Trevor Jacob of Mammoth Lakes all but clinched an Olympic berth Saturday by scoring his first snowboardcross victory in a World Cup race in Vallnord, Andorra. Squaw Valley's Nate Holland took fourth as he attempts to make his third Olympic team.
Jacob's best finish in seven World Cup races before Saturday was seventh.
"I'm speechless," he said in a statement. "It's just so cool to be out here with all these dudes that I didn't know how I'd compare to, and it's just cool to come out here and be on the top."
Jacob, 20, grew up in Mammoth as an up-and-coming halfpipe competitor.
"The fire is here for boardercross," he said. "It was never really there for halfpipe. I kind of got talked into pipe because I was good at it, but this is something for myself and is super meaningful and I can do it for the right reasons."
Jacob and Holland have satisfied the criteria for Olympic team qualification. The three-member U.S. team will be named later this month.
Olympic medalist Lindsey Jacobellis was third in the women's race.
Tahoe's Julia Mancuso had one of her best performances of the season to finish 13th in the women's downhill in Altenmarkt, Austria, a day after her sister Sara was taken to a hospital because of a skiing accident in Austria. Mammoth Lake's Stacey Cook was 21st.
It was Mancuso's first race after she took a break last month because of poor results.
Bay Area bobsledders had another rough outing on the World Cup circuit, this time in the two-man competition in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Monterey pilot Nick Cunningham and Abe Morlu finished 11th on a day Steven Holcomb led the Americans by placing fifth. Cory Butner of Yucaipa rallied after crashing during training to finish 15th with brakeman Andreas Drbal of Belmont.
"We are fighters and will rebound quickly," Drbal told this newspaper.
"Our goal is to win every race," Holcomb said in a statement. "This is the only sport I know of where there's a true home track advantage. It's not like 100 meters is 100 meters in our sport. There are so many nuances to each track."
Driver Jamie Greubel teamed with veteran pusher Emily Azevedo of Chico to finish fourth in the women's bobsled. The pair missed a medal by 0.10 seconds.
Noelle Pikus-Pace of Orem, Utah, got her third victory and fifth medal of the season after dominating the women's skeleton in St. Moritz.
Michigan ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White won their record sixth U.S. title at the national championships in Boston and will be medal favorites next month in Sochi. Madison Chock and Evan Bates finished second followed by the sister-and-brother team of Maia and Alex Shibutani. The United States will send three teams to Sochi. Madeline Heritage and Nathaniel Fast of San Jose finished 13th.
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir of Boston all but officially clinched an Olympic berth after winning their second consecutive pairs title. The second pairs team won't be known until U.S. skating officials announce it Sunday.
Stanford junior Rachael Flatt bid adieu to elite skating in her final appearance at a senior nationals, finishing 18th.
Organizers canceled the snowboard halfpipe and slopestyle finals in the third of five Olympic qualifying events in Breckenridge, Colo., after a storm dumped eight inches of snow on the course Saturday. Results of the snowboard events were not scored. It was not immediately clear what U.S. officials would do with regards to Olympic qualification. Breckenridge organizers scheduled the freeskiing halfpipe finals for Sunday.
Sho Kashima of South Lake Tahoe took sixth in a World Cup moguls competition in Deer Valley, Utah, to keep his Olympic hopes alive.
Ali Kariotis of Tiburon was ninth in the women's moguls, finishing behind four other Americans, including winner Hannah Kearney. Piedmont's K.C. Oakley was 37th. Kearney won twice this weekend to clinch a spot on the Olympic team.