Aspen’s Alex Ferreira qualifies for Copper Grand Prix final as halfpipe season arrives

Defending X Games Aspen gold medalist Alex Ferreira made his season debut in the halfpipe Wednesday and looked to be in good early-season form. The Aspen skier finished second in his qualifying heat at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain and will move on to compete in Friday’s 10-man final.

Ferreira, who won Olympic silver in 2018, scored 83.5 on the first of two qualifying runs. He opted out of the second run. Avon’s Taylor Seaton scored 86 on his second run to win their heat. Winter Park’s Birk Irving was the top overall qualifier, scoring 90.75 in the second heat.

Other notable qualifiers to finals include two-time Olympic gold medalist David Wise, who will be the sixth to drop in Friday, just ahead of Ferreira. Crested Butte’s Aaron Blunck also snuck into finals and will drop in third. Brendan MacKay, Noah Bowman, Jaxin Hoerter, Dylan Marineau and Evan Marineau round out the finalists.

Full results can be found here.

Not making the cut was Aspen’s Cassidy Jarrell. The U.S. rookie team member was eighth in the second heat with a 73.75 scored on his second run. Boulder’s Lyman Currier, a 2014 Olympian, finished a spot ahead of Jarrell but also missed the cut. Also competing was Aspen’s Tristan Feinberg, who failed to put down a complete run in the first heat.

The Copper Grand Prix is the second World Cup event of the season. The first was September’s competition in Cardrona, New Zealand, won by Irving. Ferreira did not compete in New Zealand. Jarrell did, taking 18th.

Competing in the women’s competition at Copper Mountain was Basalt teenager Hanna Faulhaber. The 15-year-old missed the finals cut, taking 15th on Wednesday. This was only her second World Cup start following her 14th-place finish in Cardrona earlier in the fall. She had a breakthrough debut season a year ago.

Canada’s Rachael Karker qualified first in the single women’s heat, followed by Britain’s Zoe Atkin and California’s Brita Sigourney.

The Copper Grand Prix also includes a men’s and women’s snowboarding halfpipe contest, with qualifiers scheduled for Thursday and finals for Saturday.

Note: This article has been corrected to show that Birk Irving, not Simon D’Artois, won the September World Cup in New Zealand. D’Artois led qualifying, but took sixth in finals.