On the eve of the season-opening Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix, U.S. Snowboarding's 2010-11 halfpipe teams were announced Nov. 30 alongside the cavernous 22-foot halfpipe at Copper Mountain, Colo.
Bellevue's Kaitlyn Farrington, 20, was one of 17 riders named to the combined Pro and Rookie Team rosters. This year, Farrington has graduated to the eight-rider Pro Team joining some veteran riders.
Winter X Games gold medalist Farrington joins five Olympians on the Pro Team including two-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark, 27, of Mount Snow, Vt., Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler, 29, of Aspen and two-time Grand Prix king Louie Vito, 22, of Sandy, Utah.
The team is in Copper tuning up for the Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix Saturday, Dec. 10. It's the opening event of the three-stop tour.
Completing the Pro Team are two other Olympians—World Cup winner Greg Bretz, 19, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif. and 2010 Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix runner-up Elena Hight, 21, of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Two others are Clair Bidez, 23, of Minturn, Colo. and Ellery Hollingsworth, 19, of Stratton, Vt.
The Rookie Team of nine athletes ages 16-20 consists of Lizzy Beerman, Dylan Bidez, Zack Black, Paul Brichta, Matt Ladley, Kelly Marren, Madeline Schaffrick, Broc Waring and Ben Watts of Bend, Ore.
The Rookie Team was first deployed for the 2008 season and has been an amazing proving ground for young talent like 5-4, 115-pound Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Snowboard Team alumna Farrington. She joined the Rookie Team in 2008.
The teams will ride a diverse slate of events, foremost among them the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix with halfpipe stops in Copper Mountain and Mammoth Mountain. Other majors on tap include the Dew Tour, X Games and U.S. Open. The Rookie Team will also mix in some World Cups and Revolution Tour stops.