Olympic champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) finished with silver, Wednesday, missing the 2011 World Freestyle Ski Championships moguls title by four hundredths of a point. Jeremy Cota (Carrabassett Valley, ME) finished fourth just shy of the podium. Jennifer Heil of Canada and France’s Guilbaut Colas took home gold at Deer Valley Resort in Park City.
Conditions for the first day of the World Championships looked like a tourism brochure including traditional Utah bluebird skies, but crisp, super cold air. The course at Deer Valley Resort was steep with solid hard bumps that provided a perfect platform for competitors to showoff their skills.
For Kearney, Wednesday’s finals race was especially close – one of the tightest margins in history. And she knew exactly where gold became silver.
“I missed the grab. My finger touched it, but I didn’t grab it,” she exclaimed.
That little mistake made all the difference for the judges, awarding Heil a score of 24.35 to Kearney’s 24.31. Kristi Richards of Canada earned the bronze. It was Heil’s fourth straight win on the Deer Valley Resort course.
“It’s still a silver medal, with a mistake, which leaves room for improvement and it keeps things exciting,” said an upbeat Kearney of her first loss in six consecutive individual moguls events. “A dual between the two of us [Heil] might now have more meaning!” (Dual moguls are Saturday Feb. 5 and will be the final event of the 2011 FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships)
Eliza Outtrim (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Westminster College student Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) also made finals finishing fifth and sixth.
“I was really psyched to throw the D-spin up top and push myself,” said McPhie after her finals run. “I am really excited for duals on Saturday.”