Eight U.S. Skiers into Moguls Finals in NOR


March 2, 2007
VOSS, NORWAY – (USST News Bureau Release) – Dave Babic (Washington, VT) finished fourth and Jillian Vogtli (Ellicotville, NY) fifth Friday in the first of two World Cup moguls events shifted from the Czech Republic because of poor snow. Olympic champions Jennifer Heil of Canada and Australia Dale Begg-Smith won their contests as three American men and five U.S. women reached finals.

Begg-Smith, the Olympic and defending World Cup champion who also clinched this year’s title, won his third straight contest with 25.69 points to 24.95 for Japan’s Nobuyuki Nishi; Babic had 24.77. Sho Kashima (Zephyr Cove, NV) was 10th with Nate Roberts (Park City, UT) 13th.

Heilm also the Olympic gold medalist, defending World cup champ and newly (re-crowned moguls champion, took her fifth consecutive victory with 25.52, more than a point ahead of Austria Margarita Marbler (24.23).

Vogtli was fifth at 22.17 with Shelly robertson (Reno, NV) eighth, Shannon Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA) – second in the moguls points behind Heil – ninth, McKenzy Golding (also Reno) 10th and Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) 12th.

“This is a makeup event, from Tignes (France) in December,” Head Coach Jeff Wintersteen said, “To fit it in, the organizers had to drop a day of training on this course, which is pretty tough because it’s so steep at the top, especially coming out of that top air (jump). Babic skied well and I thought he should have been on the podium, but…that’s not my call.

“A lot of athletes, not just ours, had trouble adjusting to that steepness at the top of the course; it just threw a lot of them. So, we’ll take this as a training day and look to do much better tomorrow.”

The Voss visit concludes Saturday with another moguls event, the last competition before the 2007 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships next week in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.

For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=21159&cal_suchsector=FS.