On the day before the announcement of the Winter Olympic snowboardcross team, Girdwood's Callan Chythlook-Sifsof made her case for a return trip to the Games by placing 10th at the X Games in Aspen, Colo.
Chythlook-Sifsof, a 2010 Olympian, was the third American finisher. Olympic champion Lindsey Jacobellis, who has already earned a spot on the Olympic team, captured her eighth X Games gold medal, and Faye Guilini placed sixth.
A former X Games silver medalist, Chythlook-Sifsof placed fifth in her semifinal heat -- won by Jacobellis -- to move into the consolation final. The top six riders, Jacobellis and Guilini among them, advanced to championship finals.
The U.S. Snowboard Team can send 24 athletes to Sochi, Russia. So far, 21 spots have been filled in various snowboarding events, including one that went to Anchorage slopestyler Ryan Stassel.
That leaves three spots, all of them in snowboardcross -- all of the other snowboard squads have been named. So far four men and one woman, Jacobellis, have earned spots in snowboardcross.
At least one more woman will make the team based on the objective criteria, and another one or two could make it as discretionary picks.
If there is at least one discretionary selection, Chythlook-Sifsof's chances of returning to the Olympics look good. Although she has placed third to Jacobellis and Guilini in several events this year, she is among the world's top riders, and she teamed up with Jacobellis to win a World Cup silver medal in team snowboardcross earlier this season.
By BETH BRAGG