Jamie Anderson performs a jump during the  snowboard slopestyle qualifying session Thursday. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)

With eight X-Games medals to her name, American snowboarder Jamie Anderson has been a dominant slopestyle rider since she was just 15 years old. With slopestyle finally making its debut in the Winter Games, Anderson, now 23, finally has a chance at an Olympic medal. She’s off to a promising start.

Anderson posted one of the day’s highest marks in Thursday’s qualifying round of the women’s slopestyle event, allowing her to bypass the semifinal round and head straight to the finals. She’ll be joined there by fellow American Karly Shorr.

Entering the Olympics as a medal favorite, Anderson’s second run Thursday afternoon received a score of 93.5 from the judges, second on the day only to Austria’s Anna Gasser, who posted a 95.5. Riding in the same heat, Shorr posted an 84.75, good enough for fourth.

The top four finishers in each of two heats Thursday advanced to Sunday afternoon’s final round. The other 15 must square off in a semifinal round earlier that morning. Two other American riders will be in that field.

Jessika Jenson’s score of 58.5 put her in seventh place in her heat, and 16-year old Ty Walker, who’s battling injuries, posted the day’s worst score – a 1.0. She attempted no jumps on her first run and didn’t even start her second, hoping she’ll be healthy enough for a stronger performance in Sunday’s semifinal round.