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Kelly Clark off to strong start at Olympic qualifier in quest for Sochi

Photo: Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

After winning gold in 2002 and bronze in 2010, Kelly Clark is on track to represent the U.S. again in Sochi.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (AP) Kelly Clark began her quest for a third Olympic medal in strong fashion Wednesday, finishing first on the halfpipe in preliminaries of the season's opening Olympic qualifier.

Clark, who won gold in 2002 and bronze in 2010, scored 94.8 on her second run and will get to go last in Saturday's finals of the Dew Tour iOn Mountain Championships, the first of five halfpipe events that will determine the U.S. Olympic team.

Others making the final included defending Olympic champion Torah Bright of Australia, 2006 silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler and 13-year-old Chloe Kim of California, who isn't old enough to be eligible for the Olympics.

Shaun White is on the mountain Thursday for halfpipe qualifying. He'll also be riding in the slopestyle contest, one of the new Olympic events. Slopestyle qualifying is Friday.

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