Mark McMorris qualifies first in snowboard slopestyle semifinal

Last year, Mark McMorris was forced to go through a last chance qualifier in order to get himself into the men’s snowboard slopestyle final. This year, he found himself in a very familiar place: at the top of the leaderboard.

PHOTO GALLERY: Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Semifinal

The format for the qualifying rounds went as such: 30 riders were given two runs apiece in the semifinal, with the top ten riders advancing straight into Sunday’s final. The next ten riders in the rankings (#11-20) then moved on to a last chance qualifier, where they were given one run each and only the top two riders would clinch spots in the final.

Mark McMorris fared much better in the semifinal this time around than he did in 2014. (Photo: George Crosland)

Sitting in 4th place entering his second run, McMorris added an extra 360-degree rotation to his third jump to help improve his score to a 95.40. His run included a cab double underflip 900, frontside double cork 1080, switch backside 1260 and backside triple cork 1440. The run jumped McMorris into first place ahead of Darcy Sharpe and Max Parrot. Parrot also landed a backside triple cork 1440 in his run, along with a cab double cork 1260, frontside double cork 1080 and a double wildcat.

McMorris, Sharpe and Parrot formed a 1-2-3 sweep for Canada, with fellow Canadians Mikey Ciccarelli and Tyler Nicholson (who floated a stylish backside 180 Japan off the battleship rail) also placing inside the top ten.

Red Gerard is the latest in a string of 15-year-olds to qualify for a final this week. (Photo: George Crosland)

Unsurprisingly, Norway will also be well-represented in Sunday’s final, as Staale Sandbech and Mons Roisland both had solid second runs to earn themselves a transfer spot. As for the Americans, 18-year-old Kyle Mack and 15-year-old Red Gerard also advanced out of the semifinal. Mack had a stylish double cork 1080 Japan that was reminiscent of something you might expect from Sage Kotsenburg, while Gerard – who hails from nearby Silverthorne, Colorado – had a boisterous support section of the bottom of the course that cheered wildly with every trick he landed.

One American who unexpectedly landed outside the top ten was Chas Guldemond, the defending champion of this event. On his first run, Guldemond went down attempting a switch double wildcat – a trick that he unveiled for the first time at last year’s Dew Tour. On his next run, he had a miscue on the first rail section held his score in check. That second run landed him in 14th place – outside the top ten but good enough for another shot at getting in through the LCQ.

Tyler Nicholson is back in the final after last year’s 3rd-place result. (Photo: George Crosland)

Semifinal Results
1. Mark McMorris, 95.40
2. Darcy Sharpe, 91.00
3. Max Parrot, 88.00
4. Sven Thorgren, 84.20
5. Mikey Ciccarelli, 79.20
6. Staale Sandbech, 78.80
7. Mons Roisland, 78.20
8. Kyle Mack, 77.60
9. Red Gerard, 76.60
10. Tyler Nicholson, 74.40
**Top 10 advance to the final

11. Chris Corning, 68.20
12. Ryan Stassel, 62.00
13. Emil Andre Ulsletten, 61.00
14. Chas Guldemond. 56.00
15. Sebbe De Buck, 48.20
16. Eric Willett, 45.60
17. Eric Beauchemin, 42.40
18. Yuki Kadono, 37.00
19. Roope Tonteri, 29.40
20. Jamie Nicholls, 24.80
**11-20 advance to the LCQ

21. Brandon Davis, 24.00
22. Seppe Smits, 20.20
23. Janne Korpi, 19.40
24. Torgeir Bergrem, 18.60
25. Max Eberhardt, 18.20
26. Marcus Kleveland, 17.00
27. Gjermund Braaten, 11.60
28. Niklas Mattson, 10.20
29. Brage Richenberg, DNS
30. Aleksander Ostreng, DNS

Chas Guldemond came through under pressure in the LCQ. (Photo: George Crosland)

There were a lot of talented riders relegated to the LCQ. In addition to Guldemond, Breckenridge local Eric Willett and Norway’s Emil Andre Ulsletten were among the riders facing elimination if they couldn’t put down one killer run.

Yuki Kadono’s 85.00 helped secure him one of the two transfer spots, and Willett seemed to be well-positioned as well after posting an 80.00. That was until Guldemond dropped in and delivered a run packed that included signiture tricks like the switch double wildcat and cab 1260. Guldemond’s 89.80 topped the LCQ field, allowing him to survive today’s cut along with Kadono.

LCQ Results
1. Chas Guldemond, 89.80
2. Yuki Kadono, 85.00
**Top 2 advance to the final

3. Eric Willett, 80.00
4. Sebbe De Buck, 36.00
5. Ryan Stassel, 19.60
6. Jamie Nicholls, 18.00
7. Eric Beauchemin, 17.20
8. Chris Corning, 15.80
9. Emil Andre Ulsletten, 8.80
10. Roope Tonteri, 6.20

Tune in to this Sunday, December 13th at 3:15 p.m. ET for the men’s snowboard slopestyle final.

Advancing to the Final
1. Mark McMorris
2. Darcy Sharpe
3. Max Parrot
4. Sven Thorgren
5. Mikey Ciccarelli
6. Staale Sandbech
7. Mons Roisland
8. Kyle Mack
9. Red Gerard
10. Tyler Nicholson
11. Chas Guldemond
12. Yuki Kadono