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Vito finishes on podium again

Louie Vito found himself in a familiar spot Saturday as he landed on the podium with his third-place finish in the first stop of the U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain, Colo.

vito USGrandPrix13

In this photo provided by Copper Mountain Resort, Louie Vito competes at the FIS Snowboard World Cup Saturday in Copper Mountain, Colo. (AP PHOTO | TRIPP FAY)

It was a world-class field as many of the top halfpipe riders in snowboarding competed in the initial event for the five-part Grand Prix series. At stake were Olympic qualifying points and 5 Star World Snowboard event points.

Nathan Johnstone of Australia won the halfpipe event with a 94.75. Luke Mitrani was second with a 92.75 and Vito was next with an 86.75.

“I’m glad I was on the podium today,” Vito said. “It just makes me want to do better for the rest of the season. I am happy for Luke, he rode so well today and it’s great for all of us to start our Olympic qualifying points at the Grand Prix.”

Vito’s run included a double crippler, a back 540 mute grab, back-to-back double corks and a front 1080 tail.

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