Friday, December 20, 2013

Chase, Kaitlyn in the halfpipe mix at Copper

Qualifying runs put them in Saturday’s final

Express Staff Writer

    Kaitlyn Farrington, 24, and Chase Josey, 18, of the Sun Val-ley Ski Education Foundation’s Snowboard Gold Team are right in the mix of this week’s Sprint U.S. Grand Prix Half-pipe Series event at Copper Mountain, Colo.
    During Wednesday’s half-pipe qualifications, Josey pulled off the fourth-best score of 64 riders with a 91.50—sec-ond in his heat behind only 25-year-old French national champ Arthur Longo (93.75).
    The only other riders ahead of Josey were American Ben Ferguson (93.75) and Mammoth Mountain’s Greg Bretz, a 2010 Olympic halfpipe rider who scored a 94.00 for the day’s top score. Bretz is the leading U.S. Olympic candidate after win-ning last Saturday in the Dew Tour superpipe at Brecken-ridge, Co.
    On her birthday, Farrington tied for fifth overall of 42 women with a top score of 80.75, which was the eighth best. The top qualifier was 30-year-old Kelly Clark of Ver-mont with a 96.00, far ahead of fellow American Arielle Gold (90.50). Clark was the 2002 Olympic halfpipe gold medalist who also won four X Games superpipe gold medals.
    The Copper Mountain half-pipe finals are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 21 and due for screening on NBC television Sunday, Dec. 22 from 1-2 p.m. Mountain Standard time.
    Copper Mountain is the sec-ond of five Olympic qualifica-tion events. Snowboard ath-letes are competing in the FIS World Cup event with a field of international athletes while also continuing the hunt for spots on the U.S. Olympic half-pipe snowboarding team and the first-ever Olympic slope-style snowboarding team.
    Selection to the Olympic snowboarding team will be made from athletes who have a top-four finish against the en-tire field in selection events. Those athletes will be ranked with their best two of five qualifying events using World Cup scoring (1,000 point scale) comparing only USA athletes.

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