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by the USSA News Desk

Deer Valley, Utah, Jan. 9, 2001--Defending world champions Eric Bergoust (Missoula, MT) and Ann Battelle (Steamboat Springs, CO) lead a group of 19 freestyle athletes named Monday to represent the U.S. Ski Team at the World Championships Jan. 16-21 in Canada.

Head Coach Jeff Wintersteen said the final selections were made during this past weekend's Gateway Freestyle Challenge World Cupevents at Deer Valley, the 2002 Olympic freestyle venue. The group include 10 men and nine women, who will compete in aerials, moguls and dual moguls at Blackcomb, B.C.

Bergoust, who opened the season by re-setting his own world record score in aerials, is the current World Cup leader. Battelle, whois returning from a shoulder injury, won the moguls gold medal and bronze in duals at the 1999 World Championships in Meiringen,Switzerland. Named to compete:

Men - aerials: Bergoust, Corey Hacker (Boston, NY) and three Park City, Utah, skiers - Joe Pack, Brian Currutt and Jerry Grossi;moguls: Evan Dybvig (Tunbridge, VT), Toby Dawson (Vail, CO), Garth Hager (Bothell, WA) and Alex Wilson (Buffalo, NY); dual moguls:Dybvig, Hager, Wilson and Ryan Riley (Steamboat Springs, CO).

Women - aerials: Emily Cook (Belmont, MA), Brenda Petzold (Andover, MA), Kelly Hilliman (Tonawanda, NY), and Tracy Evans (ParkCity, UT); moguls: Battelle, Hannah Hardaway (Moultonborough, NH), Shannon Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA), Jillian Vogtli (Telluride, CO)and Donna Weinbrecht (Killington, VT); duals: Battelle, Bahrke, Hardaway and Vogtli.

"I'm psyched. This is a really good team. Everyone who's on it is there because he or she performed, because they got the results theyneeded," Wintersteen said. "I don't think there are any real surprises; it's all performance-based and...and they performed.

"It's primarily our core group, our best athletes. We know Blackcomb can have some tricky weather, some strange snow, and I thinkthis team is ready to deal with whatever comes its way."

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