U.S. Freestyle Nats: Roark, Morse last standing in duals


Crash. Crowd favorite Shelly Robertson — the winner of the 2008 World Cup duals competition held in Deer Valley in February — went down in round 1. Then it was veteran Nate Roberts in round 2, then Rookie of the Year Patrick Deneen.
    It was a tough day for some of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Teamers, as some of the country's up-and-comers were giving them some heat in the head-to-head duals contest at the U.S. Freestyle Championships at Deer Valley. A storm moved into the area Saturday night leaving a hard course with a fresh layer of powder on it, which made for some adjustments.    
    Those who survived were U.S. Ski Teamers Mike Morse and Michelle Roark who took top spots. Morse won his second title of the weekend.
    Morse, the dark horse contender coming into the weekend, flew down Champion trail to Metallica playing in his helmet to take the gold for his second win of the weekend. He was particularly excited, as were his teammates — who the day earlier lifted him up on their shoulders to accept his first-place prize at the awards ceremony — after a couple tough years. Morse had to stop skiing midway through the 2007 season because of recurring back pain. That came following the 2006 season when the Massachusetts native, who made his first World Cup trip to Europe leading up to the Olympics, suffered a knee injury that ended his season. 

PARK CITY, Utah — Crash. Crowd favorite Shelly Robertson — the winner of the 2008 World Cup duals competition held in Deer Valley in February — went down in round 1. Then it was veteran Nate Roberts in round 2, then Rookie of the Year Patrick Deneen.
    It was a tough day for some of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Teamers, as some of the country's up-and-comers were giving them some heat in the head-to-head duals contest at the U.S. Freestyle Championships at Deer Valley. A storm moved into the area Saturday night leaving a hard course with a fresh layer of powder on it, which made for some adjustments.    
    Those who survived were U.S. Ski Teamers Mike Morse and Michelle Roark who took top spots. Morse won his second title of the weekend.
    Morse, the dark horse contender coming into the weekend, flew down Champion trail to Metallica playing in his helmet to take the gold for his second win of the weekend. He was particularly excited, as were his teammates — who the day earlier lifted him up on their shoulders to accept his first-place prize at the awards ceremony — after a couple tough years. Morse had to stop skiing midway through the 2007 season because of recurring back pain. That came following the 2006 season when the Massachusetts native, who made his first World Cup trip to Europe leading up to the Olympics, suffered a knee injury that ended his season.
    "I was a little tired after yesterday and wasn't sure how everything was going to go," Morse said. "It hasn't hit me yet [that I won], but it feels great to lay down some runs and do well in this competition. It's always nice to go out with a win and ski well."
     A frustrated Cody Tempel of Missoula Freestyle placed second. He has narrowly missed making the U.S. Ski Team the last couple of years. The top duals skier gets a ski team spot, he said. “I’m really excited, don’t get me wrong,” he said, “but I just missed the U.S. Ski Team spot by one skier so it’s kind of depressing.”
    Ski teamer Landon Gardner took third.
    On the women’s side, veteran Michelle Roark beat newly promoted A teamer (from the C team) Kayla Snyderman to win her first national title. "I came out to give it 100 percent and push it,” Roark said. “I'm very happy with how it went. It feels great to win on this course since this was the course that really threw me off all season.”
    An ecstatic 19-year-old KC Oakley came in third. “I wasn’t expecting it but I’m stoked,” she said. The U.C. Berkeley student hopes to make the U.S. Ski Team in the near future.
    The weekend concludes tonight with the U.S. Freestyle Championships after party at Harry O’s in Park City.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
2008 SPRINT U.S. FREESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge
Deer Valley Resort — March 30, 2008
Duals Moguls (16 make finals)

Men
1. Michael Morse, Duxbury, MA
2. Cody Tempel, Missoula, MT
3. Landon Gardner, Missoula, MT
4. Shane Cordeau, Ketchum, ID
5. Patrick Deneen, Cle Elum, WA
5. Bryon Wilson, Butte, MT

Women
1. Michelle Roark, Denver
2. Kayla Snyderman, Winchester, MA
3. KC Oakley, Piedmont, CA
4. Lane Stoltzner, Telluride, CO
5. Kristi Waring, Centennial, CO
5. Whitney Henceroth, Dillon, CO

    

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