Aaron Blunck wrapped up qualifying with the highest score in the men's freestyle skiing halfpipe on Monday (dates/times ET) in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Blunck earned a 94.40 on his second run to climb to the top of the leaderboard. NBC Olympics shared a replay of his nearly flawless effort:
Four-time Winter X Games gold medalist Simon Dumont congratulated Blunck:
The 21-year-old was one of four Americans who advanced to Wednesday's final, with Alex Ferreira, Torin Yater-Wallace and David Wise joining him. Team USA shared how each of the four finished:
Wise earned gold in this event in 2014, but he had a stressful qualification. He fell on his first run, which meant he needed to put something big together in order to secure himself a place in the top 12.
Although his overall score of 79.60 sent him climbing up the leaderboard, Wise still had to wait and see if the number would hold up. Only when four more skiers remained was he assured a berth in the final.
Neither Ferreira nor Yater-Wallace dealt with similar drama. Their highest scores came on their first qualifying runs, which allowed them to take it easy when they hit the halfpipe a second time.
In addition to Wise, 2014 silver medalist Mike Riddle and bronze medalist Kevin Rolland moved on to the final. Rolland (87.80) finished one spot ahead of Riddle (82.80) in sixth place.
The fact the scores reset after qualifying will be a great equalizer for Wise, Riddle and Rolland as they pursue a second trip to the Olympic medal podium.
And with Americans representing a third of the field in the final, the United States is in a great position to add at least another medal to its overall tally in 2018.