Troy Murphy of Bethel made a final bid for a spot on the U.S. Olympic moguls team by finishing fifth Sunday in a World Cup event at Val St. Come, Quebec.
It was the second top-five finish in the last four World Cup events for Murphy, a late addition to Sunday’s field. Murphy was the second American finisher behind Bradley Wilson, who clinched an Olympic berth with a third-place finish.
Up to four men will be chosen to represent the U.S. in moguls. Wilson and Patrick Deneen are guaranteed spots. Murphy, 21, is hoping to be a discretionary pick by the coaches. He now ranks third among Americans in the World Cup moguls standings.
The moguls team will be nominated Tuesday. Coaches will decide how many skiers in each freestyle discipline – moguls, halfpipe, slopestyle, aerials and ski cross – will be represented at Sochi. They could add one or two more moguls skiers or add slots only to other disciplines.
“I’m just really happy with how I skied today,” said Murphy via email. “All the Olympic stuff is totally out of my hands at this point, so there’s nothing to really worry about.”
Jeremy Cota of Greenville is likely out of the running for an Olympic spot after finishing 11th Sunday.
SNOWBOARDING: Shaun White’s quest for a historic three-peat is on.
The two-time Olympic halfpipe gold medalist will lead the U.S. team into Sochi for next month’s Winter Games. White, who already had qualified for the Olympics in slopestyle, received an automatic berth on the four-man halfpipe team by winning Sunday’s final qualifying event at Mammoth Lakes, Calif., with a score of 96.6.
White will be joined by 2010 Olympian Greg Bretz and Olympic newcomers Danny Davis and Taylor Gold.
Kelly Clark will make her fourth Olympic appearance. The 2002 champion will be joined by 2006 gold medalist Hannah Teter, who was a discretionary pick by the selection committee. Kaitlyn Farrington and Arielle Gold, Taylor’s sister, also were selected.
SKI HALFPIPE: Lyman Currier won the final Olympic qualifier late Saturday night at Park City, Utah, to clinch a spot on the U.S. team, and Aaron Blunck also secured a spot with a second-place finish.
Currier and Blunck joined David Wise as automatic qualifiers. Bethel’s Simon Dumont, regarded as a top Olympic contender before the start of qualifying in December, attempted to compete just one day after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament but pulled out after his first run.
Angeli VanLaanen won the women’s event and locked up an Olympic berth along with second-place finisher Brita Sigourney.