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Vito finishes 12th at U.S. Grand Prix

Louie VitoLouie Vito's quest for Sochi continued Saturday night at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

The Bellefontaine native put together a great run, but he placed his hand on the ground which resulted in a 12th-place finish.

After two events, Vito sits in fifth place. The top four riders will comprise the U.S. Olympic Team.

Team USA will announce its team for Sochi on January 19th based on results from the Dew Tour and U.S. Grand Prix events. The riders highest scores from two out of the five qualifying results determine the final standings.

Rookie rider Taylor Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) led a U.S. sweep with Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, CA) and Ben Ferguson (Bend, OR) in the halfpipe final Saturday.

Gold put down his winning score during the very first run of the competition after barley qualifying for the final in 16th. The entire international field was not able to top Gold’s run, which resulted in his career-first World Cup victory. All spots on the men’s Olympic team are still up for grabs, and the competition will be at an all time high when the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix goes to Breckenridge January 8th-11th.

HIGHLIGHTS

- Saturday’s results kept Bretz in the lead in the qualification standings while boosting Gold into second above Shaun White (Carlsbad, CA), who chose not to compete Saturday in order to focus on the slopestyle competition on Sunday. Ferguson also moved up in the standings into third on Saturday.

- Snow fell throughout the day, which made the halfpipe a bit slower than normal and prevented many riders from stomping tricks cleanly.

- Taylor’s winning run: Backside 540, frontside 1260, double Michalchuk, frontside double cork 1080, cab 1080.

- Bretz’s second-place run: Frontside double cork 1080, cab double cork 1080, frontside 900, backside 900, frontside 1080.

US Olympic Men’s Halfpipe Qualification Standings

Points list

1. Greg Bretz: 1,800

Dew Tour, 1st

Copper Grand Prix 2nd

2. Taylor Gold: 1,600

Dew Tour, 3rd

Copper, 1st

3. Shaun White: 800

Dew Tour, 2nd

4. Ben Ferguson: 600

Copper, 3rd

5. Louie Vito: 500

Dew Tour, 4th

6. Benji Farrow: 500

Copper, 4th (Out of US riders)

Full Results from Saturday

1. Taylor Gold (USA)

2. Greg Bretz (USA)

3. Ben Ferguson (USA)

4. Arthur Longo (France)

5. Taku Hiraoka (Japan)

6. Scotty James (Australia)

7. Benji Farrrow (USA)

8. Christian Haller (Switzerland)

9. Yiwei Zhang (China)

10. Scotty Lago (USA)

11. Ryo Aono (Japan)

12. Louie Vito (USA)

13. Ayumu Hirano (Japan)

14. Danny Davis (USA)

15. Chase Josey (USA)

16. Matt Ladley (USA)

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