By Todd Kortemeier | July 22, 2018, 3:41 p.m. (ET)
Brighton Zeuner shows off her gold medal at X Games Minneapolis on July 22, 2018 in Minneapolis. 

 

MINNEAPOLIS – An X Games gold medal made a nice birthday present for Brighton Zeuner last year as she won the women’s skateboard park title the day after her 13th birthday. Another gold was a belated gift this year, but no less sweet as the 14-year-old successfully defended her title at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Zeuner was the skater to beat throughout the final as she posted an 87.66 in her first run, which would have been good enough to win it all. But Zeuner went out on her second run and put down a 90.33, the only run in the 90s of the day. It was an improvement on her 2017 performance in which she won with an 88.66. 

Zeuner, a native of Encinitas, California, now has two X Games gold medals in three appearances since her debut in 2016. But she wasn’t feeling any pressure to repeat.

“I was just worrying about skating,” Zeuner said after clinching gold. “I was just having fun out there, I definitely felt like all the girls were killing it.”

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Most riders seemed tentative with their first runs, with only Zeuner and X Games rookie Sabre Norris of Australia posting runs in the 80s. Norris finished with the silver, and Japan’s Sakura Yosozumi finished with bronze. 

Local favorite Nicole Hause finished fifth. Hause, from nearby Stillwater, Minnesota, struggled on her first two runs but put together a very strong third run of 79.33. Cheers for her were consistently the loudest as several rows of fans holding signs were sitting right in front of the park.

Other Team USA finishers were Lizzie Armanto in seventh and Jordyn Barrett in eighth.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.