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Published December 21, 2013, 02:57 PM

Nick Goepper of US is a near lock for Olympics

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) — Nick Goepper made himself a virtual lock for the U.S. Olympic team Saturday with his second-place finish at the U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle skiing contest.

By: EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer, WDAY

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) — Nick Goepper made himself a virtual lock for the U.S. Olympic team Saturday with his second-place finish at the U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle skiing contest.

Goepper, who grew up skiing on a 300-foot mountain in Indiana, scored 89.2 — 3.6 shy of winner Andreas Haatveit of Norway. Haatveit needed only an 11th-place finish to wrap up his ticket to Sochi.

Goepper won last week's Olympic selection event, and combined with this second-place finish, it would be nearly impossible for him not to qualify.

On the women's side, Dara Howell of Canada notched her first World Cup victory with a score of 87.6. She'll be on Canada's Olympic team.

The next three finishers were Americans: Darian Stevens, Grete Eliassen and Maggie Voisin.

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