McPhie, Wilson lock up trips to Vancouver Olympics

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PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Heather McPhie and Bryon Wilson wrapped up their first trips to the Winter Olympics on Saturday night with strong World Cup moguls finishes.

Reigning Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Heil of Canada edged McPhie for her third straight win at Deer Valley and fourth straight World Cup triumph, two days after tying the Park City native for the top spot.

France’s Guilbaut Colas won the men’s event for the third time in his last four tries.

In the thick of internal team competition, U.S. women were second through fifth, stacking the podium until they were upended by Heil in the night’s final run.

“Our team is unbelievable right now,” McPhie said. “Every single day is more pressure if you let it get to you coming up to February, and we’re all answering, harder than we’ve ever answered. It gives me goosebumps to talk about my team. It kills me that we can’t all go.”

Wilson was 14th on the Champion course but earned his trip to Vancouver when none of his U.S. teammates could earn the victory — the only selection criteria that would override Wilson’s two podium finishes this year.

“I’m psyched to go to the Olympics,” said Wilson, a Butte, Mont., native who scored his two top-3 finishes after an injury opened a start for him in Finland in December. “It’s been a dream for so long. I wish I could’ve skied better tonight, but I’m going to the Olympics.”

Australian overall leader Dale Begg-Smith took second after winning Friday, while Canada’s Alexandre Bilodeau finished third.

Michelle Roark, who qualified for the Olympics in 2006 with a win in Deer Valley, was third and put herself in strong position to lock up a spot in the final pre-Olympics event Thursday in Lake Placid, N.Y. The team will be officially nominated Jan. 26 in Park City.

“The podium is definitely something I needed,” Roark said. “I needed it really bad.”

With a spot already in the bag thanks to a win at the Olympic Trials, Hannah Kearney breezed to a fourth-place finish Saturday.

“I was very devastated to miss the podium, but I’m moving in the right direction,” she said.

Nobody could match Heil, who stuck a perfect run with a floating helicopter at the top and a huge backflip at the bottoom.

“I’m having so much fun,” Heil said. “I feel like I won the lottery to compete in my own country in the Olympics, so I’m just doing my best to get ready for that.”

Patrick Deneen was ninth after taking one of the four men’s Olympic spots with a trials win in Steamboat Springs, Co.