Freeskiing

Bowman and Blunck Lead Halfpipe Qualifying

by
USSA
2016-02-03 16:11
 

Park City, UT (Feb. 3, 2016) – The U.S. qualified seven total skiers to the finals of the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix at Park City on Wednesday, with Maddie Bowman (South Lake Tahoe, CA) leading the way with the top spot for the women while Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) was the top American for the men, qualifying in second.

Bowman, who is fresh off a gold-medal performance at X Games Aspen, is getting better with each week of skiing after returning from injury in December. In her X Games run, Bowman landed a switch 900—the first time the trick had ever been landed by a woman in competition. She didn’t use the trick in her qualifying run on Thursday, but says she’s thinking about it. “I haven’t done a switch 900 here yet,” she said, “but I’m definitely thinking about it. We’ll see how this practice goes before finals.”

Aaron
Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) was the top American in the qualification round of the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix at Park City on Wednesday. (USSA)

Annalisa Drew (Andover, MA) and Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) also qualified for the finals, finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

Blunck, who finished on the podium in third at the first stop of the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, said he was feeling great after the qualification runs.

“I’m feeling excellent right now,” Blunk said. “I have not landed two runs in a row in qualies in probably two to three years, so I’m super stoked.”

Lyman Currier (Boulder, CO) qualified in fourth with a run that included a left double 1260 mute. Taylor Seaton (Avon, CO) and Alex Ferreira (Aspen, CO) also made the final, finishing seventh and ninth respectively.

Men’s and women’s halfpipe finals are scheduled to be contested Saturday, Feb. 5, at noon MT.

EVENT SCHEDULE (times MT)
Feb. 4, 8:30 a.m .- 2:30 p.m. – snowboarding halfpipe qualifiers
Feb. 5, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix halfpipe finals
Feb. 6, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix halfpipe finals

Live Streaming Schedule (times EST)
Feb. 5, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix halfpipe finals, Park City – LIVE – NBC Sports Live Extra
Feb. 6, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix halfpipe finals, Park City – LIVE – NBC Sports

Live Extra TV Schedule (times EST)
Feb. 13, 4:00 p.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix halfpipe, Park City – NBC
Feb. 14, 1:30 p.m. – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix halfpipe, Park City – NBC
Feb. 17, 12:30 a.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix halfpipe, Park City – NBCSN
Feb. 17, 1:30 a.m. – U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix halfpipe, Park City – NBCSN

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Maddie Bowman qualified in first. Her best run scored an 88.80: Straight air, left 900, right 540 high safety, left 540 tail, right 720 switch 720
  • Aaron Blunck was second, the top qualifier for the American men. His second run scored a 90.00: Right 720 stalefish, switch left double 900 Japan, switch right 720 Japan shifty, left 900 tail, right double 1260 mute

QUOTES

Maddie Bowman
Qualifying went really well - everyone’s pretty tired after X Games but everyone went out and did the best that they could do and laid down a good qualifier, so I’m excited for finals.

Aaron Blunck
I really focused on going bigger on the switch dub 900. I knew that if I went bigger I could get the grab better on it, clean it up. I held the grab all the way through that one and I think that was definitely the best one I’ve ever done. For finals I hope to do the same run, maybe add a switch right double as well. I learned that a couple weeks ago and tried to do it in X Games but couldn’t put it down clean. The pipe is really good right now; I’m always super stoked on Park City’s pipe, since I first skied it I thought it was one of the better pipes I’ve ever skied.

RESULTS
Women’s Halfpipe Qualifications
Men’s Halfpipe Qualifications

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