PARK CITY, UT (Dec. 21) — Jeff Greenwood (Hartford, CT), who was upset for an Olympic spot four years ago, became the second U.S. snowboarder to clinch a 2002 Olympic team spot as he took the second of five qualifying rounds Fri. on the Olympic parallel giant slalom course in Park City. Greenwood joins Shannon Dunn (Carnelian Bay, CA), who clinched a halfpipe spot last weekend, as the first two athletes to have clinched spots on the 14-person U.S. Olympic Team.
Greenwood led the morning qualifying round for a Continental Cup snowboard race in Park City. It was his second straight top finish after leading Americans in qualifying for the Dec. xx FIS World Cup in Whistler, BC.
“I’m psyched to be going home for Christmas knowing I’ve made the team,” said a jubilant Greenwood. “Four years ago I won the first World Cup and had some other great finishes, then did badly in the last two qualifying races. It was a shocker to my system. It honestly took me two years to get over.”
The 2002 selection process includes five World Cup, Continental Cup and Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix events — similar events Greenwood and his colleagues ride on a regular basis. Four years ago, selection came down to just three Grand Prix events, with the heavily-favored Greenwood barely missing selection.
“I was really nervous for the qualifying run — and I haven’t been nervous for a couple years,” he added. “But I’m excited to get to come back. I was training here in April with Jeff Archibald, who coaches the Park City program, and seeing all of the construction I was psyched to come back.”
Greenwood led qualifying in 37.21 — a .29 margin over Peter Thorndike (Meredith, NH). Lisa Kosglow (Boise, ID) took the women’s qualifying in 42.35, more than a second ahead of Rosey Fletcher (Anchorage) — the reverse of the result in the opening qualifier Dec. 10.
Olympic selection is based off individual qualifying time trials. In the actual PGS event, Eric Warren (Bennington, VT) and Austrian Doris Krings took wins.
With Kosglow and Fletcher trading qualifying wins, neither has clinched a spot. Both are veterans of the debut 1998 Olympic snowboard team. For Kosglow, her qualifying win was another step in a comeback from several disappointing seasons.
“I have a few things, but the biggest thing to help turn my career around is working with Maggie Connor (former freestyle mogul Olympian),” said Kosglow. She agreed to take me under wing. She takes a sports psychology approach in working with my subconscious rather than your conscious. It’s never been a technical issue, more a confidence issue.
Fletcher, like her colleagues, was very pleased with a week of training on the Olympic course. “This week of training on this hill has been epic,” said Fletcher. “It’s a little intimidating at the top just because of the steepness, but after a couple days of training all of us were just ripping down there. It’s much steeper than any World Cup. The course setting is going to be crucial to allow the snowboards to carve.”
The third of five qualifying events will be Jan. 4 at the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix in Mt. Bachelor, OR. The final qualifying events will be FIS World Cup events Jan. 20 and 24 in Bardonnechia, Italy and Kreischberg, Austria.
FIS Snowboard Continental Cup
Fri. Dec. 21, Park City, UT
1. Eric Warren, Bennington, VT
2. Ryan McDonald, Entiat, WA
3. Peter Thorndike, Meredith, NH
4. Ian Hadgkiss, CAN
5. Chris Klug, Aspen, CO
6. Peter Macomber, Breckenridge, CO
7. Tyler Jewell, Sudbury, MA
8. Donald Nyberg, Tahoe City, CA
1. Doris Krings, AUT
2. Rosey Fletcher, Anchorage
3. Lynn Ott, Bend, OR
4. Claire Cetera, Sun Valley, ID
5. Lisa Kosglow, Boise, ID
6. Nathalie Desmares, FRA
7. Stacia Hookom, Edwards, CO
8. Jenni MacDonald, Madison, NH
Olympic Qualifying Round (U.S. only)
1. Jeff Greenwood, Hartford, CT, :37.21
2. Ryan McDonald, Entiat, WA, :37.53
3. Peter Thorndike, Meredith, NH, :39.21
4. Eric Warren, Bennington, VT, :37.61
5. Chris Klug, Aspen, CO, :38.39
6. Graham Watanabe, Sun Valley, ID, :38.81
7. Peter Macomber, Breckenridge, CO, :39.10
8. Anton Pogue, Hood River, OR, :39.17
9. Tyler Jewell, Sudbury, MA, :39.54
10. Darren Ratcliffe, Evergreen, CO, :39.80
1. Lisa Kosglow, Boise, ID, :42.35
2. Rosey Fletcher, Anchorage, :43.47
3. Sondra Van Ert, Sun Valley, ID, :43.53
4. Claire Cetera, Sun Valley, ID, :44.13
5. Stacia Hookom, Edwards, CO, :44.22
6. Lynn Ott, Bend, OR, :45.33