McNeal Top American in Sprint U.S. Grand Prix
Media Note: Photos are available for editorial use here. http://ussa.smugmug.com/Freeskiing/Freeskiing-2011-12/2012-Freeskiing-GP-Canyons/21356114_bXZMQ7#!i=1705315189&k=tXrXCbs
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 11) — Day one finals action commenced at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Canyons Resort with a challenging skicross competition that landed the USA's Langely McNeal (Sun Valley, ID) in second. Fresh off an X Games win, Canadian Chris Del Bosco took the men's win while Canadian teammate Marielle Thompson finished one ahead of McNeal.
- Sun Valley's Langely McNeal finished second behind Canadian Marielle Thompson.
- Joe Swensson (Niantic, CT) notched the top American male result, finishing sixth behind winner Chris Del Bosco of Cananda.
- U.S. Freeskiing's John Teller (Mammoth Lakes, CA) crashed in the quarterfinal heat, failing to advance to finals and finishing 13th.
- 16-year-old Whitney Gardner (South Lake Tahoe, CA) was fourth.
- Robbie Mahre, nephew of Olympic champion and alpine ski racer Phil Mahre, was 10th after not advancing from quarterfinals.
- The Sprint U.S. Grand Prix continues Sunday with snowboardcross finals at 11 a.m. MT. Watch it live online at www.ussnowboarding.com.
That was a wild heat. I saw the two Canadians rubbing elbows and I kind of expected a crash but was being patient and trying to not do anything stupid and I lucked out. I saw Mueller go down after the hip jump I went on the outside and just tried to hang on to that second. I'm pretty excited - it's a little redemption after X Games.
I'm really happy with my day overall. It would have been nice to get into the finals. I've had some bad luck in the last run there, I ran into a guy, but that's a part of ski cross. It was nice to catch up here in to fifth. I wish I had my teammates with me, but next time.
This course is kind of like a mini X Games. The features are really big. A couple spots I had to check some speed or else I would have ended up in the fence. It's really nice and definitely a lot of fun.
You definitely have to stay on your game here. You can't let all the outside things affect you. The course is a good course. It's super fun. The hip jump was a bit scary over the first few days but it's all really well built so the landing is in the right spot.
Chris Del Bosco
It's fun to have my teammates in the final. We've all been skiing pretty well. I just had horrible starts in my first couple of heats, I got out behind and had to make some moves down through the middle section, but I think that helped me in the final because I had made some of those passes before. This is a fun race. I'm looking forward to the second half of the World Cup season.
Casey Puckett, USA Skicross Coach
It was unfortunate. Teller came out and he was in the lead. There are some rough spots in the course up there. I think he just got caught up in the roughness of the course and went down. I think he absolutely had the potential to win today. Every day he shows up he has that potential to win. He was first out of the start but sometimes you hit a snow snake and go down.
NBC – Saturday, Feb. 18 – 3:00 p.m. ET
NBC Sports Network – Sunday, Feb. 26 – 2:00 p.m. ET