The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team’s women’s moguls squad gave Calgary a Saturday-night encore with three skiers in the top six, led by Park City’s Heather McPhie, who grabbed another all-important top 5 with her second consecutive fourth-place finish.
"I'm knocking at the door, repeatedly," said McPhie, who is in competition for the final Olympic spot, give her two top-5's. "I definitely don't feel my work is over."
McPhie was a discretionary choice to compete in Suomo, Finland, in December, finding out she'd be a part of the FIS World Cup circuit on Nov. 19, a date she said she won't forget.
"I get goosebumps talking about it," she said.
McPhie said she wasn't totally overwhelmed in her first action, but still had room to improve.
"I made some big gains mentally this week," she said. "You want to do so well, but at the same time you know that there's a lot to learn. I'll keep chipping away at both my strengths and my weaknesses until they're all strengths."
Shelly Robertson (Reno, NV) moved up to fifth from eighth Friday, and 2002 Olympic silver medalist Shannon Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA) followed a seventh-place performance with sixth.
Already assured a spot on the Olympic squad, U.S. Olympic Trial winner Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) crashed on her bottom air, missing finals.
U.S. Olympic Trial champion Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) was the top performer on the men’s side in ninth place.
"It was a very difficult course," said moguls head coach Scott Rawles. "You had to be really super focused and on your game to do well with it."
Canada’s Jennifer Heil won for the second consecutive day, moving to first place in the FIS World Cup standings over country mate Kristi Richards, and Australia’s Dale Begg-Smith also made it two-for-two in Calgary on the men’s side.
Three events remain for the moguls athletes to secure a desperately sought trip to Vancouver - two in Park City, Utah, at Deer Valley Resort and one in Lake Placid, NY – and there are a plethora of athletes vying for the honor on both sides.
"In a lot of ways, it's a good problem to have," Rawles said. "We're psyched to get back to the States for three weeks."
2010 FIS FREESTYLE WORLD CUP
Calgary, AB – Jan. 9, 2010
1. Jennifer Heil, Canada, 24.94
2. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 24.03
3. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic, 23.90
4. Heather McPhie, Park City, UT, 23.69
5. Shelly Robertson, Reno, NV, 23.30
6. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, CA, 23.73
16. Emiko Torito, Denver, 4.56
20. Michelle Roark, Denver, 18.33
33. Eliza Outtrim, Steamboat Springs, CO, 11.00
36. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT, 9.74
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse