Devin Logan, Annalisa Drew and Aaron Blunck grab podium spots at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix. (U.S. Freeskiing)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Dec. 17, 2016) – The Americans earned several spots on the halfpipe podium Saturday at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix. Annalisa Drew (Andover, MA) was second and Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) was third for the ladies, while Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) was third for the men.
It was a first career Grand Prix podium for Drew, who struggled in her first two runs, but was able to collect herself and put it together on her third and final run. “I just went up top and talked to my coaches to discuss what I needed to do better,” Drew said. “I kept my spirits up and just put it down, which I’m excited about.”
It was Logan’s fourth halfpipe podium at the Grand Prix—a rare double threat. She also has three slopestyle podiums, including a win at Park City in 2014.
Marie Martinod of France won the event in what turned out to be a challenging halfpipe, due to all the fresh snow that has been falling at Copper Mountain over the past several days.
Rookie Carly Margulies (Mammoth Lakes, CA) also made finals and grabbed sixth place.
Blunck, who won the last Grand Prix halfpipe event at Park City in February, also had trouble with his first two runs. “I fell the first two runs,” Blunck said. “So third run I just went up top and thought about it, said ‘hey, just chill out, go out and ski and have fun.’” His strategy worked, and it put him on the podium behind the French duo of Kevin Rolland and Benoit Valentin, who placed first and second respectively.
Behind the podium, rookie Birk Irving (Winter Park, CO) was fifth, Alex Ferreira (Aspen, CO) seventh, David Wise (Reno, NV) ninth and Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) 10th.
Annalisa Drew was second for the ladies. Her best run scored 85.80: Right 900, left 900, left alley-oop flat 540 safety, left 540 safety, right 540 op-safety, left 1080.
Devin Logan was third for the ladies. Her best run scored 83.20: Japan straight air, left 540 tail, right 540 Japan, left 720 mute, switch left alley-oop flat 540 safety.
Aaron Blunck was third for the men. His best run scored 87.00: Right 720 tail, switch left double 900 safety, switch right 720 tail, left 900 tail, right double 1260 tail.
Annalisa Drew I ended up on the podium in second…I know what I need to clean up for the next contest, so I’m excited. (After falling the first two runs) I just went up top and talked to my coaches, discussed what I needed to do better, kept my spirits up and just put it down, which I’m excited about.
Aaron Blunck Man I am so stoked, it feels so good to land a run in finals. I fell the first two runs so third run I just went up top and thought about it, said ‘hey, just chill out, go out and ski and have fun.’