U.S. Freestyle Nats: Torito, Morse tops in moguls


Michael Morse and Emiko Torito each laid down spectacular runs to win gold in the moguls competition of the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Deer Valley Resort in Park City Saturday.
    "We had a great day. Everybody put together some really good stuff," said Moguls Head Coach Scott Rawles. "We have a competitive group and they came out and skied hard. It was awesome."
     Adding to an already successful season filled with four World Cup podium finishes, including a victory in Lake Placid, Torito owned the moguls course by completing a tight run with a 360 and a backflip.
    "I am shaking. It's unreal," Torito said. "I know I had a successful year with World Cups and that was great, but there's just nothing like being able to say you're a national champion. It's really special."

PARK CITY, Utah — Michael Morse and Emiko Torito each laid down spectacular runs to win gold in the moguls competition of the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Deer Valley Resort in Park City Saturday.
    "We had a great day. Everybody put together some really good stuff," said Moguls Head Coach Scott Rawles. "We have a competitive group and they came out and skied hard. It was awesome."
    Adding to an already successful season filled with four World Cup podium finishes, including a victory in Lake Placid, Torito owned the moguls course by completing a tight run with a 360 and a backflip.
    "I am shaking. It's unreal," Torito said. "I know I had a successful year with World Cups and that was great, but there's just nothing like being able to say you're a national champion. It's really special."
    "She's worked her way back in to the position she's in now," Rawles said. "She worked hard last summer on her jump package along with everything else and she came out with a lot of fire this year. After she won the event in Lake Placid, she maintained that momentum throughout the year."
    Torito was especially pleased to be competing for her title at Deer Valley Resort.
    "Deer Valley is my favorite course. It's so challenging but you can also rip. I couldn't be happier to win here," she said.
    Shelly Robertson, who's best World Cup result for the season came when she won dual moguls at Deer Valley in February, captured the silver while 2006 Olympian Hannah Kearney, who was sidelined most of the season, took the bronze.
    "I was a little bit nervous, but I skied a good run," Robertson said. "It wasn't the cleanest run I've put down this year, but that's OK — I was happy with my jumps."
    Morse, who landed a backflip with an iron cross and a D-spin while listening to some tunes in his helmet, couldn't believe he won a national title.
    "It hasn't really sunk in yet, but it's pretty amazing [to win the title]. I had a tough year and it feels good to lay down a run," Morse said. "I was pretty amped to go. The moguls were a little bit firmer than they were in the morning, but I just tried to keep it together and let it run through the bottom."
    Rawles said: "He's really had to battle through some injuries the last couple of years. He did a really good job of managing that this year. It was funny because we were all sitting around last night picking our dark horse and everyone picked Mike. It was great to see him put it together in a big event and lay down some great stuff."
    Nate Roberts followed Morse with the silver and David Babic grabbed the bronze.
    "It's another day in a judged sport and I'm definitely pleased to be in front of my home town and friends," Roberts said.
    Whitney Henceroth of Team Summit and Cody Tempel of Missoula Freestyle each gave national team members a run for their money in the moguls competition.
    "I'm just super excited. I skied really well and I'm happy to be out here. It's intimidating to ski against the national team, but it's good to be able to judge yourself," said Henceroth, who finished fifth.
    "My run went pretty well. The course was good and I was pretty happy with it," said Tempel, who finished sixth. "This is the second year I finished right behind the U.S. Team and I need to [keep] building."
    The Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships conclude Sunday with men's and women's dual moguls at Deer Valley Resort in Park City.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
SPRINT U.S. FREESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Park City, UT — March 29, 2008
Moguls

Men
1. Michael Morse, Duxbury, MA, 24.76
2. Nate Roberts, Park City, UT, 24.69
3. David Babic, Washington, VT, 24.68
4. Pat Deneen, Cle Elum, WA, 24.41
5. Bryon Wilson, Butte, MT, 23.70
6. Cody Tempel, Missoula, MT, 22.98
7. Zak Watkins, Durango, CO, 22.54
8. Nate Johnson, New Gloucester, ME, 22.06
9. Landon Gardner, Missoula, MT, 21.77
10. Ryan Reilly, Park City, UT, 21.56

Women
1. Emiko Torito, Steamboat, CO, 23.68
2. Shelly Robertson, Reno, NV, 22.86
3. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT, 22.08
4. Kayla Snyderman, Winchester, MA, 21.90
5. Whitney Henceroth, Dillon, CO, 21.84
6. Lindsey Cannon, Telluride, CO, 21.70
7. Heather McPhie, Park City, UT, 21.41
8. Eliza Outtrim, Steamboat Springs, CO, 21.30
9. Michelle Roark, Winter Park, CO, 21.11
10. Jordan Poyfair, Denver, CO, 19.91

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