Men's halfpipe finals at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain. 1. Nathan Johnstone (AUS) 2. Luke Mitrani (USA) 3. Louie Vito (USA) (Sarah Brunson/USSA)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Jan. 12) – Under clear skies and chilly temperatures, Luke Mitrani (Mammoth Lakes, CA) and Olympic champion Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) led the USA finishing second at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain. Australia’s Nathan Johnstone and Torah Bright took the wins. Louie Vito (Sandy, UT) was third. It was the first domestic stop for athletes to gain Olympic qualifying points and 5Star World Snowboard event points. The weekend will be televised on both NBC and the NBC Sports Network.
Australia’s Nathan Johnstone was victorious while Luke Mitrani (Mammoth Lakes, CA) took second with teammate Louie Vito (Sandy, UT) in third at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain.
Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) was second behind fellow Olympic champion Torah Bright of Australia.
Five American men finished in the top seven including Zach Black (Breckenridge, CO) in fifth, Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, CA) sixth, and Benji Farrow (Ludlow, VT) seventh.
Similarly, five U.S. women cracked the top seven including Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) fourth, Kaitlyn Farrington (Bellevue, ID) fifth, Ellery Hollingsworth (Darien CT) sixth and Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe, CA) seventh.
Luke Mitrani run: double Mikalchuk, front 900 tail, backside air, front 1080 tail, cab double 1080.
Louie Vito run: double crippler, back 540 mute-grab, back to back double corks, front 1080 tail.
Kelly Clark run: front 900, backside 540 mute-grab, front 720 indy, cab 720 mute-grab, front 540.
Athletes gained valuable FIS Olympic qualifying points in addition to 5Star World Snowboard Tour level points.
The event will be broadcast on NBC and NBC Sports Network, with initial airing Sunday at 4:00 p.m. EST on NBC.
QUOTES Luke Mitrani My first run went really well and I was happy with how my double came together. My second run, I blew it so I was glad that I had the security from my first run. You know, I really like the halfpipe here at Copper and I am stoked to see how the Olympic qualifying period will continue to go, it feels good to be here and I am looking forward to the next Grand Prix at Park City.
Kelly Clark I rode more conservatively than I usually do today, but I am OK with that. I feel really good about my riding and I am happy with where I ended up. I think if you are pleased with your riding than that is really all that matters. This feels really good going into X Games. I am going to train next week and get myself set-up and ready for X. The Grand Prix’s are always great events and I had a great time this week.
Louie Vito I’m glad I was on the podium today and it just makes me want to do better for the rest of the season. I am happy for Luke, he rode so well today and it’s great for all of us to start our Olympic qualifying points at the Grand Prix.