Local boarders Bleiler, Shaffrick, Bidez qualify in U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix

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Three snowboarders from Colorado are among the qualifiers for today's Women's Halfpipe Finals at the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix event at Mammoth Mountain, the second of five U.S. competitions in the run-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver:

Gretchen Blelier (Aspen) qualified in third, behind Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter; Made Shaffrick (Steamboat Springs) and Clair Bidez (Minturn) qualified in the 5th and 7th positions.

The top seven riders will compete in Finals today, accumulating points towards the four Olympic quota spots. There is one more event this weekend at Mammoth, and another two later this month at Park City Mountain in Utah. The U.S. Snowboarding Olympic team will be announced after the Park City Mountain competitions.
 
NBC will air its coverage from Mammoth Mountain on Sunday at 11:30am.
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