Gregory Bretz of the United States competes in the men’s snowboard halfpipe semifinal at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — With Greg Bretz’s strong semifinal run, the Americans will have three riders competing in the finals of the men’s halfpipe later Tuesday.

Only six of the 12 riders in the semifinal were poised to advance. Bretz posted a score of 83.0 on his first run, the second-highest of the round and more than enough to reach the finals. He’ll be joined there by Shaun White and Danny Davis, who already qualified for the final.

The U.S. team almost had a fourth rider advance, as 20-year old Taylor Gold was on the verge of qualifying. He stood in seventh place midway through the semis but failed to land the final trick of a strong second run. Judges gave him a score of 60.75, and he finished his heat in eighth place.

The finals are scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. in Sochi (12:30 p.m. in Washington).

Trying to top the Americans in the 12-rider field are: Japan’s Taku Hiraoka and Ayumu Hirano, Swiss riders Christian Haller, David Habluetzel and Iouri Podladtchivov, Slovakia’s Tim-Kevin Ravnjak, Australia’s Kent Callister and China’s Yiwei Zhang and Wancheng Shi.

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