Gretchen Bleiler qualifies first at USSA Grand Prix

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 11, 2009 10:07 am

The USSA Grand Prix at Copper kicked off with a bang on Thursday with Women’s Pipe Qualifiers. There were 50 women in the field feverishly competing for one of the eight final spots available between the two heats. In order to automatically qualify for the finals, a rider had to finish in the top three of their respective heat. The other two spots were given to the two remaining highest scores.

2006 Winter Olympics Silver Medalist Gretchen Bleiler had a stellar run complete with a first hit “crippler” to land her in the top spot. 

In the biggest shocker of the day, Australian Torah Bright, considered to be one of the best female pipe riders in the world, was unable to land a clean run in either attempt and was eliminated by just a couple points.

Finals will be held on Saturday, and men’s pipe qualifiers are today.

Women’s Grand Prix Qualifiers

1. Gretchen Bleiler, 47.1
2. Kelly Clark, 45.7
3. Soko Yamaoka, 43.5
4. Maddy Schaffrick, 43.2
5. Quera Castellet, 43
6. Ellery Hollindsworth, 41.4
7. Holly Crawford, 41.1
8. Clair Bidez, 41.70