Ty Walker

Ty Walker

Three more slopestyle snowboarders wrap up Olympic berths

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Sage KotsenburgChas Guldemond and Ty Walker joined the U.S. Olympic Team in snowboard slopestyle at the final selection event in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., on Saturday.

Kotsenburg won the men’s event with a 95.4-first run tally. Guldemond was sixth but wrapped up a berth via previous strong results. Likewise, Walker was fifth in the women’s event but made it via a tiebreaker.

“It’s been since I was 10 years old since I won something,” said Kotsenburg, 20. “I’m so stoked. It’s crazy.”

Kotsenburg and Guldemond join Shaun White on the U.S. Olympic Team in slopestyle. They’re all medal contenders but also looking up at gold-medal favorite Mark McMorris from Canada.

Kotsenburg is a Winter X Games silver and bronze medalist. Guldemond won X Games bronze in 2010.

“It’s been so much hard work and sacrifice to get to this point,” Guldemond said. “I’m exhausted from all these qualifying events.”

White won four straight X Games titles from 2003-06. McMorris is the two-time reigning X Games champion.

Walker, 16, joined gold-medal favorite Jamie Anderson on the women’s team.

One more man and two more women could be named to the U.S. Olympic Team in snowboard slopestyle via discretionary selections. The top candidates are Ryan Stassel and Kyle Mack for the men and Karly ShorrJessika Jenson and Jordie Karlinski for the women.

U.S. Olympic Skeleton Team named

Shaun White clinches Olympic berth in slopestyle with win at Mammoth Mountain

Shaun White
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Shaun White can breathe easy, having qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team in slopestyle snowboarding by winning the fourth of five selection events.

White, the two-time reigning Olympic halfpipe champion, prevailed with 95.20 points in the first of his two runs in the second of two finals in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., on Thursday.

White opted not to take his second run, a decision that carried risk, but no rider beat his score.

White crashed in the earlier final but showed no ill-effects four hours later.

”I haven’t taken a hit like that in a long time,” he said, according to The Associated Press. ”I went down and got some food and some medicine and came back and just knew that was all I had in me.”

He will try to qualify for the Olympic Team in halfpipe with two finals Friday and another Sunday in Mammoth Mountain.

In slopestyle, White goes into Sochi looking up at gold-medal favorite Mark McMorris of Canada.

McMorris, 20, won the Winter X Games slopestyle last January, where White finished fifth.

They also competed in the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in December. White posted the best qualifying score but pulled out before the final with an ankle injury. McMorris won the final with higher scores than White’s qualifying mark in both runs.

McMorris is expected to enter Winter X Games next week, but White has reportedly said he is unlikely to compete in the Aspen, Colo., event.

There are two more automatic U.S. Olympic spots available in the fifth and final Olympic selection event Saturday. Chas GuldemondRyan Stassel and Sage Kotsenburg are in the running for those berths.

Jamie Anderson won her second straight women’s event after clinching her Olympic berth earlier Thursday.

One other woman can clinch an Olympic berth in the final selection event Saturday. It would be either Ty WalkerJordie KarlinskiJessika Jenson or Karly Shorr.

Walker will clinch if she wins. Karlinski, Jenson or Shorr will clinch if any of them win and Walker is not second.

Here are the updated Olympic selection standings:

Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle – Three automatic Olympic spots
1. Shaun White — 2,000 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Chas Guldemond — 1,800
3. Ryan Stassel — 1,600
3. Sage Kotsenburg — 1,600
5. Kyle Mack — 920

Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle — Two automatic Olympic spots
1. Jamie Anderson — 2,000 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Ty Walker — 1,600
3. Jordie Karlinski — 1,400
3. Jessika Jenson — 1,400
5. Karly Shorr — 1,300

Preview of marathon snowboard/freeskiing weekend

Shaun White crashes; Jamie Anderson earns Olympic berth

Shaun White
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Shaun White crashed in his first run and aborted his second run midway through in the third of five Olympic selection events in slopestyle snowboarding in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., on Thursday.

Here is video of White’s crash.

No U.S. man has clinched one of three automatic U.S. Olympic spots in slopestyle yet. White fell from first place to fourth place in Olympic selection standings but can clinch his spot with a win in either of the final two events later Thursday and Saturday.

Even if he does not automatically qualify, White can be named to the Olympic Team in slopestyle as a discretionary selection. White has also yet to qualify in halfpipe, whose competitions also wrap up in Mammoth Mountain this weekend.

Jamie Anderson clinched the first U.S. Olympic berth in slopestyle snowboarding by winning the third of five women’s events earlier Thursday.

Anderson, 23, is the two-time reigning Winter X Games champion and a gold-medal contender in Sochi.

She won Friday with 92.7 points in her first of two runs, edging Karly Shorr by 2.9 points.

Shorr was a surprise, scoring her first top-four result of Olympic selection events. A top-four result is needed to have a chance at automatically qualifying for the Olympic Team.

Ty Walker was third to remain in second place in the Olympic selection standings, which add up the two best results by riders.

Ryan Stassel won the men’s event with 95 points in his second run. Sage Kotsenburg was second with 92.6 points. Chas Guldemond was third and moved to the top of Olympic selection standings with his first top-four result.

Guldemond was the top American finisher and the second American finisher in the first two Olympic selection events, but he was not among the top four overall when including non-American finishers in those events.

Three men’s riders and two women will earn automatic spots on the Olympic Team, but as many as four men and four women could be named when adding in discretionary selections.

The fourth of five selection events was to take place later Thursday in Mammoth Mountain. The fifth and final event is Saturday.

Here are the updated Olympic selection standings, counting only snowboarders with top-four results:

Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle – Three automatic Olympic spots
1. Chas Guldemond — 1,800
2. Ryan Stassel — 1,600
3. Sage Kotsenburg — 1,600
4. Shaun White — 1,320
5. Eric Beauchemin — 900

Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle — Two automatic Olympic spots
1. Jamie Anderson — 2,000 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Ty Walker — 1,600
3. Karly Shorr — 1,300
4. Jordie Karlinski — 1,100

Preview of marathon snowboard/freeskiing weekend