X Games gold medalist Chas Guldemond (Reno, NV) finished fifth and secured the top U.S. spot in the first-ever slopestyle snowboarding Olympic qualifier at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships Sunday. Top-qualifier and favored U.S. athlete Shaun White (Carlsbad, CA) sat out the event because of a sprained ankle he re-aggravated during the halfpipe final on Saturday. Guldemond takes 1000 qualification points into the second of five qualification events, the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain Dec. 21-22.
Photo: U.S Snowboarding
Sage Kotsenburg (Park City, UT) and Brandon Davis (Mammoth Lakes, CA) finished sixth and seventh in the final, but went to second and third in the U.S. Olympic qualifications standings.
The final produced some of the most progressive tricks ever performed in competition, with Canadian Mark McMorris stomping a triple cork 1440 and winning with a score of 97.80. McMorris posted a 95.00 in the first round–a full four points above the rest of the riders–so he had nothing to lose when he threw down the triple cork.
Guldemond’s first and highest-scoring run: Front board 180 out, half cab onto the wall ride 180 out, switch backside 900, double back rodeo, half cab on to the box, back lip on the rainbow rail, cab double cork 1260, backside double cork 1080.