Babic wins moguls event at Finals; Deneen (5th), Torito (5th) lead U.S. in final WC standings


    "It was kind of a hard day," said Babic. "It was icy early on and it made it challenging for the competition. I skied about half way through the final and the coaches gave me good advice and told me to lay down a line that the judges could score.
    "I changed up some of my jumps. I did an off axis 720 on the top jump and a back flip with an iron cross on the bottom. It was really difficult to slow down in the middle section, but thankfully I was able to keep my feet under me."
    "David was one of the guys who just really stepped up out here. He had a really good attitude about what he was going to do and was very strong mentally today," said moguls head coach Scott Rawles. "The course has been icy and difficult, and he did a really good job of staying tough and getting it done."VALMALENCO, Italy — The U.S. Ski Team's David Babic went all out to bring home his first World Cup win of the season, and second of his career, in moguls at the 2008 Freestyle FIS World Cup Finals in Italy Saturday. Newly named FIS Rookie of the Year Patrick Deneen finished third.
VALMALENCO, Italy — The U.S. Ski Team's David Babic went all out to bring home his first World Cup win of the season, and second of his career, in moguls at the 2008 Freestyle FIS World Cup Finals in Italy Saturday. Newly named FIS Rookie of the Year Patrick Deneen finished third.
    "It was kind of a hard day," said Babic. "It was icy early on and it made it challenging for the competition. I skied about half way through the final and the coaches gave me good advice and told me to lay down a line that the judges could score.
    "I changed up some of my jumps. I did an off axis 720 on the top jump and a back flip with an iron cross on the bottom. It was really difficult to slow down in the middle section, but thankfully I was able to keep my feet under me."
    "David was one of the guys who just really stepped up out here. He had a really good attitude about what he was going to do and was very strong mentally today," said moguls head coach Scott Rawles. "The course has been icy and difficult, and he did a really good job of staying tough and getting it done."
    According to Rawles, it was great to see Babic, who finished third earlier this season in Japan, make it back to the podium.
    "It's a great way to finish the season off strong. It meant a lot to him to step up," Rawles said. "It means a lot to him, especially being one of our veteran guys and being around for a while."
    "I was really pleased. I think our team skied really well and everyone did their best with the conditions," Babic said. "It was good to get out of here with a win."
    Deneen, who finished third, is only in his first season of World Cup competition. He was selected by World Cup coaches as Rookie of the Year in voting earlier this week.
    "For his first World Cup season, to have three podiums is pretty big," Rawles said.
    In the women's competition, Heather McPhie led U.S. women in fourth. World Cup mogul champion Aiko Uemura of Japan won, followed by Margarita Marbler of Austria in second.
    "It was a great result for her and I think she got her confidence back heading into the Sprint U.S. Championships," Rawles said. "She struggled a bit most of the season. She had high expectations coming into the year, but not a lot happened.
    "She was one of the first ladies to ski today, and she laid down a great run and hung in at first until the last three came down. It was great to see her step up and make something happen today."
    Deneen was the top American in the World Cup moguls standings, moving up to fifth with 352 points; Nate Roberts was sixth with 346. Olympic champion Dale Begg-Smith of Australia won with 664 points.
    Emiko Torito led the women's standings for the U.S. Team, finishing fifth in the world with 396 points with Michelle Roark in sixth and Shelly Robertson seventh.
    Uemura of Japan won the women's title with 683 points.
    U.S. freestyle athletes now head to the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships in Park City from March 27-30. The annual championships will take place on three 2002 Olympic venues. The Utah Olympic Park will host aerials, Park City Mountain Resort will have ski halfpipe and Deer Valley Resort with moguls and dual moguls.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
2008 FREESTYLE FIS WORLD CUP FINALS
Valmalenco, ITA – March 15, 2008
Moguls

Men
1. David Babic, Washington, VT, 23.26
2. Vincent Marquis, Canada, 23.24
3. Pat Deneen, Cle Elum, WA, 23.18
4. Tapio Luusua, Finland, 23.12
5. Dale Begg-Smith, Austria, 22.19
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16. Nate Roberts, Park City, UT, 16.82
18. Bryon Wilson, Butte, MT, 13.55
20. Landon Gardner, Missoula, MT, 2.87

Women
1. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 24.50
2. Margarita Marbler, Austria, 24.09
3. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic, 22.96
4. Heather McPhie, Park City, UT, 22.85
5. Miki Ito, Japan, 22.33
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8. Emiko Torito, Denver, 21.96
9. Michelle Roark, Winter Park, CO, 21.62
10. Kayla Snyderman, Winchester, MA, 21.56
16. Shelly Robertson, Reno, NV, 18.67
19. Eliza Outtrim, Steamboat Springs, CO, 18.25

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