Seven Americans Reach World Freestyle Finals

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Blackcomb, B.C., Jan. 17, 2001--Seven Americans qualified Wednesday for the moguls finals at the2001 World Freestyle Ski Championships at Blackcomb Ski Area.

Hannah Hardaway (Moultonborough, NH), who won the Gateway Freestyle Challenge World Cupon the 2002 Olympic course at Deer Valley earlier this month lead the women's qualifying roundwith a score of 24.39. "I was super nervous this morning ... I had a rough week of training anddidn't feel like I had skied anything special so I was very excited," said Hardaway. "It is really goodto be in the top five going in to finals so you really have a shot at the podium on Friday."

The other six Americans include Jillian Vogtli (Ellicotville, NY), Shannon Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA);and all four men -- Toby Dawson (Vail, CO), Evan Dybvig (Tunbridge, VT), Alex Wilson (Buffalo, NY)and Garthy Hager (Bothell, WA).

"The men's team all skied a smart game and they can step it up a little from what they did here ...they did an awesome job of putting down solid runs. The judges respected that as it was cleanand not a lot of errors. Their results are all within striking distance of each other," said HeadMoguls Coach Don St. Pierre.

"I think it is too early to celebrate. We have work to do and it's not over until it's over. At this stage wehave a day tomorrow to do some more training and work out some kinks ... get things reallypolished and ready for primetime, finals."

Defending world champion Ann Battelle (Steamboat Springs, CO) just missed a spot for finals.This was her first competition of the season after a late preseason shoulder injury. DonnaWeinbrecht (Killington, VT), who started competing again after a two-year break, had trouble onher second air and hit the jump regaining her feet after landing. "We're obviously disappointed wedon't have Donna and Ann but the comeback trail is tough and it's not easy," said Head FreestyleCoach Jeff Wintersteen.

Aerial qualifications are Thursday and nine Americans are entered. World Championships is theHighest level single event outside of the Olympics for the sport.


Moguls Qualifying


1. Mikko Ronkainen, Finland, 25.76
2.Janne Lahtela, Finland, 25.35
3.Toby Dawson, Vail, C), 25.32
4.Evan Dybvig, Tunbridge, VT, 25.28
5.Alex Wilson, Buffalo, NY, 24.73
6.Jari Savolainen, Finland, 24.55
7.Richard Gay, France, 24.17
8.Garth Hager, Bothell, WA, 24.15
9.Stephane Rochon, Canada, 23.89
10.Adrian Costa, Australia, 23.58
11.Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau, Canada, 23.35
12.Gregory Lecaillon, France, 23.11
13.Cedric Regnier-Lafforgue, France, 23.04
14.Teppei Noda, Japan, 22.99
15.Ryan Johnson, Canada, 22.96
16.Vitali Glushenko, Russia, 22.95


1.Hannah Hardaway, Moultonborough, NH, 24.39
2.Kari Traa, Norway, 23.75
3.Aiko Uemura, Japan, 23.73
4.Tae Satoya, Japan, 23.44
5.Corinne Bodmer, Switzerland, 23.01
6.Minna Karhu, Finland, 22.71
7.Maria Despas, Australia, 22.42
8.Sara Kjellin, Sweden, 22.18
9.Sandra Laoura, France, 22.14
10.Marina Cherkasova, Russia, 22.03
11.Tami Bradley, Canada, 21.87
12.Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, NY, 21.80
13.Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, CA, 21.78
14.Margarita Marbler, Austria, 21.67
15.Olga Lazarenko, Russia, 21.62
16.Jennifer Heil, Canada, 21.60

Did Not Qualify for Finals
17.Ann Battelle, Steamboat Springs, CO, 21.49
18.Donna Weinbrecht, Killington, VT, 14.09