboarders took to the street with the hopes of qualifying for Sunday’s final. Vincent Milou took first place with his second-run score of 91.66, while Jagger Eaton, Yuto Hoigome, Shane O’Neill and Zion Wright also locked a spot in the final. Alec Majerus of Rochester, Minn., was an automatic bid to the final with his silver-medal performance in 2017.
First-time medalists rule finals
Next X skateboarders (the X Games’ rising stars) took to the park and street courses for the first of Friday’s finals.
Liam Pace, 17, won a gold medal in Next X Skateboard Street with an 87.00, while Giovanni Vianna, 17, put together a first-place run in Next X Skateboard Park with a 90.33.
As the day moved on to two-wheels, Chad Kerley put together a second-run score of 92.33 to unseat two-time defending gold medalist Garrett Reynolds. The riders went back and forth as Reynolds led the pack through the first run with a 91.33 and was putting together a good second run before his foot slipped off a pedal costing him any chance at reclaiming the lead. Reynolds claimed the silver medal, while Devon Smillie rounded out the podium with an 88.66.
In Dave Mirra’s BMX Park Best Trick, only one medal was up for grabs amongst eight riders with each getting four attempts at landing their best trick.
Alex Hiam scored 90.66, good enough for first place, when landing a tailwhip into tailwhip toe jam. Walker, also performing in the event, took fifth place with a score of 85.66.
In the BMX big air final, James Foster won gold for the second-consecutive year after landing a quadruple tailwhip at the end of his run. Morgan Wade finished second with an 87.66 and Vince Byron took home his second medal this year with a third-place score of 85.66.
There was a brief scare as Colton Satterfield landed hard on his first run, requiring the medical team to wheel him out on a stretcher. Satterfield was able to raise his arms to the crowd as he left the stadium.
Moto X riders got their first taste of action with the quarterpipe high air final and Axell Hodges not only came away with his first-ever X Games gold medal, but he broke a record with a height of 34 feet, 3 inches. With a landing that stood 22 feet tall, Hodges was 56 feet, 3 inches from the ground level at the peak of his jump. Winning silver was last year’s gold medalist, Colby Raha, who reached 33 feet, 1 inch. Tyler Bereman took bronze, jumping 29 feet, 9 inches.
Concluding the night was the Moto X freestyle event. No stranger to gold medals, with two to his name in Moto X Quarterpipe, Tom Pages managed to put together his first ever gold-medal run in Moto X Freestyle with a second-run score of 92.33. Jackson Strong took second with a 90.00 and Rob Adelberg took third with 88.66.