CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine -- Anton Pogue of Hood River, Ore., on Wednesday won the giant slalom qualifier of the U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix, the first in a series of events to help choose the U.S. team for the first-time Olympic competition.
Pogue completed the Sugarloaf-USA course in 1 minute, 5.56 seconds, the best among the 58 boarders who competed for 43 spots in Thursday's final. Another 22 men prequalified based on their previous performances.
Lukasz Starowicz of Poland and Mike Kildevaeld of Denmark finished second and third, respectively, in the FIS-sanctioned event that was open to a limited number of snowboarders from outside the United States.
There was no qualifying giant slalom for the women because all 35 entrants will race in the final.
The competition continues Friday and Saturday with the halfpipe, a freestyle event based on judges' scores rather than times.
This week's events are the first of three that will choose the seven men and seven women who will represent the United States in snowboarding at the games in February at Nagano, Japan.
The selections will be made Jan. 31 after the completion of the final Grand Prix series at Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
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