VALLE NEVADO, Chile — Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) didn ‘t miss a beat Thursday en route to back-to-back halfpipe wins at the World Cup season opener in Valle Nevado, Chile. Teter, the lone American woman – and one of five U.S. athletes overall – to qualify for either halfpipe finals, charged the pipe for her first win of the 2006 season in the morning before following up with another victory that same afternoon.

Teter’s run featured “huge amplitude” according to U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Head Coach Bud Keene. Tricks included a 540, 900 and 360– “big rotations, all grabbed and style-y,” said Keene. Thursday’s victories bring Teter’s total career World Cup wins to six. She also was bronze medalist at the 2005 World Championships.

“Today’s wins gave Hannah a huge boost of confidence,” said Keene. “She’s filled with confidence anyway, but this served as validation for all her hard work this summer. She’s really fit–lean and mean–and the power and amplitude she exhibits is shocking. She’s incredible to watch. Hannah has coaches from other nations just shaking their heads–and she’s got even more they have yet to see.”

Keene said Teter actually held back a bit with her runs in the halfpipe contests, as the pipe was supremely icy and safety was a consideration. However, she had to make a statement to take the win: “This is an Olympic year, the first World Cups of the season, and everyone is here. The field is strong and these contests are no joke. Everyone is out to win, and for Hannah to win, she had to go huge.”

On the men’s side, four Americans qualified for the first halfpipe final, with Rob Kingwill (Jackson, WY) and Pat Moore (Plymouth, NH) placing in the top five. U.S. Snowboarding’s Danny Davis (Highland, MI) finished 10th for his second career World Cup top 10. Xaver Hoffman (GER) won the morning halfpipe contest for his fourth career World Cup win. No U.S. men competed in the second final, won by Finland’s Anti Autti.

Despite the lack of podiums, Keene was positive about the men’s performance. Also of note was a 12th place finish for Travis Rice (Jackson, WY), who needed to secure his World Cup top-25 result to be eligible for the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team.

“We want all the best American riders to have their hat in the ring, so we are excited to have these guys want to be a part of the Olympic qualifying process,” Keene said. “They secured their top-25 with ease and I think it shows the depth of American talent. These guys spend most of their year filming movies, hitting rails and the back country, so to step right in and make the finals of a World Cup halfpipe contest is mind-blowing.”

The halfpipe riders will stay in Chile for another four days for more on-snow training. The World Cup contests in Valley Nevado continue this weekend with two snowboardcross events Saturday and Sunday.

Valle Nevado, Chile–Sept. 15, 2005

Halfpipe Final #1

1. Xaver Hoffmann, GER, 43.3
2. Daniel Franck, NOR, 40.8
3. Antti Autti, FIN, 39.8
4. Rob Kingwill, Jackson, WY, 38.8
5. Patrick Moore, Plymouth, NH, 36.5
6. Jan Michaelis, GER, 36.2
7. Brad Martin, CAN, 35.3
8. Mikka Hast, FIN, 35.2
9. Sergio Berger, SUI, 34.1
10. Danny Davis, Highland, MI, 32.8
11. Christophe Schmidt, GER, 27.1
12. Travis Rice, Jackson, WY, 24.5

1. Hannah Teter, Belmont, VT, 46.4
2. Doriane Vidal, FRA, 41.2
3. Holly Crawford, AUS, 39.4
4. Sophie Rodriguez, FRA, 33.8
5. Mercedes Nicoll, CAN, 31.6
6. Kjersti Buaas, NOR, 20.8

Halfpipe Final #2

1. Antti Autti, FIN, 48.3
2. Mathieu Crepel, FRA, 47.0
3. Mikka Hast, FIN, 43.7
4. Xaver Hoffmann, GER, 43.4
5. Brad Martin, CAN, 41.6
6. Andrew Burton, AUS, 38.5
7. Stefan Karlsson, SWE, 38.4
8. Giacomo Kratter, ITA, 38.1
9. Risto Mattila, FIN, 36.8
10. Dan Raymond, CAN, 34.9
11. Hallvor Lunn, NOR, 31.2
12. Gary Zebrowski, FRA, 29.8

1. Hannah Teter, Belmont, VT, 46.4
2. Doriane Vidal, FRA, 39.6
3. Mercedes Nicoll, CAN, 35.0
4. Manuela Laura Pesko, SUI, 31.5
5. Juliane Bray, NZE, 26.6
6. Kjersti Buaas, NOR, 8.8