Morse appears to be Olympic bound |

Morse appears to be Olympic bound

Luke Graham

U.S. Freestyle skier Mike Morse is setting his sights on competing for the U.S. Olympic team in 2010 after rebounding from back and nerve injuries that kept him off the slopes for more than a year.

— In the final World Cup event before the 2010 U.S. Winter Olympic team is named, Steamboat Springs skier

Mike Morse did everything in his power to earn a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Morse finished fifth in Lake Pla­cid, N.Y., on Thurs­­day and al­­most certainly will be named to the team when it's an­­nounced Tuesday.

"I'm not really sure. I don't know when it hit or if it has hit," Morse said. "I came down, and it was probably my best run of the week. I was happy to lay down a run with quite a bit of pressure on."

Fellow Steamboat skier Jer­­emy Cota, who had a chance to make the Olympic team with a top finish, faltered in Thursday's finals and finished 16th.

With his fifth-place performance, Morse is expected to make the U.S. moguls team along with Pat Deneen, Nate Roberts and Bryon Wilson.

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Morse, who has battled injuries in the past and even thought of giving up skiing at points, said Thursday's run hasn't really set in. He said at this moment, he's thinking ahead to the runs he wants to lay down in Vancouver.

"It's an insatiable appetite to ski well," Morse said. "You always want to do a little better. I'm happy with the way I'm skiing, but I have a lot of stuff to work on. I'm going there to ski my best."

On the women's side, the Americans continued to dominate the World Cup circuit Thurs­day, taking the top four spots. Hannah Kearney was first, Shannon Bahrke was second, Heather McPhie was third, and Michelle Roark was fourth.

All four skiers are expected to be named to the Olympic team.

The U.S. moguls skiers will be in Steamboat Springs prior to the Olympics training at Steamboat Ski Area.

Dierdorff falls short

Steamboat Springs boardercross rider Mick Dierdorff finished 30th on Thursday at a World Cup in Stoneham, Quebec, ending his chances of a 2010 Winter Olympics spot.

A longshot coming into the day, Dierdorff would have needed a win to make the Olympic team, but he lost in the first round of the finals.

Dierdorff now will prepare for the Winter X Games in Aspen.