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Utah snowboarders make the cut for Olympics

Published January 22, 2014 4:42 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington of Salt Lake City qualified for the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Sunday, the day after Park City's Sage Kotsenburg clinched his trip.

The 24-year-old Farrington beat some of the gold-medal favorites to win the final qualifying event for snowboard halfpipe at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. Her first-run score of 91.4 held up against Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter — Olympic champions in 2002 and 2006, respectively — among others to clinch her first trip to the Olympics.

"Going to Sochi is something I've been working for since the last Olympics," she said recently. "The last Olympics was my first trial run and I was devastated when I didn't make it. … For four years, I've really been trying to put all my focus into going to Sochi."

Clark already had qualified, and reigning world champion Arielle Gold qualified alongside Farrington by finishing fifth on Sunday. Hannah Teter, the 2006 Olympic champion and 2010 silver medalist, later won the only discretionary spot available, ahead of Gretchen Bleiler and Elena Hight.

Meanwhile, Kotsenburg earned his first trip to the Olympics by winning the final qualifying event for snowboard slopestyle on Saturday.

But Sandy's Louie Vito failed to reach the Olympics again in halfpipe, finishing fourth in the final qualifier at Mammoth on Sunday.

That left the former "Dancing With the Stars" participant short of automatic qualification, and he was passed over for the lone discretionary spot in favor of Danny Davis, who finished second in the final qualifier.

Two-time defending Olympic champion Shaun White, Greg Bretz and Taylor Gold all secured automatic spots on the team. White has qualified in both halfpipe and slopestyle.