Vail’s Baskins qualifies for Grand Prix finals |

Vail’s Baskins qualifies for Grand Prix finals

VAIL – Patty Baskins stacked pretty well against the best in the world Wednesday at Copper Mountain.

The Vail 19-year-old finished 11th in a field of 71 halfpipe skiers at the U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix, advancing to Friday’s finals.

“I’ve been working hard on a lot of things for the last four years, and they’re all finally starting to come together,” Baskins said. “I got to ski the most this year than I have any other year. I’ve been feeling pretty strong and confident with everything I’ve been doing.”

The 2009 Battle Mountain High School graduate is coming off a fifth-place finish in the New Zealand Open in August.

Baskins’ two runs in Wednesday’s qualification rounds were identical. He dropped into the 22-foot halfpipe backwards and did a switch 900 reverse tail grab, landing backwards. A 900 is two and a half rotations.

He followed that with a switch 720 safety grab, a cork 900 blunt grab, and an alley-oop flat 540 blunt grab. He finished with a 720 indie grab.

He scored 41.60 points on his first run and 40.60 on his second.

“I feel really good about it,” Baskins said. “There’s a superstar field over there. Just to qualify for the finals, I was happy with it.”

Baskins’ training partner, Taylor Seaton, of Edwards, finished 53rd.

Simon Dumont, of Bethel, Maine, and Jen Hudak, of Salt Lake City, Utah, led the qualification rounds for U.S. men and women in third and second, respectively.

Ski halfpipe is making its debut at the Halfpipe Grand Prix this year. Halfpipe skiers are lobbying to be included in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“It’s big for us. I feel that our form of skiing is getting viewed as a little more legitimate,” Dumont said. “It’s cool to be in a contest incorporated with snowboarders and it’s also nice because it’s a FIS and USSA event. Hopefully we will get a little better organization to make that push to the Olympics.”

As athletes make the push for a ski halfpipe debut in 2014, young riders like 17-year-old Devin Logan, of West Dover, Vt., and 15 year old Torin Yater-Wallace, of Basalt, will look to shine on the Grand Prix stage. Both Logan and Yater-Wallace will compete in Friday’s finals, vying for a World Championship spot.

“It’s been really tough in the past because we’ve only had a few events over the last few years. A lot of open events went away so we’ve been competing at only invitationals – there weren’t opportunities for new girls to get their foot in the door,” said Hudak. “It’s so good for us right now because it is an open event we had over 30 girls competing today and everyone was doing tricks and skiing really well. There is definitely a huge depth in the field now that I don’t think people knew existed.”

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association contributed to this report. Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

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