US snowboarders dominate Copper Mountain halfpipe qualifiers

05 December 2014 09:59
Taylor Gold (USA) nailed it in men heat #1 with this huge method
Taylor Gold (USA) nailed it in men heat #1 with this huge method -
Sarah Brunson

Eleven out of 16 possible spots for the finals staged Saturday, Dec 6, at 12:30 MTZ were taken by US Snowboarding athletes.

On the men's side of things, Ben Ferguson, Greg Bretz and Taylor Gold picked up right where they left off last season, throwing down huge runs.

Ferguson, who narrowly missed an Olympic in Sochi, landed the biggest run of the day with a double Crippler and a backside 900 on the first two hits, followed by a Cab double 1080 at the bottom for the highest scoring run of the day (94.5).

Olympians Bretz and Gold finished second and third overall with Gold winning the first heat with a frontside double 1080 to Cab 1080 combo.

15-year-old rookie rider Jake Pates also put down an impressive run with back-to-back 1080s, earning him his first World Cup finals appearance.

The 10-man field for tomorrow's finals, which will consist of three runs for the very first time, was completed by fellow US Americans Chase Josey, Benjamin Farrow and Brett Esser as well as Janne Korpi (FIN), Olympic Bronze medallist Taku Hiraoka (JPN) and Yiwei Zhang from China.

In the women’s field, American Kelly Clark led the contest in run number one with her signature huge airs and a pair of back-to-back 720s.

Her teammates Arielle Gold and Hannah Teter as well as Spanish athlete Queralt Castellet all landed 900s in their runs, but still trailed Clark’s lead.

Olympians Elena Hight and Xuetong Cai from China also made Saturday’s finals.

Live scoring will be available for both finals:

Live streaming

The event will be live streamed on NBC Sports LiveExtra tomorrow at 2:30 EST and broadcast on NBC Sports Network Saturday at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Fans in Europe can watch the stream on eurosportplayer.com as well as – when based in Austria – on ORF Sport+ and on MTV3 if living in Finland at 8:30 PM CET with the finals aired again on Eurosport 2 Sunday, Dec 7, at 10 AM CET.