Patrick Deneen came out on top yesterday at the FIS Freestyle World Cup dual mogul competition in Naeba, Japan. It was a tough race against then-World Cup leader Mikael Kingsbury, from Canada, but the American was on top of his game and edged him out 19-16 for the win. It was his first Cup win since December of 2010.
“When I went against Kingsbury, I was really hoping to just ski top to bottom. He put me in a line that I hadn’t skied in all week. Without training on that line I had no idea what to expect. I was looking to just get past the tricky parts and ski fast and get a win,” he said.
Deneen had to go up against multiple teammates to make the finals, both bittersweet victories. He knocked out both Joe Discoe and Bradly Wilson on his way to the podium. Discoe finished in 14th and Wilson in 4th. It was a career best at the World Cup for Wilson.
“It always sucks when you have to dual a teammate. I had that twice today, I had to dual Joe Discoe and Bradley Wilson. Both of them were good, good duals. Luckily I was skiing really fast and had a good qualification so I was able to pick my line for the runs,” Deneen said.
In the women’s race, Hannah Kearney of Vermont had a rough go of it, wobbling through a few turns and breaking a pole in the small final. Her historical 16-in-a-row winning streak that began in Lake Placid, New York on January 22nd has come to a disappointing end.
“I am disappointed in the way I skied today, and competed for that matter. The course got the best of me and I wasn’t able to execute my turns. I persevered the best I could, and every time I made a mistake I got back in it,” Kearney said.
She was defeated by Audrey Robichaud of Canada, a skier who just got past her in the semis to qualify for finals when she hit some rough turns.
Deneen will move into third in the World Cup mogul standings behind fellow American Jeremy Cota in second.
With the three of the top five spots in the men’s and fourth in the women’s, it was a big day for the American team.
“Our team was definitely hungry for duals, especially on the men’s side, because it kind of opens the door to get a leg up,” said U.S. Moguls Coach Garth Hagar.