Bahrke helps Olympic chances with podium finish
PARK CITY, Utah – U.S. skier Heather McPhie improved her chances of qualifying for her first Olympics on Thursday, tying for first place in a World Cup moguls event at Deer Valley Resort with Jennifer Heil of Canada.
McPhie’s first World Cup victory moves her to No. 2 in the women’s moguls world rankings and likely locks up an Olympic berth.
“I was just there,” said McPhie, who followed a helicopter at the top with a soaring back flip at the bottom.” I was totally in the moment. I had no reservations.”
Tahoe City’s Shannon Bahrke placed third, and three more Americans rounded out the top eight: Michelle Roark in sixth, Reno’s Shelly Robertson in seventh and Hannah Kearney in eighth.
The firey Bahrke, who famously won her silver medal in 2002 on the same Deer Valley course, had a feeling about Thursday’s competition.
“I just felt like today was going to be my day. I was a little bummed because I went a little big and set it a little hard on my back flip, but I was so happy to be on the podium. With this good a team and it just really means the world to me,” she said.
Bahrke was relieved to have a solid finish, but in what she says will be her last season of competition, she wants her shot at the gold.
“Until today I was one of the last in line, so for me to be on the podium is just incredible, I’m really excited,” Bahrke said. “I really hope I’m going to be (at the Olympics), too. I’m going just keep plugging away and try to get a win like Heather.”
Heil, the reigning Olympic champion, caught an edge and wavered before her bottom air, but recovered to stick her jump for her third consecutive World Cup victory and second in a row at Deer Valley.
Dale Begg-Smith of Australia also won his third straight World Cup gold by edging Guilbaut Colas of France. Dmitriy Reiherd of Kazakhstan place third and American Patrick Deneen, who won his first Olympic berth at the U.S. trials, finished fourth.
McPhie and Heil both posted the same scores for their runs and in the tiebreaker based on the turn component of their results.
“In my 10 years, I’ve definitely never seen anybody share the podium, but Heather obviously had a fantastic run,” Heil said.
Shannon Bahrke, a 2002 Olympic silver medalist, placed third, and three more Americans rounded out the top eight: Michelle Roark in sixth, Shelly Robertson in seventh and Hannah Kearney in eighth.
McPhie was confident her performance would result in a trip to Vancouver.
“I cannot wait to walk into the Opening Ceremonies representing my country,” she said.
She would join Kearney, a 2006 Olympian and the reigning World Cup overall champion, who earned her 2010 Olympic spot by winning the U.S. Olympic trials last month.
Freestyle World Cup Results
At Deer Valley Resort
Park City, Utah
1. Dale Begg-Smith, Australia, 26.12 points. 2. Guilbaut Colas, France, 25.48. 3. Dmitriy Reiherd, Kazakhstan, 25.10. 4. Patrick Deneen, United States, 24.85. 5. Jesper Bjoernlund, Sweden, 24.84. 6. Jeremy Cota, United States, 24.44. 7. Dennis Dolgodvorov, Russia, 23.82. 8. Michael Morse, United States, 23.76. 9. David Babic, United States, 23.43. 10. Warren Tanner, Canada, 23.29. Overall World Cup Standings
(After five events)
1. Dale Begg-Smith, Australia, 395. 2. Jesper Bjoernlund, Sweden, 326. 3. Alexandre Bilodeau, Canada, 205. 4. Bryon Wilson, United States, 190. 5. Dmitriy Reiherd, Kazakhstan, 177. 6. Guilbaut Colas, France, 170. 7. Michael Morse, United States, 157. 8. Alexandr Smyshlyaev, Russia, 147. 9. Vincent Marquis, Canada, 114. 10. Denis Dolgodvorov, Russia, 99.
1 (tie), Heather McPhie, United States and Jennifer Heil, Canada, 24.59. 3. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, 24.18. 4. Margarita Marbler, Austria, 24.14. 5. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 23.93. 6. Michelle Roark, United States, 23.88. 7. Shelly Robertson, Renos, 23.84. 8. Hannah Kearney, United States, 23.65. 9. Audrey Robichaud, Canada, 23.09. 10. Ekaterina Stolyarova, Russia, 22.77. Overall World Cup Standings
(After five events)
1. Jennifer Heil, Canada, 405. 2. Heather McPhie, United States, 276. 3. Kristi Richards, Canada, 236. 4. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 230. 5. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic, 222. 6. Hannah Kearney, United States, 216. 7. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, 182. 8. Margarita Marbler, Austria, 172. 9. Shelly Robertson, Reno, 167. 10. Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, Canada, 133.
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It’s time to secure outdoor loose furniture, decorations and garbage cans because high winds are aimed at Lake Tahoe for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.