Hight starts Olympic qualifying with a third place | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hight starts Olympic qualifying with a third place

By Steve Yingling

Tribune sports editor

Elena Hight of Zephyr Cove moved a step closer to qualifying for the Winter Games in Turin, Italy, on Wednesday.

Hight finished third in the Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix halfpipe opener at Breckenridge Resort in Breckenridge, Colo. The 16-year-old Hight led the morning qualifying round and was only bested by winner Hannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler in the finals.

“I qualified first, so I was hoping to do a little better, but I’m super stoked on how I did anyways,” Hight said.

Hight said to overtake Teter and Bleiler she has to be more spectacular and smoother.

“I think my run is up there,” she said. “We all have similar tricks. It’s a matter of going bigger and landing it cleaner.”

In the finals, Hight’s trickery included a frontside nine to a backside five and frontside seven to a cab seven.

Shaun White of Carlsbad, Calif., won the men’s halfpipe. Ross Powers was runner-up.

No other results were available at press time.

The Grand Prix continues Friday with men’s qualifying for a second halfpipe contest. The women’s second contest starts with qualifying on Saturday morning. The finals for both and women are Saturday afternoon.

Selections for the Winter Games in February will be based on results from the five Grand Prix events.

“I’m pretty confident everything is going to go well,” Hight said. “It’s a good way to start off the year.”

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