Nick Goepper of the United States and Canadian Dara Howell take the podium after secruing the overall points lead in the FIS Slopestyle Ski World Cup at the U.S. Snowboarding and Freeskiing Grand Prix on Dec. 21, 2013 in Copper Mountain, Colo.
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Local skier Nick Goepper near lock for US Olympic team after performance at U.S. Grand Prix

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COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) -- Local skier 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 Lawrenceburg, Ind., 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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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