Jamie Anderson locks down a spot on the US Olympic slopestyle team at 2014 Mammoth Grand Prix
All Photos: Chris Wellhausen
When Jamie Anderson qualified first at the Breckenridge Grand Prix last week, she hoped she was about to clinch a spot on the US Olympic slopestyle team. But after the Breck Grand Prix finals were cancelled due to weather and it was announced none of the qualifying scores would count, Jamie shifted her focus to the next Grand Prix stop at Mammoth.
To make up for the cancelled Breckenridge event, the US Ski and Snowboard Association added an extra slopestyle finals to the schedule. This created two back-to-back contests today, but ensured that there were still five events to help pick the best possible US Olympic team. The stakes are especially high for riders trying to make the women's US slopestyle team because there are currently only two spots available. More spots may open up depending on results from the Stoneham, Quebec World Cup, which also in progress.
At the morning event, Karly Shorr and Jordie Karlinsky both rode away from solid first runs that put them in first and second respectively, for the time being. Riders dropped in order of their US team qualification standings so far and as Jamie was in the top spot with 1,800 points, she went last. On her first run she set the bar through the rail section with a backside 50-50, gap to backside lipslide, and boardslide 270 out on the shotgun rail. Moving into the jumps she styled-out a no-grab frontside 360 shifty, to backside 540, and Cab 720 tail grab. That run would hold her for the rest of the contest and secured her spot on the US Olympic team. To select the team coaches look at a rider's two highest results out of the five event qualifying series, and a double win almost always means a rider will get a spot on the team.
"It feels so good to get a result and qualify for the Olympic team," Jamie said of her win. "This is all new to me so it's been a really fun season learning a lot and trying not to let all the stress and pressure overwhelm me."
Even though she knew she had made the team Jamie said that she'd continue to ride in the next event because she wanted to switch up her runs to see what else she could do.
When Karly Shorr dropped in for he second run, she stuck a switch backside 540, frontside 360, and backside 360 japan, which landed her in second. Then Ty Walker made a huge comeback on her second run, which put her in third place after a clean jump line that included a Cab five tail grab, frontside 360, and a backside 720.
Mammoth Grand Prix #4 women's slopestyle qualifier
By the afternoon the course was slowing down and some of the ladies where having trouble clearing the jumps. It was either stomp your landing clean and point it into the next jump or you wouldn't clear the deck. Jamie was back again, mixing up her runs as promised. She added a backside 5-0 on the down bar and changed up her jump line with a combo of backside 540s, switch backside 180s, and switch backside 540s before finishing her runs with a Cab 720 tail grab. With that, she took another win.
"Two events in one day—this is definitely a first for me," Jamie said of her second victory. "The course was really good and all the girls were riding well." As for what's next before the Sochi Olympics, Jamie says she's been thinking about some new tricks, but she hasn't had much time until now to try anything really new.
For the rest of the field a lot was riding on second and third place. Those spots were scooped up by Jordie Karlinski in second and Jessika Jenson in third. Going into the event Jessika was in the third spot on the US team rankings and ahead of Jordie by 400 points but Jordie’s second place finish today tied her with Jessika for third. As no one was able to take the top spot away from Jamie, Ty Walker remained qualified second for the US team, even though she finished fourth in the last event today.
"I'm really happy to have landed a run in the second qualifiers," Jordie said. "I've been working hard on some tricks and I want to link them together for Saturday—a little harder run." Jessika said that today's result was a big placement for her. "I'm definitely going to have to work hard at the last qualifying event," she said of trying to make the team still. "I'm kind of on the borderline. I'm going to have to give it my all."
The battle for the remaining spot on the US women's slopestyle team spot continues on Saturday.
Top Six US Olympic Team Women's Slopestyle Qualification Standings
Combined points from two best scores after third and fourth Grand Prix slopestyle stops
1. Jamie Anderson: 2,ooo
2. Ty Walker: 1,600
3. Jessika Jenson: 1,400
3. Jordie Karlinski: 1,400
5. Karly Shorr: 1,300
6. Phoebe Novello: 900
2014 Mammoth Grand Prix Finals #3 Results
1. Jamie Anderson
2. Karly Shorr
3. Ty Walker
4. Jordie Karlinski
5. Jessika Jenson
6. Serena Shaw
7. Julian Brackett
8. Phoebe Novello
9. Kirra Kotsenburg
2014 Mammoth Grand Prix Finals #4 Results
1. Jamie Anderson
2. Jordie Karlinski
3. Jessika Jenson
4. Ty Walker
5. Phoebe Novello
6. Kirra Kotsenburg
7. Karly Shorr
8. Julian Brackett