White rallies to top Copper Grand Prix qualifying | TahoeDailyTribune.com

White rallies to top Copper Grand Prix qualifying

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. – The back-to-back double corks were heating things up by the end of the day at Copper Mountain as Shaun White of Carlsbad, Calif., and Louie Vito of Sandy, Utah, went one and two in both their heats and the overall qualifications for the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix.

White, in classic White fashion, came in from behind for the number one spot with some double doubles after sitting second to Vito at the finish of the first run.

But, like the dancing man said, he and White are treating it all like practice and pushing the boundaries where they can. Case in point – Vito’s back-to-back doubles. It was a first for him to throw the move in any form of competition.

“I’ve got a few different spins I’m going to mix up, but I just want to keep it consistent. I was already in, which was all I cared about,” Vito said. “I think Shaun felt the same way. It’s always practice and you’ve just got to step it up, take it up another notch and just get ready for tomorrow.”

As Elton John’s Tiny Dancer echoed off the halfpipe walls, Vito cruised through the air landing his tricks in an almost too easy fashion. He explained that, after the type of training he’s gone through this summer, the pipe is a comfortable place to be.

“I’m pretty consistent. I’ve just got to do it when it counts and I landed it when it counted today,” Vito said. “Snowboarding is a lot less pressure and a lot easier for me than dancing was, so that made it a lot easier today.”

Mammoth rider Greg Bretz threw his name in the hat of riders to watch, finishing third.

“Finishing third in my heat, I’m pretty stoked, actually,” Bretz said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better. The progression of snowboarding is through the roof these days. You’ve just got to keep up and have fun doing it.”

Elijah Teter of the South Shore qualified for Saturday’s finals by placing 12th. Truckee’s Andy Finch missed the finals as he placed 24th.


At Copper Mountain, Colo.

Dec. 11, 2009

Men’s Halfpipe Qualifications

1. Shaun White, Carlsbad, Calif., 49.50

2. Louie Vito, Sandy, Utah, 48.60

3. Greg Bretz, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 45.70

4. Danny Davis, Detroit, Mich., 45.50

5. Dustin Craven, Canada, 44.50

6. Scotty Lago, Seabrook, N.H., 44.30

7. Steve Fisher, Breckenridge, Colo., 43.30

8. JJ Thomas, Golden, Colo., 43.20

9. Jack Mitrani, Mammoth, 43.10

10. Ryoh Aono, Japan, 42.90

11. Tore Holvik, Norway, 42.90

12. Elijah Teter, South Lake Tahoe, 42.60

13. Charles Reid, Canada, 42.50

14. Nathan Johnstone, Australia, 42.40

15. Zack Black, Breckenridge, Colo., 41.80

16. Fredrik Austbo, Norway, 41.40

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