Shaun White tops group of 7 American men who qualify for Grand Prix snowboard halfpipe final at Copper |

Shaun White tops group of 7 American men who qualify for Grand Prix snowboard halfpipe final at Copper

Scotty James, of Australia, competes in the halfpipe qualifier during the U.S. Grand Prix event Thursday, Dec. 7, at Copper Mountain. James scored a high total of 97 in the qualifier.
Hugh Carey / |

Twelve total American snowboarders will take part in Saturday’s Toyota U.S. Grand Prix snowboard halfpipe finals after a competitive Wednesday morning and afternoon of action at Copper Mountain Resort’s Woodward Superpipe.

For the men, 31-year-old and two-time Olympic snowboard halfpipe gold medalist Shaun White tallied the highest score among American men Thursday, stringing together a 94.33 first run to qualify in second place from Heat 2.

White was bested in his heat by the second-best male on the Woodward Superpipe on Thursday, Japan’s Raibu Katayama (96.00). In the first qualification heat, Australia’s Scotty James posted the highest score of the day on his second run (97.00), which followed up a first run score of 92.33

James scored ahead of Heat 1 second-place finisher Ben Ferguson of the United States (87.33), who barely edged out his younger brother Gabe (86.66).

Americans Louie Vito (82.66) and Danny Davis (81.00) also qualified from Heat 1.

Scoring behind Katayama and White in Heat 2 and also qualifying for Saturday’s finals were their countrymen Ayumu Hirano of Japan (92.66) and Chase Josey (86.66) and Gregory Bretz (85.66) of the U.S.

On the women’s side, American Maddie Mastro finished in first in Heat 2 with a score of 91.33 on her first run, well ahead of the next best Heat 2 score, an 80.00 by Mirabelle Thovex of France.

Thovex was the only non-American to advance from Heat 2 as Mastro’s fellow Americans Kelly Clark (79.66) and Arielle Gold (79.33) also advanced to Saturday’s final.

In Heat 1, American Chloe Kim posted an 89.00 in her first run to win the qualification heat. China’s Jiayu Liu (84.00), Japan’s Sena Tomita and American Elena Hight also qualified for the final.

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