Snowmass Grand Prix: Ski slopestyle and halfpipe previews

Aspen skier Torin Yater-Wallace is poised to make the U.S. Olympic team with a strong showing this week at the Snowmass Grand Prix.
Anna Stonehouse / The Aspen Times

Women’s qualifier: 9:25-11 a.m. Wednesday
Men’s qualifiers: 11:55 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1:55-3 p.m. Wednesday
Finals: 1-2:45 p.m. Friday; women have first run then alternate with men (3 runs each)


This could be the most competitive and wide open of the disciplines, and it features the most locals. Aspen’s Torin Yater-Wallace, a 2014 Olympian, is the points leader and Olympic-team front-runner after three of the five qualifying events. He won the first qualifier last season in Mammoth. Nevada’s David Wise, the 2014 Olympic gold medalist and Copper Grand Prix winner, is second, followed by Crested Butte’s Aaron Blunck, Aspen’s Alex Ferreira and Telluride’s Gus Kenworthy. Ferreira won Dew Tour last month for his lone qualification podium, and he currently leads the World Cup standings. Despite not having a win, Blunck, the 2017 X Games gold medalist, has been consistent. Also keep an eye on Avon’s Taylor Seaton, who is currently sixth in the points standings. He took third in Mammoth last year, so a podium in Snowmass could jump him ahead of everyone else. Without a single skier having multiple podiums entering Snowmass, all four Olympic spots are still up for grabs. Expect at least one, if not more, to be decided Friday. A local darkhorse is Aspen’s Cassidy Jarrell. Nerves got to the teen in the first two qualifiers this winter, but he bounced back with two podiums at Rev Tour in Copper.

Men’s​ ​Halfpipe​ ​Skiing​
​(after​ ​3​ ​of​ ​5​ ​qualifying​ ​events)
1. Torin​ ​Yater-Wallace,​ ​150
2. David​ ​Wise,​ ​132
3. Aaron​ ​Blunck,​ ​130
4. Alex​ ​Ferreira,​ ​122
5. Gus​ ​Kenworthy,​ ​104
6. Taylor​ ​Seaton,​ ​92
7. Birk​ ​Irving,​ ​60
8. Hunter​ ​Hess,​ ​46
9. Kyle​ ​Smaine,​ ​45
10. Jacob​ ​Beebe,​ ​36
11. Jake​ ​Mageau,​ ​32
12. Sammy​ ​Schuiling,​ ​28
13. Jaxin​ ​Hoerter,​ ​26
14. Cameron​ ​Brodrick,​ ​17
15. Cassidy​ ​Jarrell,​ ​10
16. Lennon​ ​Vaughan,​ ​8


While no one has officially locked up an Olympic spot, Tahoe’s Maddie Bowman is essentially a sure thing. The 2014 Olympic gold medalist already has met the objective criteria with two podiums — she was second at Mammoth and third at Dew Tour — and only needs to finish runner-up in Snowmass to lock it in. Right behind her is Vermont’s Devin Logan, the 2014 Olympic silver medalist in slopestyle who took second at the Copper stop. After that, it’s a more fluid. Massachusetts native Annalisa Drew, a 2014 Olympian, is third in points. She doesn’t yet have a qualifying podium, her best finish being fourth at Copper. Brita Sigourney, another 2014 Olympian, is currently fourth. Outside of Bowman, the competition favorite likely has to be France’s Marie Martinod, the 2014 Olympic silver medalist who is currently second in the World Cup standings led by China’s Kexin Zhang, another Snowmass favorite. If you want a darkhorse to cheer for, how about Winter Park teen Svea Irving? She is currently eighth in the Olympic qualification standings and is the younger sister of Birk Irving, who is seventh in the men’s ski halfpipe standings.

