Blasman, Pohjonen and Willet best in Park City slopestyle qualifiers
In one qualifier heat for the ladies and two for the men, a total of six girls and 10 boys were determined to compete in the finals scheduled for Friday, Feb 27, at 9:30 AM MST (5:30 PM CET).
In the women's competition, Canada's Jenna Blasman took the top qualifier spot with 84.25 edging of Stoneham winner Cheryl Maas (NED, 81.75) to the second rank.
Swiss riders and big air bronze and gold medallists of the 2015 world championships Sina Candrian (79.50) and Elena Koenz (78.00) as well as Christy Prior (NZL, 78.25) and Karly Shorr (USA, 75.75) also earned their sport for the three-runs, best one counts finals.
On the men's side of things, Eric Willet (USA) dominated the first heat with 82.75 while Sebbe de Buck (BEL, 82.00), Janne Korpi (FIN, 75.50), Chas Guldemond (USA, 75.25) and Seamus O'Connor (IRE, 74.25) also took their chance for the podium.
In heat two, Finland's Tuamos Pohjonen earned the high score with 83.00 while Jordan Phillips (CAN, 77.25), 2015 Winter Universiade winner Petr Horak (CZE, 73.00), Matts Kulisek (CAN, 72.25) and Eric Beauchemin (70.50) also grabbed their spots.
Like much of the western half of the USA, Park City has seen a dearth of natural snow this season. However, the expert team of builders at the resort has put together a solid course that features three multifaceted jib zones followed by two pristine kickers.
On one hand, the set-up appears to feature the jib specialists, though from a different perspective the two-jump set-up will make a rider's trick selection and ability to stomp cleanly that much more important.
While snow showers are expected at points through Thursday and Friday, current forecasts suggest accumulations at Park City should be small. With a bit of luck, the weather shouldn't effect the level of riding we expect to see at what should be an excellent competition.
The finals will be broadcasted live on Eurosport 2, ORF Sport+, MCS Extreme, NBC Sports as well as NTV+ Sport.