Jamie Anderson takes first in Breck Grand Prix women’s slopestyle qualifiers, Spencer O’Brien snags second

Comments by Kelli Lynn Hargrove/

The leading ladies of slopestyle were put to the test in Breckenridge this morning as the Sprint US Grand Prix qualifiers went off. Jamie Anderson, who rode the same course straight to the top of the Dew Tour podium just a month ago, tops the leader board again today after putting down a 91.40 in her second run of the day. After first runs wrapped, it was Kjersti Buaas sitting pretty in first with an 85.80, a score which proved strong enough for her to end the day with third place after the onslaught of second runs. For her part, Spencer O’Brien stepped up in her second run to put down an 88.80, a huge improvement from her first score of 55.20, and enough to earn her second place.

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 12.37.53 PM Jamie Anderson & Kjersti Buaas celebrate taking top 3 in qualis | P: Tricia Byrnes / @tbyrnes

The pressure was on this morning, as only 8 of the 26 riders would earn their way into Friday’s finals. This Grand Prix, the second in its series, is also the third of five Olympic qualifying events for the US team. Anderson, Walker and Jensen, currently the top three ranked Olympic team contenders based on their previous results, made it through to finals, in first, sixth, and eighth, respectively.

Official results:
1. Jamie Anderson — 91.40
2. Spencer O’Brien — 88.80
3. Kjersti Buaas — 85.80
4. Jenny Jones — 85.00
5. Silje Norendal — 82.60
6. Ty Walker — 79.00
7. Karly Shorr — 75.60
8. Jessika Jenson — 71.80

There are five Olympic qualifying events in total, two of which — the 2013 Dew Tour and the Copper Grand Prix— have already wrapped up. The next three Grand Prix events will help determine which snowboarders will represent the US in Sochi, as the riders with the best two finishes of the five earning a spot on the team. In total, four riders of each gender will go to Sochi for halfpipe, and four for slopestyle. The final team will be announced at the end of January after the end of the Mammoth Grand Prix.

Heading into this third Olympic qualifier, here’s how the US women’s slopestyle team is stacking up:

1. Jamie Anderson: 1,800
2. Ty Walker: 1,500
3. Jessika Jenson: 1,400