Kashima, Bahrke each finish sixth at World Championships | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Kashima, Bahrke each finish sixth at World Championships

USSA and Tribune reports

NAWASHIRO, Japan ” Sho Kashima of South Shore and Shannon Barhke of the North Shore each finished sixth Saturday at the 2009 FIS Freestyle Ski World Championships.

The U.S. Ski Team’s Pat Deneen of Cle Elum, Wash., took the competition by storm, winning the men’s gold. His winning score was 23.41, while Kashima earned a result of 21.11 from the judges.

“This is incredible. It really hasn’t set in yet, but just to know that I have that now is a great feeling. I don’t even know how to put it into words. I just can’t believe it’s mine,” Deneen said. “It’s been a really long and tough season so far, so to have this win feels really good. To come out with a World Championship win is the most incredible thing.”

On top of having the fastest time down the course, Deneen stuck a back X, a trick he only learned four days ago, off the top jump. He then landed a D spin off the bottom jump after struggling with the maneuver for the past few weeks.

Deneen said his ability to perform his air packages so well came from added effort away from the competition trail.

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“I went home, worked on it and came back here and everything worked,” Deneen said. “I had a really tough training day yesterday and same with this morning, but everything just went together for my finals run. It’s pretty amazing.

“This is the toughest moguls course in the world. It was some tough skiing out there today, and I had my only top-to-bottom runs in the actual competition.”

According to Deneen, who has yet to win a competition at the World Cup level, trouble with his skiing earlier in the season left him unsure of where he would end up in Saturday’s competition, but the end result is unbeatable.

“I had such a tough time earlier this season,” Deneen said. “I had about four events where I crashed in every one of them, so to come out and finally stick two runs in a row, and with those two runs win, is awesome.”

For U.S. moguls coach Scott Rawles, Deneen’s performance Saturday was a perfect illustration of his athletic abilities.

“He really stepped up and put it together today. I think he had high expectations coming into this year, but he definitely showed everyone what he could do today,” Rawles said. “It’s very gratifying to see someone who has worked so hard and put so much time into his sport, to put together the performance he did today and end up on top of the podium at World Championships.”

Aiko Uemura of Japan (24.71) was nearly two points better than runner-up Jennifer Heil of Canada. Bahrke scored 21.15 on her final run.

The moguls squad competes once more at the World Championships on Sunday in dual moguls.

“We’re really looking forward to dual moguls tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a good event,” Rawles said.

2009 FIS FREESTYLE SKI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Inawashiro, Japan

March 7 Moguls

Men

1. Pat Deneen, Cle Elum, Wash., 23.41

2. Tapio Luusua, Finland, 21.89

3. Vincent Marquis, Canada, 21.66

4. Nobuyuki Nishi, Japan, 21.62

5. Maxime Gingras, Canada, 21.42

Other U.S. results

6. Sho Kashima, South Lake Tahoe, 21.11

18. Michael Morse, Duxbury, Mass., 17.07

33. Landon Gardner, Missoula, Mont., 11.98

Women

1. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 24.71

2. Jennifer Heil, Canada, 22.88

3. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic, 21.76

4. Miki Ito, Japan, 21.35

5. Kristi Richards, Canada, 21.20

Other U.S. results

6. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, 21.15

14. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt., 13.09

16. Michelle Roark, Denver, 12.52

17. Eliza Outtrim, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 11.78