Veteran Roark wins Lake Placid moguls contest


LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Michelle Roark won the women's World Cup moguls event Sunday at the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup, leading four teammates into the top eight. Rookie Pat Deneen picked off his second podium in 48 hours, finishing third in the men's contest at snowy Whiteface Mountain.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Michelle Roark won the women's World Cup moguls event Sunday at the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup, leading four teammates into the top eight. Rookie Pat Deneen picked off his second podium in 48 hours, finishing third in the men's contest at snowy Whiteface Mountain.
    For Roark, it's the sixth World Cup win of her career — and came two years to the day since she last won, also at Whiteface. She clicked with a back-flip off the top jump and a "bronco" — a full spin in which she kicks her skis sideways in the moment as she's looking back up the moguls run.
    The run was worth 24.20 points after she had qualified fifth. Russian Ekaterina Stolyarova finished second with 24.13.

Back-flip up top, bronco on the bottom jump (again)
"I do the bronco on the bottom because the back-flip is a more difficult trick for me and the top 'air' [jump] is usually more challenging. So, I'm proud of myself for staying with it and sticking that back-flip up there," Roark said.
    "We got a little bit of snow, but I really didn't notice it. The light got a little flat, too, but I was just so focused on getting down there and doing my run."
    U.S. women filled four straight places, beginning with Shelly Robertson in fifth. The others: Kayla Snyderman, sixth Sunday after collecting her first podium Friday when she was third; Hannah Kearney, 2005 moguls world champion who is returning from knee surgery and was seventh; and two-time Olympian Jillian Vogtli, who was eighth.
    Emiko Torito, who won Friday's moguls event, led qualifying but had trouble on her final run and finished 15th.
    In the men's contest, Olympic champion and defending World Cup moguls champ Dale Begg-Smith won with 26.37 with Alexandre Bilodeau of Canada second at 25.57. Deneen earned World Cup starts a month ago during the U.S. Freestyle Selections, then came to Lake Placid and finished third in two contests.

Deneen: "I'm on a roll"
"Things are working for me. I'm on a roll and this course suited my skiing really well," he said. Winning a NorAm moguls contest at Val St. come, Que., last weekend gave him a big confidence boost, he said, and he approached each event this weekend the same way: Do what I can do.
    He did a back-flip off the top jump, too, and a D-spin (off-axis, double-rotation) for his second jump. He also got a boost with his father flying in to watch him compete each day. "Seeing him cheering him felt really good," Deneen said.
    Deneen led three teammates into the top 10. Bryon Wilson finished sixth with Jay Bowman-Kirigin seventh and Sho Kashima in 10th place. Michael Morse was 15th, giving the U.S. Ski Team six of the 16 finalists for women, five of the men's final 16 skiers.
    The U.S. freestylers will stay in Lake Placid to train for a couple of days before heading to Mont Gabriel, outside Montreal, for the next World Cup stop with moguls Saturday and aerials next Sunday. The tour returns to the United States the following week for the Visa Freestyle International Feb. 1-2 at Deer Valley Resort in Utah.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
2008 FIS FREESTYLE WORLD CUP
NATURE VALLEY FREESTYLE CUP
Whiteface Mountain
Lake Placid, N.Y. – Jan. 20, 2008
(16 made finals)

Men's Moguls
1. Dale Begg-Smith, Australia, 26.37
2. Alexandre Bilodeau, Canada, 25.57
3. Pat Deeen, Cle Elum, WA, 25.23
4. Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau, Canada, 24.96
5. Guilbaut Colas, France, 24.81
6. Bryon Wilson, Butte, Butte, MT, 24.17
7. Jay Bowman-Kirigin, Salt Lake City, 22.92
8. Jesper Bjoernlund, Sweden, 22.92
9. Per Spett, Sweden, 22.28
10. Sho Kashima, Zephyr Cove, NV, 22.23

Women's Moguls
1. Michelle Roark, Winter Park, CO, 24.20 points
2. Ekaterina Stolyarova, Russia, 24.13
3. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic, 22.89
4. Andrey Robichaud, Canada, 22.59
5. Shelly Robertson, Reno, N V, 22.13
6. Kayla Snyderman, Winchester, MA, 21.85
7. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT, 21.50
8. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, NY, 19.52
9. Nathalie Bazin, Canada, 19.49
10. Kristi Richards, Canada, 18.80

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