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Clark, Teter qualify for halfpipe finals

<p>American snowboarders Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter both qualified for the final round of the women's halfpipe Wednesday at the Sochi Olympics.</p>

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - American snowboarders Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter both qualified for the final round of the women's halfpipe Wednesday at the Sochi Olympics.

Teter, a silver medalist in this event four years ago in Vancouver, placed second in Heat 2 with a best score of 92.00 to move into the finals. Australia's Torah Bright, the reigning Olympic champion in halfpipe, paced the second heat with a score of 93.00 to also move on to the final round.

Riding in the first of two heats, Clark earned her trip to the finals with the top score of the entire qualification round. She was in second after notching an impressive score of 92.25 for her first run, but Clark outdid herself with a 95.00 in her second trip down the pipe.

The 30-year-old Clark won halfpipe gold at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and earned a bronze four years ago in Vancouver, while Teter claimed Olympic gold in 2006.

It wasn't all good news for the Americans, however, as Arielle Gold was forced to withdraw from the event after suffering a shoulder injury during a warmup run on Wednesday. The 17-year-old Gold won halfpipe gold at the 2013 World Championships, but crashed while training prior to Wednesday's event.

The qualification round features two heats of 20 competitors. The top three riders in each heat advance to the finals, while Nos. 4-9 move on to the semifinal round. The semis and final round will both take place on Wednesday.

Kaitlyn Farrington nearly gave the U.S. three boarders in the finals, but she finished fourth in Heat 2 behind Bright, Teter and China's Xuetong Cai. Canada's Katie Tsuyuki placed ninth in the second heat to move on to the semis.

Spain's Queralt Castellet and Sophie Rodriguez of France also earned trips to the finals out of Heat 1. Canada's Alexandra Duckworth was one of six boarders from the first heat to qualify for the semifinals.

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