Shaun White leads halfpipe qualifying in Breckenridge

Shaun White
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Shaun White took a conservative halfpipe run to open the Olympic season. It was still unbeatable in qualifying at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships on Thursday.

The two-time reigning Olympic champion scored 91.40 points in his first of two runs in Breckenridge, Colo., putting his hand down at the bottom of the pipe in an otherwise clean effort.

“Qualifying’s always strange,” White said. “You do just enough to get in. I’m really holding back for the finals, just like everyone else, I think.”

Breckenridge schedule, athletes to watch

Breckenridge marks the first of five Olympic qualifiers. A rider’s top two results over the series are counted into qualification standings. The U.S. Olympic Team is expected to include four men’s halfpipe snowboarders.

All of the leading contenders for the team qualified for Saturday’s final, including 2010 Olympians Greg BretzScott Lago and Louie Vito.

As did the top international threats — Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, 15, and Swiss Iouri Podladtchikov, the reigning world champion.

Action from Breckenridge is being live streamed here.

Halfpipe Final Qualifiers
1. Shaun White (USA) 91.40
2. Christian Haller (SUI) 90.20
3. Ben Ferguson (USA) 87.00
4. Danny Davis (USA) 85.60
5. Greg Bretz (USA) 83.60
6. Ayumu Hirano (JPN) 81.80
7. Louie Vito (USA) 77.40
8. Taku Hiraoka (JPN) 74.80
9. Taylor Gold (USA) 72.80
10. Scotty James (AUS) 72.00
11. Kent Callister (USA) 71.00
12. Zachary Black (USA) 68.00
13. Scott Lago (USA) 67.00
14. Spencer Shaw (USA) 66.60
15. Benji Farrow (USA) 65.60
16. Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) 62.60

2006 Olympic champ fails to qualify for women’s halfpipe final