Women’s​ ​Halfpipe​ ​Skiing​
​(after​ ​3​ ​of​ ​5​ ​qualifying​ ​events)
1. Maddie​ ​Bowman,​ ​140​
2. Devin​ ​Logan,​ ​130
3. Annalisa​ ​Drew ,​ ​95​
4. Brita​ ​Sigourney,​ ​90
5. Carly​ ​Margulies,​ ​72
6. Abigale​ ​Hansen,​ ​44
7. Jeanee​ ​Crane-Mauzy,​ ​43
8. Svea​ ​Irving,​ ​36
9. Allison​ ​Welsh,​ ​35
10. Anna​ ​Gorham,​ ​24
11. Sierra​ ​Bowman,​ ​21

(Two competitions)
Women’s qualifier: 1:55-3:40 p.m. Thursday
Men’s qualifiers: 8:55-10:30 a.m. and 11:25 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday
Final: 9:30-11:15 a.m.; women have first run then alternate with men (2 runs each)
Sunday session
Women’s qualifier: 9:10-10:30 a.m.
Men’s qualifier: 11:20 a.m.-1:20 p.m.
Finals: 2-3:30 p.m.


The men’s ski slopestyle competitions have barely begun. The first qualifier last year in Mammoth was canceled because of weather, meaning four of the five qualifying events will be held in Snowmass (Friday and Sunday) or next week in Mammoth. Indiana’s Nick Goepper, a three-time X Games Aspen gold medalist, leads the current standings after the lone qualifier, last month’s Dew Tour where he took second to Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut. Goepper won Olympic bronze in 2014, so he’s certainly a bona fide star. Utah’s Alex Hall is currently second and Telluride’s Gus Kenworthy, also a contender in ski halfpipe, is third. Kenworthy won silver in Sochi. While Denver’s Bobby Brown, a three-time X Games Aspen gold medalist (two of those golds came in big air), is currently fourth, everyone has to look over their shoulder this week at Joss Christensen. The Park City, Utah, star is the reigning Olympic gold medalist. Snowmass looks to be his first competition since he tore his ACL during practice back in May. To say Christensen will return to gold-medal form this week might be asking a lot, but calling him a darkhorse certainly wouldn’t be accurate. With four competitions still remaining over the next two weeks, he can easily factor into the Olympic picture.​ International challengers in Snowmass include Harlaut and current World Cup leader Oystein Braaten of Norway.

Men’s​ ​Slopestyle​ ​Skiing
​ ​(after​ ​1​ ​of​ ​5​ ​qualifying​ ​events)
1. Nick Goepper, 80
2. Alex Hall, 45
3. Gus Kenworthy, 40
4. Bobby Brown, 32
5. Cody LaPlante, 29
6. Colby Stevenson, 24
7. McRae Williams, 22
8. Noah Wallace, 16
9. Willie Borm, 15
10. Ethan Swadburg, 13
11. Tim Ryan, 12
12. Mac Forehand, 11
13. Ryan Stevenson, 9
14. Peter Raich, 7
15. Quinn Wolferman, 6
16. Richard Thomas, 5
17. Ryan Mcelmon, 4


Montana’s Maggie Voisin is all but assured an Olympic spot. She won the Mammoth qualifier last winter and while she only took fourth at Dew Tour, one spot off the required podium, she was the top American woman. She has a commanding points lead over second-place Devin Logan of Vermont, the reigning Olympic silver medalist in ski slopestyle. Voisin qualified for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and would have been a mere 15 years old during competition, but a fractured fibula before competition kept her out of it. Voisin’s absence paved the way for Logan’s silver medal. Dara Howell of Canada won gold in 2014. Montana native Darian Stevens is currently third in the Olympic qualifying series for the U.S. and Utah’s Taylor Lundquist is fourth. Getting an American on the podium this week in Snowmass will be difficult considering Howell will compete as will Norway’s Johanne Killi, who recently won Dew Tour.

Women’s​ ​Slopestyle​ ​Skiing​ ​
(after​ ​2​ ​of​ ​5​ ​qualifying​ ​events)
1. Maggie Voisin, 150
2. Devin Logan, 82
3. Darian Stevens, 81
4. Taylor Lundquist, 52
5. Nadia Gonzales, 28
6. Rell Harwood, 26
7. Marin Hamill, 23
8. Julia Krass, 22
tie Keri Herman, 22
10. Grace Henderson, 18
tie Kathryn Alexander, 18
12. Caroline Claire, 14


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