Author of Story: Freddy Perryman with USSA.ORG/US Ski Team News
Kearney Wins World Champs Bronze
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 5) – Olympic Champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) won bronze in dual moguls at the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championships which ended Saturday night in front of 6,000 spectators at Deer Valley Resort. The bronze marked Kearney’s second medal of the Championships after taking silver in moguls earlier in the week.
Kearney won the consolation round match with teammate Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) who was fourth. Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) was fifth to lead the U.S. men.
Newly crowned moguls World Champion Jenn Heil of Canada won the gold, her second of the week. Fellow Canadian Alexandre Bilodeau won the men’s title giving Canada 16 medals including eight golds. The USA was second in the medals count with seven.
Kearney, who qualified first, blasted through to the semifinals, where she crossed the line .16 seconds slower than Canadian Chloe Dufor-Lapointe. The speed points were a critical difference as Dufor-Lapointe advanced to the finals by only one point over Kearney.
“Today my goal was to ski my own runs and I did ski five solid competition runs. I should be pleased, but in fact I’m incredibly disappointed,” Kearney said, spoken like a true competitor. “I wasn’t trying to achieve a bronze medal.”
After qualifying third, McPhie skied her way into the semifinals, where she faced off against Heil. The pace set by Heil was quick and McPhie could not hold her line through the midsection getting bucked off course.
In an all-American small final, Kearney and McPhie raced hard. McPhie, unfortunately lost her edge on the last mogul before the second jump and was tossed into the air.
“I do a helicopter off the bottom air, which means I was spinning and could see her in a position she should not have been,” said Kearney of McPhie’s crash.
Despite tough competition, McPhie remained optimistic.
“Those were my first wins in duals all year. I’ll take them,” McPhie said. “It was the first time I’ve made finals [this season].”
In a sour twist of fate, all three U.S. men were in the same bracket for Saturday night’s finals, forcing a faceoff between Deneen and teammate Joey Discoe (Telluride, CO) in the first round. Deneen won, making the quarterfinals.
“You’ve got to just survive to the top air,” said Deneen about duals strategy. “On my last run I skied over my pole. My pole was gone, so it kind of ended my day.”
Jeremy Cota (Carrabassett Valley, ME), who has been on a hot streak for the last few weeks, lost his first round dual against Japan’s Nishi Nouyuki. Nouyuki, after defeating Cota, would go on to knock out Deneen on his way to a bronze medal.
Dual moguls were the final event in a very successful week put on by Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort in Park City. The 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championships included men’s and women’s slopestyle for the first, a potential new inclusion for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
NBC will air the World Championships dual moguls competition on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. MT.
FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships
Deer Valley Resort, Park City, UT – Feb. 5, 2011
Gold: Alexandre Bilodeau, Canada
Silver: Mikael Kingsbury, Canada
Bronze: Nishi Nouyuki, Japan
5. Patrick Deneen, Cle Elum, WA
9. Jeremy Cota, Carrabassett Valley, ME
13. Joe Discoe, Telluride, CO
18. Sho Kashima, Lake Tahoe, CA
Gold: Jenn Heil, Canada
Silver: Chloe Dufor-Lapointe, Canada
Bronze: Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT
4. Heather McPhie, Bozeman, MT
9. Eliza Outtrim, Steamboat Springs, CO
14. Kayla Snyderman, Winchester, MA
For complete results: www.fis-ski.com