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TORINO: Freestyle: Kearney fails to qualify for moguls finals

TORINO: Freestyle: Kearney fails to qualify for moguls finals{mosimage}SAUZE D’OULX, Italy – American Hannah Kearney, winner of last year’s World Championships and one of the favorites to win gold in moguls, failed to make it through qualifying Saturday after a mistake-filled run that left her in 22nd place.

Canadian Jennifer Heil laid down the best run and was followed by France’s Sandra Laoura and Swede Sara Kjellin.

In the first major stunner of these Olympics, Kearney was out of her rhythm almost as soon as she began, catching an edge on her second turn, landing awkwardly after her first jump and ramming through the moguls — not around them — for the next several turns.

Her score, a 20.80, left her last among the 10 skiers who had gone to that point. From there, she waited a painful hour for the inevitable — enough skiers finished above her to push her out of the top 20.

“I don’t know. I messed up,” said the 19-year-old Vermonter. “I was shaky through those moguls. I tried to gain my composure and finish the run.”

Compatriot Jillian Vogtli barely qualified for the final, as she placed 20th. The top American was Michelle Roark in fourth, and Shannon Bahrke finished 18th.

“The final is another race,” said Bahrke. “I only have to be calm.”

– The Associated Press

Women’s moguls qualifications (top 20 make finals)

1. Jennifer Heil, Canada, 26.67
2. Sandra Laoura, France, 25.45
3. Sara Kjellin, Sweden, 24.85
4. Michelle Roark, Winter Park, Colo., 24.45
5. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 24.20
Other U.S. athletes
18. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif., 22.07
20. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, N.Y., 21.79
22. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt., 20.80

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