Dillon’s Chase Blackwell advances to men’s snowboard halfpipe final in Laax
On the second day of competition at the 2023 Laax Open World Cup in Laax, Switzerland, the men’s and women’s halfpipe qualifiers took place alongside the qualifiers for the men’s freeski slopestyle competition.
The men’s snowboard halfpipe qualifiers featured several Summit and Colorado locals including Dillon resident Chase Blackwell.
In a field of 32 registered athletes, Blackwell successfully advanced to the 12-man final in the 10th qualifying spot with a top run score of 81.75. Blackwell was preceded by Hailey, Idaho’s Chase Josey in the ninth qualifying spot and Edward’s Ryan Wachendorfer in the final qualifying spot.
The performance marks the first final Blackwell has made during the 2022-23 season.
Australian riders Scotty James and Valentino Guseli took second and fourth in qualifiers while Japan’s Ruka Hirano nabbed the top qualifying spot with a score of 95.25.
Summit’s Taylor Gold did not start, and Telluride’s Lucas Foster placed 18th with a top run score of 69.25.
Blackwell will compete in the halfpipe final on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. The event will be live streamed at Open.Laax.com.
In the women’s halfpipe qualifiers, California’s Maddie Mastro was the only American to qualify to the 8-women final. Mastro placed third overall with a score of 82.50 with Spain’s Queralt Castellet placing a spot behind in fourth with a score of 79.75.
Japan’s Mitsuki Ono recorded the highest score in qualifiers with a score of 89.50 and China’s Shaotong Wu placed second in qualifiers with a score of 89.
Sonora Alba of San Pedro, California, placed 11th, three spots out of advancing to finals, with a top run score of 56.75. Vail’s Zoe Kalapos placed 16th with a score of 45.25.
The women’s halfpipe final will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 9:30 a.m Mountain Standard Time.
In the men’s freeski slopestyle qualifiers, four Americans advanced to the 12-man final including Mac Forehand, Colby Stevenson, Alex Hall and Cody Laplante.
Hall recorded the highest score among the American men with a score of 78.50. Forehand and Stevenson followed close behind with scores of 74.61 and 74.10, respectively.
Austria’s Matej Svancer finished with the top run in qualifiers with a score of 80.80.
The women’s snowboard and freeski slopestyle qualifiers will take place on Friday, Jan. 20, with finals following on Saturday and Sunday. Summit’s Kaitlyn Adams is scheduled to compete in the women’s snowboard slopestyle qualifiers.
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