By Gary R. Blockus | Jan. 20, 2018, 11:57 p.m. (ET)
Chase Josey competes in a halfpipe snowboarding qualifying round at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on Dec. 7, 2017 in Copper Mountain, Colo.

 

Chase Josey knew automatic Olympic qualification wasn’t on the line Saturday night, but he also knew he needed to make a lasting impression.

The halfpipe snowboarder stole the show at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California, throwing down a 94.50 on his opening run to turn back all challengers while nabbing his first-ever grand prix win and the second major win of his career.

Team USA swept the halfpipe podium in the final U.S. qualifying event for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Ben Ferguson, 22, took second with 92.25 points, and two-time Olympian Greg Bretz, 27, placed third with an 81.50.

With two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, Jake Pates and Ferguson already locking up all three automatic qualifying spots last week, the remaining riders were shooting for top scores and places to earn the sole discretionary pick that will be announced next week.

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Danny Davis, who was injured in his second run and couldn’t continue on for his third run, was leading in points among those eligible for the discretionary pick, but Josey surpassed him with Saturday’s victory.

The 22-year-old Josey from Hailey, Idaho has earned three career world cup podiums, one in each position. He won the Laax, Switzerland world cup in January 2017, and finished second in the world cup standings last season and third the season prior.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.