Olympic medalists Lindsey Jacobellis and Alex Deibold scored podium finishes Saturday afternoon as heavy snow fell at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix snowboardcross on Utah’s Solitude Mountain, an event that also served as the second stop of the 2016-17 world cup season.
As the highest placing Americans with their third-place showings, both Jacobellis and Deibold earned national championships as well.
The event was a test event for the 2019 world championships, and also marked the first snowboard world cup held in the U.S. in four years.
A three-time Olympian who took silver at the Torino 2006 Winter Games, Jacobellis won her heat and semifinal, but got caught short in the big final as Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic led wire to wire. Jacobellis had to battle to earn third and pick up her 45th world cup podium. Italy’s Michela Moioli was second.
The women’s big final featured the world cup top six, but Saturday’s result did little to sort out a clear favorite. Samkova moved into first place with 1,450 points, 50 ahead of former leader Belle Brockhoff of Australia, who was sixth in Utah. Jacobellis is one of three riders tied for third with 1,200 points apiece, along with Moioli and France’s Chloe Trespeuch, who finished fourth.
Rosina Mancari won the small final for Team USA to finish seventh, while Faye Gulini was ninth.
It took a photo finish to determine who eked out third between Deibold, the reigning Olympic bronze medalist, and teammate Nate Holland. The image showed Deibold extending his fingertips across the line just ahead of Holland’s board tip, relegating the three-time Olympian to fourth place. The fourth world cup podium of Deibold’s career, it was his first since March 2015. Austria’s Alessandro Haemmerle won, with Omar Visintin of Italy taking second.
Hagen Kearney, winner of the season’s first world cup race, placed ninth, while two-time Olympic champion Seth Wescott was 10th. Although Visintin moved into the world cup lead with 1,600 points, Kearney holds on to second with 1,290, leading three American riders in the top five: Deibold and Holland are tied for fourth with 860 points apiece.