Maddie Mastro led the field through two runs at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe snowboarding event at Snowmass in Colorado, on Saturday afternoon, but two of her competitors saved their best for last.
Spain’s Queralt Castellet threw down her best run in years to score 91.5 points and win her first world cup event in seven years and Team USA's Chloe Kim, who has already qualified for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, scored an 88.75 to finish in second place.
Castellet interrupted Kim’s winning streak, which included the Copper Mountain grand prix and Dew Tour, both held in December.
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Mastro’s score of 87.25 was good enough to keep her on the podium in third place, but wasn’t enough for her to earn her own place on the Olympic team. That will have to wait until next weekend at the final qualifying event at Mammoth Mountain, California.
Kelly Clark, a three-time Olympic medalist who also could have qualified for the Olympics on Saturday, finished in fourth place.
Arielle Gold, also a strong contender for an Olympic return, finished sixth.
Mastro was second at the Olympic qualifier at Copper Mountain in December and had one other world cup podium finish this season, finishing third in New Zealand in September. The 17-year-old from Loma Linda, California had three consistent but very similar runs during Saturday’s competition, and after Castellet and Kim passed her on the leaderboard, Mastro’s tricks and execution weren’t enough to regain her lead.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.