Author of Story: Freddy Perryman – USSA.ORG
Kearney Clinches Overall World Cup Title
ARE, Sweden (Mar. 12) – Olympic Champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) clinched the FIS Freestyle World Cup overall title with a victory in dual moguls Saturday in Are, Sweden. It was her eighth World Cup win of the season. Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) fought his way back onto the podium in third. This was Deneen’s third podium of the year.
“It wasn’t always perfect, but I’m proud of my performance,” said Kearney of her championship season. “It feels really good.”
Kearney is the first American to win the World Cup overall since Jeremy Bloom topped the standings in 2005. Her road to victory Saturday exemplifies the type of athlete and competitor Kearney is.
For the qualifying run, athletes are randomly assigned a course lane. In Friday’s individual moguls World Cup more than 80% of the skiers skied the same line. Kearney, whose lane preference was in that majority, was assigned to the other lane for her qualifying run.
“They assigned me to the other course,” said Kearney, who qualified for the finals in fifth. “I had a shaky qualification run, very slow too, which is not a good sign for duals.”
The U.S. women had five athletes qualify for Saturday’s finals, unfortunately four of the five were paired against one another in the first round. Kearney was paired against teammate Kayla Snyderman (Winchester, MA), with Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) and Heidi Kloser (Vail, CO) the other round one pairing.
After moving past Snyderman, Kearney knocked out Eliza Outtrim (Steamboat Springs, CO) in the quarterfinals. The semifinals proved the toughest for Kearney. Her run was not perfect, but with a score of 18-17, Kearney advanced to the finals. It was in the finals where Kearney skied her best run of the day, topping Justine Dufour-LaPointe of Canada with a score of 23-12.
“This whole weekend was really nice,””said Keaney. “It takes a lot of energy to win two events in a row.”
“I was the fastest skier in all my duals,” said Kearney. “Which was one of my main goals.”
“Her [Kearney] performance today was very impressive,” said Head Coach Scott Rawles. “After having clinched the World Cup title [moguls] yesterday, you might think there would be a bit of a let down, but she really got it done at the end.”
The U.S. men were led by a resurgent Deneen. After not finishing the course in qualifying for Friday’s individual moguls event, Deneen advanced in fifth for Saturday’s duals World Cup before going on to win the consolation round for third.
“He [Deneen] was pretty disappointed after yesterday,” said Rawles. “He came back and did a really good job today.”
Along with two podium finishes, the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team’s dual moguls roster fared well Saturday with McPhie finishing fifth, Outtrim, sixth, Snyderman 13th and Kloser 15th for the women. The men also had solid performances by Sho Kashima (Lake Tahoe, CA) in 11th and David DiGravio (Farmington, ME) in 14th.
World Cup competition moves to Myrkalen-Voss, Norway Mar. 20 for the final event of the season. The top athletes, based on overall rankings, are brought together to compete in dual moguls competition.
FIS Freestyle World Cup
Are, Sweden – Mar. 12, 2011
1. Alexandre Bilodeau, Canada
2. Guilbaut Colas, France
3. Patrick Deneen, Cle Elum, WA
11. Sho Kashima, Lake Tahoe, CA
14. David DiGravio, Farmington, ME
1. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT
2. Justine Dufour-LaPointe, Canada
3. Jennifer Heil, Canada
5. Heather McPhie, Bozeman, MT
6. Eliza Outtrim, Steamboat Springs, CO
13. Kayla Snyderman, Winchester, MA
15. Heidi Kloser, Vail, CO
For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/
World Cup Overall Standings
1. Andreas Matt, Austria, 75.44
2. Guilbaut Colas, France, 74.10
3. Alexandre Bilodeau, Canada, 67.90
1. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT, 90.90
2. Jennifer Heil, Canada, 63.20
3. Shuang Cheng, China, 63.14