Vito takes 12th at Grand Prix event

Louie Vito did not have one of his better days Saturday in the finals of the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., but the Bellefontaine native remains in contention for a spot on the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team.

vito grandprix122313

Louie Vito flips above the lip during the World Cup U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe snowboarding finals Saturday in Frisco, Colo. (AP PHOTO | JULIE JACOBSON)

Vito finished 12th in the halfpipe finals Saturday night. However, Vito was sixth among American riders, which is important for Olympic qualifying.

On the strength of his fourth-place finish at last week’s Dew Tour event, Vito currently sits in fourth in the Olympic qualification point standings with three qualifiers remaining.

Greg Bretz, who took second Saturday, leads the points standings with 1,800 points. Rookie rider Taylor Gold, Saturday’s Grand Prix champion, sits second with 1,600 points and Ben Ferguson has 1,000 points for third. Vito has accumulated 900 points.

Shaun White did not compete in the halfpipe this weekend to rest an injury, but plans to return for the remaining qualifiers.

The U.S. Olympic team will take as many as four riders in the halfpipe event. The Olympic roster is expected to be announced Jan. 22.

The next U.S. Grand Prix event runs Jan. 8-11 at Breckenridge, Colo.