| AspenTimes.com

Langland is only American to make snowboard finals in big air World Cup

California's Hailey Langland competes in the women's snowboard slopestyle contest of the U.S. Grand Prix and World Cup in March, at Buttermilk Ski Area in Aspen. On Thursday, she was the only American snowboarder, male or female, to make the finals of the VISA Big Air qualifer at Steamboat Resort.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The VISA Big Air World Cup kicked off Thursday at Steamboat Resort with snowboard qualifications, including two men’s heats in the morning and one women’s heat in the afternoon.

The top 10 men made the finals, scheduled for Saturday, while the top eight women qualified for the finals.

Hailey Langland, a U.S. national team member from California, was the only American athlete to make the finals in the men’s and women’s competitions. Langland finished fifth with a score of 89. Reira Iwabuchi of Japan won the women’s qualifier with a score of 98.25.

Each competitor in each heat took two jumps. Six judges scored each jump. Then the highest and lowest scores were scratched. The remaining four scores were averaged, and the best score was used to determine the standings.

Anna Gasser of Austria, Annika Morgan of Germany, Kokomo Murase of Japan, Katie Ormerod of Great Britain, Jasmine Baird of Canada and Norway’s Hanne Eilertsen will also compete in the finals.

Norwegian Marcus Kleveland and Chinese boarder Yiming Su led the men’s snowboard big air qualifiers on Thursday afternoon. Su won heat one with a score of 93, and qualified alongside Hiroto Ogiwara of Japan, Nike van der Velden of the Netherlands, Canada’s Max Parrot and Norway’s Mons Roisland.

Kleveland won heat two with a score of 94.75 and will compete in the finals alongside Mark McMorris of Canada, Enzo Valax of France, Takeru Otsuka out of Japan and Austria’s Clemens Millauer.

Jake Canter was the closest American to qualifying in the heat and took 11th.

VISA big air continues Friday with freeski qualifiers. The men compete from 9:55 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. and the women compete at 2 p.m.

sreardon@steamboatpilot.com