Freeskiing

USA Qualifies Eight to Grand Prix Halfpipe Finals

by
USSA
2016-01-21 19:53
 

MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CA (Jan. 21, 2016) – The first Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix of the 2016 season successfully kicked off at Mammoth Mountain Thursday, as the Americans qualified two women and six men to the halfpipe finals on Friday.

The ladies were up first and two previously injured American women scored two of the six available spots in the finals: Maddie Bowman (South Lake Tahoe, CA) qualified in second and Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) took fifth.

Bowman

Maddie Bowman (South Lake Tahoe, CA) qualified second in Thursday’s halfpipe qualifier at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain. (FIS)

Today’s Grand Prix qualifier marked 2014 Olympic gold medalist Bowman’s first competition back since injuring her right knee in February 2015. She looked strong in the qualifiers, with a run that included the first 900 she has thrown since her injury.

Logan, who was coming off a dislocated shoulder at Dew Tour earlier this season, was also stoked on her performance, but knows she can do more in the finals. “Coming off a dislocated shoulder at Dew Tour it’s pretty much my first contest of the year,” said Logan. “I’m just getting some nerves out and I’m happy that I put down a run today.”

The American men dominated the qualification round, taking the top four spots and six of the 10 spots overall. Finishing top three, Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) was the top qualifier, David Wise (Reno, NV) was second and Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) third.

Kenworthy, who won slopestyle at the last major event - the Breckenridge Dew Tour - is coming off a bruised heel that kept him off snow for three weeks following the December competition. He would have qualified with his first run but he upped the ante in his second run, dropping three doubles to take the top spot.  

“I was happy with my first run but I dragged my hand on my last landing and my score came in a lot lower than I wanted it to,” said Kenworthy. “So going into my second run I just knew I had to step it up: go as big as I could and put a third double in there.”

Olympic champion David Wise had a stellar first run that earned him the top spot until Kenworthy bested him. Wise took an uncharacteristic fall on a switch left double 1080 in his second run, hitting the deck and falling to the flatbottom. He was slow to get up but eventually skied to the bottom without assistance.

Blunck brought out a new trick to earn the third qualifying spot, throwing a switch left double 900 he learned last week at the U.S. Freeskiing camp in Park City.

Rounding out the Americans in the men’s halfpipe final: Alex Ferreira (Aspen, CO) qualified fourth; Kyle Smaine (South Lake Tahoe, CA) was eighth and Broby Leeds (Vail, CO) 10th.      

Men’s and women’s halfpipe finals will be contested Friday, Jan. 22, which is a change from the original schedule, due to anticipated weather. Please check the U.S. Freeskiing website for an updated schedule.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Maddie Bowman qualified in second. Her second run scored 88.20: straight mute, left cork 900, right 540 high safety, left 540 tail, right 720, switch 720, air to fakie safety
  • Devin Logan qualified in fifth. Her second run scored a 79.60: Huge straight mute, alley oop critical, left 540 tail, right 540 Japan, corked 720 safety, switch alley-oop 540.
  • Gus Kenworthy qualified in first. His second run scored a 94.60: left double 1260 safety, right 1080 tail, switch double 1080 Japan, alley-oop flat 540 Japan, double 1080 safety
  • David Wise qualified in second. His first run scored a 93.20: Alley-oop flat 540 tail, left double 1260 Japan, right 1080 tail, switch 720 Japan, right double 1260 mute, left 900 Cuban
  • Aaron Blunck qualified in third. His second run scored a 91.80: Right double 1260 critical, left 900 tail, right 720 stalefish, switch left double 900 Japan, switch right 720 Japan
  • The Mammoth Grand Prix is the first FIS World Cup competition for the freeskiers since late August in New Zealand.

 

QUOTES

Maddie Bowman
This last surgery had a lot of ups and downs but I did my first 900 of the year today so I was pretty stoked. It’s nice to be back and it was nice to have the support of Jen Kimball at USSA—she’s my lifesaver, I think she’s why I’m here today.

Devin Logan
Coming off a dislocated shoulder at Dew Tour it’s pretty much my first contest of the year, so I’m just getting some nerves out and I’m happy that I put down a run today.

Gus Kenworth
Today went really well for me. I was happy with my first run but I dragged my hand on my last landing and my score came in a lot lower than I wanted it to. So going into my second run I just knew I had to step it up: go as big as I could and put a third double in there. I had a little break after Dew Tour. I bruised my heel and so I took a few weeks off snow. It’s hard to make yourself do that but it’s good for your body and your mind. I’m hungry to learn some new things and do the best that I can—I had a great few days in the pipe at the team camp in Park City.

Aaron Blunck
My first run didn’t really go too well. Second run all I was trying to focus on was to relax and stay calm. I landed my first double 1260 then the left 900 and then threw a new trick for me in competition, the switch left double 900. I was nervous going into it but I ended up landing it and I was super stoked. I didn’t feel like I needed to throw it. I thought I could get away with one double but I learned it last week in Park City during camp and I threw one in practice and it went well so I just decided to go for it.

RESULTS
Women’s Halfpipe Qualification Results
Men’s Halfpipe Qualification Results

EVENT SCHEDULE
Jan. 22, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix - Halfpipe Qualifiers
Jan. 22, 8:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Slopestyle Qualifiers
Jan. 23, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Halfpipe Finals
Jan. 23, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals
Jan. 24, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix - Halfpipe Finals
Jan. 24, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals

U.S. GRAND PRIX TELEVISION SCHEDULE (all times EST)
Jan. 24, 2:00 p.m. – NBCSN – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals
Jan. 24, 3:00 p.m. – NBC – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Halfpipe Finals
Jan. 27, 1:00 a.m. – NBCSN – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals
Jan. 30, 3:00 p.m. – NBC – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix - Halfpipe Finals
Feb. 6, 8:00 p.m. – NBCSN – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix -  Slopestyle Finals (reair)
Feb. 7, 5:00 p.m. – NBCSN – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals

U.S. GRAND PRIX LIVE STREAMING SCHEDULE (all times EST)
Jan. 23, 2:20 p.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Halfpipe Finals
Jan. 23, 3:50 p.m. - U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals
Jan. 24, 2:20 p.m. – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix - Halfpipe Finals
Jan. 24, 3:50 p.m. - Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix - Slopestyle Finals
 

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