Torah Bright

Torah Bright wins Dew Tour women’s halfpipe

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Torah Bright hasn’t lost any halfpipe skills while adding slopestyle and snowboardcross.

The Australian was better than all American snowboarders at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships on Saturday, just as she was at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Bright won with a first-run score of 95.40 in Breckenridge, Colo. Kelly Clark, the 2002 Olympic champion and three-time reigning Winter X Games champion, was second with 90.60. American Chloe Kim, who at 13 is too young for the Sochi Games, was third.

Breckenridge marks the first of five U.S. Olympic selection events for freeskiing and snowboarding. The U.S. women’s Olympic halfpipe snowboarding team is expected to include four women.

Clark, a three-time Olympian, is the early standings leader, followed by world champion Arielle Gold, 2006 Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler and Kaitlyn Farrington.

2006 Olympic champion Hannah Teter failed to qualify for Saturday’s final.

The next four selection events are on the U.S. Grand Prix schedule — Copper Mountain, Colo., next weekend, followed by Northstar, Calif., Park City, Utah, and Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

The five events will determine Olympians in snowboard halfpipe and the new Olympic events of snowboard slopestyle and ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle. The Olympic rosters are expected to be announced Jan. 22.

The overall Olympic qualification standings will be determined by the two best results for an athlete over the selection events. No more than four athletes can make the U.S. Olympic Team per event. It’s possible fewer than four will be named for some events.

Bright, 26, will have no problems making the Australia Olympic Team. She hopes to become the first snowboarder to compete in three Olympic events come February.

Bright is the reigning world bronze medalist in slopestyle. She’s competing in international snowboardcross events this year for the first time since 2001 but has yet to finish better than 20th in a World Cup.

The Breckenridge action can be live streamed here all weekend.

Breckenridge Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe
1. Torah Bright (AUS) 95.40
2. Kelly Clark (USA) 90.60
3. Chloe Kim (USA) 89.40
4. Arielle Gold (USA) 84.20
5. Gretchen Bleiler (USA) 80.00
6. Kaitlyn Farrington (USA) 67.40
8. Elena Hight (USA) 25.80

Historic finish in two-man bobsled

Bernard Lagat commits to Olympic marathon trials, eyes age record

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Bernard Lagat, a 44-year-old, five-time Olympian, reportedly said he will race the Olympic marathon trials on Feb. 29 in a bid to break his own record as the oldest U.S. Olympic runner.

“I feel like I can still improve,” Lagat said, according to Runner’s World. “I’m going to give it my best.”

Lagat, a two-time Olympic 1500m medalist, moved to the marathon after becoming the oldest U.S. Olympic runner in history at the Rio Games, placing fifth in the 5000m.

He clocked 2:17:20 in his 26.2-mile debut at the 2018 New York City Marathon. He lowered it to 2:12:10 at the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia on July 7 but did not previously commit to entering the trials.

If Lagat finishes in the top three at the marathon trials, he is in line to become the third-oldest U.S. Olympic track and field athlete in history. The oldest are race walker John Deni (49 years old in 1952) and hammer thrower Matt McGrath (48 years old in 1924), according to the OlyMADMen.

Lagat ranks outside the top 20 among U.S. marathoners in this Olympic cycle. The fastest are Galen Rupp (2:06:07), Leonard Korir (2:07:56, from Sunday’s Amsterdam Marathon) and Scott Fauble (2:09:09).

No American has competed in six Olympics in track and field. Lagat’s first two Olympic appearances were for Kenya.

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MORE: Olympic marathon moved from Tokyo to another Olympic host city

Natalie Geisenberger, Olympic luge champion, will not race this season

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For the first time in eight years, there will be a new World Cup women’s luge champion.

Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger — the seven-time defending champion and two-time defending Olympic singles gold medalist — announced that she isn’t sliding this season because she and her husband are expecting their first child in April.

“Our happiness is on the way,” Geisenberger said on her Facebook page.

Geisenberger plans to return next season and still has hopes to compete at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, where she could match fellow German great Georg Hackl’s feat of winning three consecutive singles golds.

With Geisenberger not sliding this season, the top returning women from last year’s World Cup standings now are Julia Taubitz of Germany and Summer Britcher of the U.S. — second and third, respectively, in 2018-19.

Geisenberger has a luge record-tying four Olympic golds in all, being part of Germany’s victories in the team relays in Sochi in 2014 and Pyeongchang in 2018 as well.

Her 49 World Cup singles wins are another record, and she’s one of two sliders to win seven consecutive World Cup titles — Austria’s Markus Prock took the men’s championships each year from 1990-91 through 1996-97.

Geisenberger’s break from sliding only adds to how the World Cup standings — and the German roster — will look very different this season. Dajana Eitberger, who was fourth in last season’s World Cup standings, is also pregnant and expecting a baby in February. And Tatjana Huefner, who was sixth overall last season, has retired.

Huefner won five consecutive World Cup titles before Geisenberger took over and began her seven-year streak of championships. Geisenberger earned medals 11 times in 12 singles races last year — six golds, four silvers and one bronze.

“We are so happy for you even though we will miss you this season!” two-time Olympic singles gold medalist Felix Loch of Germany wrote in a message to Geisenberger on Instagram.

Geisenberger has been in the top three of the World Cup standings in 12 consecutive seasons. She was third in 2007-08, finished second in each of the next four seasons, and then began her title streak in 2012-13.

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MORE: U.S. luge star adds doubles after Olympic singles medal