It was an all-American day in slopestyle snowboard Sunday at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix as both the men and women swept the podiums at Mammoth Mountain, California.
Reigning Olympic champion Jamie Anderson and 16-year-old Red Gerard led a sweep of both podiums, setting up an exciting battle for Olympic qualification.
The six riders who found their way to the podium gained an early advantage in the race to qualify for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Four selection events will be held – the majority of which are next season – and up to three athletes per gender can automatically make the Olympic team with one podium finish at those events.
2016 Youth Olympian Hailey Langland and 2017 X Games gold medalist Julia Marino set up the sweep by leading the field after first runs with scores of 77.40 and 71.85, respectively. But Anderson showed why she is the Olympic champion, vaulting to the top of the scoreboard on the final run down the hill by posting an 80.25 to complete the Team USA sweep.
Anderson picks up her seventh-career world cup victory, which includes a pair of big air wins. Langland is back on a slopestyle podium for the first tie since August 2015, while Marino earned her first slopestyle world cup podium after last year’s big air win in Boston, and a second place at November’s Olympic test event in Alpensia, South Korea.
As impressive as the women’s sweep was, the men went one better, taking the top four spots. Gerard’s first run 87.95 generated his first world cup victory, his second career podium after taking third last month in Kreischberg, Austria. Kyle Mack was second with a 77.05 while Dylan Thomas rounded out the sweep with his 73.95, giving both their first-ever world cup podium finishes, though Mack won bronze at the 2015 world championships.
Judd Henkes, at only 15 years old, finished in fourth with his second-run score of 70.05. Brock Crouch was sixth, scoring 69.80.