Lindsey Jacobellis qualified for Friday's finals at the World Championships. (Getty Images-Clive Rose)
KREISCHBERG, Austria (Jan. 15, 2015)—Alex Deibold (Manchester Center, NH), Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, MI), Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA), Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City, UT) and Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) all qualified into Friday’s snowboardcross FIS World Championships finals.
Deibold, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, was the fastest American in qualifiers finishing fifth—less than a second behind current World Champion Alex Pullin from Australia, who took the top spot. Holland finished 10th, and Baumgartner used the second run to solidify his spot in the final round of 32.
Three-time FIS World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis qualified in third—less than .2 seconds second behind reigning Olympic gold medalist Eva Samkova. Faye Gulini had the fastest time in the second run of qualifiers, nabbing her a spot in the final round of 16.
Nick Baumgartner took 10th in the qualifiers at World Championships. (Getty Images-Lars Baron)
“It’s hard coming into the season without any prior events,” said Peter Foley, head coach of U.S. Snowboarding and head snowboardcross coach. “But we have an amazing team and they are riding well.”
Foley also relayed how the course looks, saying, “We’re really fast in the middle and finish of the course, but we need some work on the start. It’s going to be really important tomorrow.”
Overall, it should be a thrilling race. The race is running four-person heats, with a stacked field in each one. “The level is so deep everywhere that’s it’s not gonna be easy,” said Foley.
World Championships finals start tomorrow at 5:45 AM EST, which can be streamed live on Universal Sports with TV broadcast Friday at 9:00 p.m. EST.