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