Kaitlyn Farrington advances to finals with top semifinal score

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After barely missing out on a direct ticket to the halfpipe finals, U.S. snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington made little doubt in the semifinal round, grabbing the top score to advance the medal runs at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Farrington notched an 87.50 mark, leading a pack of six that included China’s Jiavu Liu and Shuang Li, Switzerland’s Ursina Haller, France’s Mirabelle Thovex and Japan’s Rana Okada.

One other name that might stick out is Sarka Pancochova, who fell hard enough during the slopestyle competition that she cracked her helmet. She managed to make the semifinals but came in 10th with a 34.00 mark.

Farrington, 24, took an unusual path to the Olympics, which you can read more about here. She joins three returning gold medalists in the final round: Kelly Clark (2002) and Hannah Teter (2006) of the U.S. and Australia’s Tarah Bright (2010).