David Wise goes big, leading qualifying rounds of the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix at Copper Mountain. (Getty Images)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Dec. 7) - U.S. Freeskiing Halfpipe Pro Team members David Wise (Reno, NV) and Torin Yater-Wallace (Basalt, CO) qualified one-two for the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix halfpipe finals as the 2011-12 North American competition calendar officially began in the 22-foot halfpipe of Copper Mountain on Wednesday. The Grand Prix is the first major international event since halfpipe skiing was added to the 2014 Olympics.
U.S. Freeskiing Halfpipe Pro Team members David Wise and Torin Yater-Wallace will lead a field of 12 athletes into Friday's Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix finals.
Wise led the way for the Americans with a Heat 2 run that featured a right-side 9, a huge double flip and an ally-oop flatspin 7 - the cleanest run of the day.
In his Heat 3 run, freshly-minted 16 year-old Yater-Wallace—the 2011 Winter X Games silver medalist’s birthday was on Friday—boosted to some of the biggest amplitude on the day as he laid down a clinic of a run: right-side double flip, left-side cork 9, right-side cork 9, ally-oop flatspin 5, right-side cork 1080.
Also punching their tickets to Friday’s finals were Pro Team members Simon Dumont (Bethel, ME) and Tucker Perkins (North Hampton, NH), who were seventh and ninth, respectively.
The top three scores from each of three heats automatically moved on to Friday’s final, plus the highest overall three scores from all heats combined.
The Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix is a part of the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix.
Women's qualifying for the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix will be held Friday from 8:40-10:30 a.m.
Men's and women's finals are 12:00-1:30 p.m. Friday
TV NBC – Sunday, Dec. 18 12:30-2:00 p.m. Versus – Saturday, Dec. 24 – 3:00-4:00 p.m.
RESULTS Heat 1 (Top 10) 1. Nils Lauper, Switzerland, 85.00 * 2. Duncan Adams, USA, 82.20 * 3. Mike Riddle, Canada, 78.60 * 4. Wing Tai Barrymore, USA, 77.40 * 5. Dan Marion, USA, 76.60 * 6. Kalle Leinonen, Finland, 71.40 7. Nicolas Bijasson, France, 68.00 8. Austin Simonpietri, USA, 65.80 9. James Campbell, USA, 64.20 10. Cyrill Hunziker, Switzerland, 61.40
Heat 2 (Top 10) 1. David Wise, Reno, NV, 87.80 * 2. Xavier Bertoni, France, 85.20 * 3. Simon Dumont, Bethel, ME, 81.00 * 4. Taylor Seaton, USA, 74.80 5. Matt Margetts, Canada, 70.00 6. Aaron Blunck, USA, 69.60 7. Simon D’Artois, Canada, 68.60 8. Joss Christensen, USA, 68.40 9. Hunter Visser, Canada, 65.40 10. Beau James Wells, New Zealand, 62.00
Heat 3 (Top 10) 1. Torin Yater-Wallace, Snowmass, CO, 86.40 * 2. Jossi Wells, New Zealand, 82.60 * 3. Tucker Perkins, , 78.40 * 4. Peter Crook, USA, 77.00 * 5. Klaus Finne, Norway, 76.00 6. Yannic Lerjen, Switzerland, 74.00 7. Kyle Smaine, USA, 73.80 8. Brett Weiss, USA, 73.40 10. A.J. Kemppainen, Finland, 71.40