Summit athletes poised to make final push for US Olympic Team at US Grand Prix
On Thursday, Jan. 6, competition began at the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, the last Olympic qualifier prior to the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The three-day competition features many Summit County locals who will take to the Unbound Terrain Park in hopes of having one last big performance in order to make the U.S. Olympic Team.
Women’s freeski slopestyle
The women’s freeski slopestyle qualifiers started off the competition with Team Summit member Jay Riccomini among the 23-woman field.
Riccomini scored a 49 on her highest run of the day to place 18th overall, missing out on the finals.
The women’s freeski slopestyle finals Saturday will feature three Americans: Caroline Claire, Maggie Voisin and Marin Hamill.
Men’s snowboard slopestyle
Red Gerard, Chris Corning and Kyle Mack were all set to compete in the men’s snowboard slopestyle qualifiers, but the event was postponed to Friday, Jan. 7, due to high winds.
Gerard and Corning will look to follow up on their performances at the Winter Dew Tour in December, when the two Summit locals placed first and second to stand atop the awards podium together.
Mack has not competed this season and will make his 2021-22 debut in this week’s slopestyle competition.
Women’s snowboard slopestyle
The women’s snowboard slopestyle competition didn’t feature talent from Summit County, but the finals on Saturday will see a field made up of four Americans. Olympic gold medalist in 2014, Jamie Anderson will compete alongside Hailey Langland, Courtney Rummel and Jade Thurgood.
Men’s freeski halfpipe
In the men’s freeski halfpipe qualifiers, Breckenridge native Jaxin Hoerter scored a top score of 72 on his first run of the day but wasn’t able to improve his score on his second run and missed the finals, placing 16th.
Friday night’s final will feature five Americans, including Louisville native Lyman Currier, Crested Butte talent Aaron Blunck and Birk Irving of Winter Park. Currier had the top score in qualifiers, scoring a 89.33. David Wise and Eugene Morris will compete as well.
Perhaps most notably, Aspen’s Alex Ferreira will not be in the finals after only being able to score a 12.33. Ferreira won the halfpipe competition at the Winter Dew Tour and the Toyota Grand Prix at Copper in December.
US Grand Prix schedule
On Friday, Jan. 7, the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix will feature the men’s freeski slopestyle qualifiers, the men’s snowboard halfpipe qualifiers and the finals of the freeski halfpipe competitions.
The snowboard halfpipe competition will feature two Summit County talents in Taylor Gold and Chase Blackwell.
Gold finished in second place at the Winter Dew Tour and will look to finish high among the ranks again at the 2022 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix as he continues his quest to be named to the U.S. Olympic Team.
The final day of competition Saturday, Jan. 8, will consist of snowboard and freeski slopestyle finals and snowboard halfpipe finals.
At the conclusion of the final event, the U.S. Olympic teams will be announced at Mammoth Mountain and those athletes will then begin preparation for Beijing in less than 30 days.
The Friday events will begin with coverage of the men’s and women’s freeski halfpipe finals at 8 p.m. on Peacock.
On Saturday, the competition will also be broadcast live on Peacock with the snowboard slopestyle finals starting at 10:30 a.m., the freeski slopestyle finals airing at 2 p.m. and the snowboard halfpipe finals airing at 7:30 p.m.
All times and dates are subject to change, and the most up-to-date information can be found at USSkiAndSnowboard.org.
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