Cota, Morse finish in top 10
Steamboat Springs skiers place 6th and 8th at Deer Valley
Steamboat Springs — Two Steamboat Springs skiers made their case Thursday for inclusion on the U.S. moguls Olympic team.
Skiing at the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, Steamboat’s Jeremy Cota finished sixth, and Mike Morse finished eighth.
“I’m definitely really happy,” said Cota, who was skiing in his first World Cup. “I was happy just to ski two good runs. There were a lot of nerves and stress around the whole day. It’s just such a different scene.”
Pat Deneen, who won the 2010 U.S. Winter Olympic Team Trials last month in Steamboat and earned a spot on the Olympic team, was the top American finisher, in fourth place.
On the women’s side, Heather McPhie finished first. Shannon Bahrke was third, Michelle Roark was sixth, Shelly Robertson was seventh and Hannah Kearney was eighth.
Steamboat’s Eliza Outtrim finished 13th, and The Lowell Whiteman School grad Emiko Torito failed to make finals.
But for Cota and Morse, Thursday’s results backed up their case for spots on the Olympic team. Thursday was Morse’s fourth top-10 finish on the World Cup circuit this season. Cota burst onto the scene at the Olympic Trials, finishing second to Deneen.
The two are now in the picture along with Bryon Wilson and Nate Roberts, among others, to fill out the four spots on the Olympic team.
The World Cup in Deer Valley continues Saturday evening with another event. After that, skiers will have one more World Cup event in Lake Placid, N.Y., before the teams are officially announced Jan. 26.
“That fourth spot is still kind of open,” Cota said. “There are still no outstanding results from anybody to seal that spot up. I’m glad I put together two good runs and got the nerves and jitters all out. Saturday, I hope to continue to ski well.”
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