Cle Elum moguls skier Deneen clinches Olympic berth

Cle Elum moguls skier Deneen clinches Olympic berth

Credit: Getty Images

Patrick Deneen of the USA takes 3rd place during the FIS Freestyle Ski World Championship Men's and Women's Moguls on March 06, 2013 in Voss, Norway.

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by Associated Press and KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 16 at 8:30 AM

WILMINGTON, N.Y.  – Patrick Deneen of Cle Elum clinched a spot in next month's Sochi Games with a second-place finish a World Cup moguls event on Wednesday at Whiteface Mountain.

Defending Olympic champion Alex Bilodeau won the event.

Bradley Wilson also claimed bronze for the U.S. men. Canada's Justine Dufour-LaPointe won the women's competition, with Heidi Kloser and Hannah Kearney of the U.S. taking the last two spots on the podium.

SLIDESHOW: Model Olympian Patrick Deneen

"I was very happy with my skiing," said Bilodeau, who plans to retire after next month's Sochi Olympics. "I made a couple of mistakes in the super final. The last run of the day was my worst, but I did well enough to win."

"It was 99 percent before today, and it's 100 percent today," Deneen said of making the Olympic team. "I feel really good with where I'm at with my skiing. I kept a lot of DD (degree of difficulty) in my back pocket today and still came out with the silver, and that feels good. I am hoping to put all the pieces in place for a winning run in the Olympics."

Deneen's other podium finish this season was a bronze in Calgary, Alberta.

Bradley Wilson finished third, one position in front of his older brother, Bryon, who won bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Russia's Alexandr Smyshlyaev placed fifth and Mikael Kingsbury of Canada was sixth.

Dufour-LaPointe won the women's event after finishing with the 14th-best result in the first of two qualifying runs. She had a winning total of 79.66 points.

"It was really awesome winning today because I didn't start off very well," Dufour-LaPointe said. "I needed to find my lion and tiger in me after that, and I did."

After placing second last month in Austria to win her first World Cup medal, Kloser, of Vail, Colo., did it again on Wednesday.

Kearney, of Norwich, Vt., said she wasn't thrilled with third, but said her focus is set on defending her Olympic title.

"The podium is fairly meaningless today," Kearney said. "On the final run, my feet kind of got out from under. My second run today was probably more like the one I wanted."

Sophia Schwartz of the U.S. placed fourth. Kazakhstan's Yulia Galysheva finished fifth and American Eliza Outtrim was sixth.

The final World Cup moguls event before the Olympics will be Saturday in Val St. Come, Canada.

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