PARK CITY, Utah Jan. 13, 2007 (USSA Release)—Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) ignored sub-zero temperatures Saturday night to finish third and lead four U.S. women into the final eight of a World Cup dual moguls event concluding the Chevrolet Freestyle International. Nate Roberts (Park City, UT) topped U.S. men, coming in sixth.
Kearney's top-3 was the sixth podium - including four wins - by U.S. skiers in three days and nights of moguls, aerials and duals action. Guilbaut Colas of France and Canadian Kristi Richards each won their first World Cup event on the final night at Deer Valley Resort.
"I'm from Vermont. This is paradise," Kearney said when asked if the -17 degree cold on one of the longest and steepest courses on the World Cup tour affected her skiing.
"To be third in duals, you have to have skied consistently." She didn't pay attention to how other athletes were dealing with the bitter cold, she said; she focused solely on her skiing - and skiing consistently. "This is great! I've never skied this consistently," said Kearney, who returned from a disappointing 2006 Olympics to earn two World Cup podiums in the Orient and then sweep the moguls and dual moguls titles at the U.S. championships last March at Killington, VT.
Kearney likes women's "unheard of" depth
Reflecting on nine U.S. women in the finals, she said, "It was nice to see our (moguls) team has some serious depth. We had nine women in the finals, which is unheard of. That's an incredible feat for our team."
Roberts made it a tight quarterfinal run against Pierre Ochs of France as he kicked off course to the right as he approached his second jump, but as he got back into the course, he noticed Ochs also had problems approaching the jump. Roberts was first up and off the jump and zipped across the finish line faster, only to see the seven judges reward Ochs with a trip into the semifinals by an 18-17 score. He eventually finished fourth.
"It's not over until it's over," Roberts said, explaining his urgency in resuming the lower one-third of his run and almost rescuing what looked like sure disaster. "I obviously made some mistakes but so did he as he beat me by a point...
"I competed to my best and I fell short. It's high speed, you get going so fast and it's pretty firm on the course. I dropped my eyes and it cost me," he said. "I would've liked to have done a little better, gone a little further tonight but it didn't happen."[pagebreak]
Many ingredients make duals "a best"
"Duals is a beast, no question," said U.S. Moguls Head Coach Scott Rawles. "This was a tough course - big bumps, icy, super demanding...You always want more, but we skied well today - nine women in finals...I was pleased. Everybody skied hard and we picked up another podium."
He liked the way Roberts - who won Thursday's moguls contest - and Dave Babic (Washington, VT), who was fourth in moguls, also provided leadership for the younger skiers, "stepping up at home with good results, which is good to see. They were definitely in the mix in both events and as veterans, you want that to happen."
After the two competitions, the night concluded with a rocking concert by The Wailers and a fireworks display.
NBC will televise coverage Saturday Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. ET and Sunday Jan. 28 at noon ET from the Deer Valley Resort events. Versus (formerly OLN) will provide two hours of coverage Sunday Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. ET and two hours on Sunday Jan. 28, also starting at 5 p.m. ET.
The moguls group will grab a couple of days of downtime at home before regrouping for moguls camps in Colorado and Park City, Rawles said. Kearney and David Digravio (Farmington, ME) will train in Quebec. [pagebreak]
FREESTYLE WORLD CUP
Chevrolet Freestyle International
Deer Valley Resort
Park City, UT - Jan. 13, 2007
Men's Dual Moguls
(16 make finals)
1. Guilbaut Colas, France
2. Vincent Marquis, Canada
3. Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau, Canada
4. Pierre Ochs, France
5. Dale Begg-Smith, Australia
6. Nate Roberts, Park City, UT
9. Dave Babic, Washington, VT
11. Dave Digravio, Farmington, Maine
20. Jay Bowman-Kirigin, Salt Lake City
23. Landon Gardner, Missoula, MT
25. Michael Morse, Duxbury, MA
29. Sho Kashima, Zephyr Cove, NV
48. Tim Preston, Campton, NH
Women's Dual moguls
(16 make finals)
1. Kristi Richards, Canada
2. Jennifer Heil, Canada
3. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT
4. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic
5. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, CA
6. Michelle Roark, Denver
8. McKenzie Golding, Reno, NV
10. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, NY
11. Shelly Robertson, Reno, NV
12. Kayle Snyderman, Winchester, MA
15. Heather McPhie, Bozeman, MT
17. Eliza Outtrim, Steamboat Springs, CO