Buyten wins X Games gold |

Buyten wins X Games gold

Staff Reports

First-time X Games competitor Matt Buyten of Carson City cleared a 32-foot high mark to secure a gold medal at the X Games IX Step Up Motocross competition on Friday in Los Angeles.

The mark edged out three-time X Games Step Up champion Tommy Clowers, who finished at 31 1/2 feet. Ronnie Renner took bronze by clearing the 31-foot mark.

The 31-foot high point set the bar for most riders, knocking six of the competitors out of the running for first place.

Traction was an issue for riders as loose dirt collected on the well-worn approach. And for the first time at an X Games competition a start gate was established to keep riders at a fixed distance when approaching the Step Up booter.

The Step Up finals competition can be seen at 3 p.m. today on ABC. Buyten and Fernley’s Drake McElroy will also compete in the freestyle motocross competition today. The freestyle finals will be shown between 7 and 9 p.m. Sunday on ABC.