Gretchen Bleiler Qualifies 1st at Copper
The snowboarding industry has all come to Copper Mountain, Colorado for the first US Grand Prix snowboarding event. The temperatures were well below freezing and clear skies, women’s snowboarding stepped it up again. With a field of 50 competitors riding in two heats, the pressure was on everyone as the first contest of the season was underway. The US Grand Prix events are the qualifying series for the US Team selections. And the US women’s team dominated the day.
With Oakley’s Gretchen Bleiler qualifying first by almost 2 points. She proved that her explosive riding and stylish spin tricks put her atop the rankings once again. Oakley Spain’s Quera Castallet surprised the field of seasoned veterans and landed a solid run filled with big spins. Bleiler’s US Teammate and Oakley rider Ellery Hollingsworth finished 6th and is in striking distance of the other girls.
The first qualification is over and the women have a day off tomorrow while the men’s field takes their turn in the pipe. A final round of 8 women will compete on Saturday and the American riders start their quest of making the US Olympic snowboard team.
1. Gretchen Bleiler 47.1 (Oakley Signature Series A Frame Goggle with G30 Iridium and Oakley Signature Series Apparel Collection)
2. Kelly Clark 45.7
3. Soko Yamaoka 43.5
4. Maddy Schaffrick 43.2
5. Quera Castellet 43 (Oakley Apparel and Crowbar goggle)
6. Ellery Hollindsworth 41.4 (Oakley A Frame with Fire Irdium)
7. Holly Crawford 41.1
8. Clair Bidez 41.70