Defending Olympic champion, USA’s Hannah Kearney took her second victory of the week in front of the huge crowd Saturday at the FIS World Cup at Deer Valley. This was her six-straight victory. Kearney’s almost flawless run edged out Yulia Galysheva of Kazakhstan for the top slot on the podium. Maxime Dufour-Lapointe was third, USA’s Elisa Outtrim was fourth and teammate Heidi Kloser finished fifth in the second individual mogul competition at Deer Valley.
In the first individual mogul competition, Hannah topped the podium to compete in her 100th World Cup start. This victory was her sixth career win at Deer Valley, and she out performed Canadian sisters Chloe Dufour-Lapointe and Justine Dufour-Lapointe, who finished second and third on the steep mogul venue. USA’s Heather McPhie finished in fourth place.
Hannah Kearney was very consistent in all her runs with turning in times in the mid-29 second range and executing back flips and heli-cross mute-grabs in the jumps. These days, you have to go inverted to win and Hannah does so with styleand consistancy.
Heather McPhie, who threw back flips and a D-spins in every run and had a time in the finals of 31.85. The fans saw a plethora of back flips, heli’s, and several D-spins by the ladies and even a front flip!
The Canadian men dominated the event with Canada making a clean sweep in the first World Cup mogul event. Champion Mikael Kingsbury led the sweep in the first of two FIS World Cup events at Deer Valley. Teammate Alex Bilodeau was second and Marc-Antoine Gagnon placed third in the podium sweep. Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) was looking strong until a crash on the bottom air landed him a DNF. Snow dominated the qualifications for much of the day and then clearing skies brought swirling winds for the finals.
In the second individual mogul event, Canadian Alex Bilodeau edged out his teammate and World Cup leader Mikael Kingsbury for the top spot on the podium in front of a crowd of 8,000 spectators at Deer Valley. Alexandr Smyshlyaev of Russia took the third spot while USA’s Pat Deneen finished fourth.
The men put on quite a show with the fastest time being 24.34 seconds, turned in by Pat Deneen. There were numerous 1080’s, D-spins, back flips and other crowd-pleasing inverted jumps with plenty of amplitude.
There were a number of falls and several competitors blew their line and did not qualify during the Qualification runs.
World Champion Cheng Shuang led a Chinese sweep of the women’s aerials competition with a score of 91.65. Xin Zhang was second with a score of 88.47 and Mengtao Xu placed third with a score of 78.49.
Olympian Anton Kushnir from Belarus took the gold for the men with a Full Full Double Full scoring a 127.15. Qi Guangpu of China was in second place with a score of 114 and Alexei Grishin of Belarus finishing in third place with a score of 112.18 to round out the men’s podium.
Emily Cook was the only U.S. woman to advance to finals and finished in seventh place. USA’s Jonathan Lillis landed a career best with a fourth place finish after completing a quintuple jump that wowed the crowd. Unfortunately, he was unable to land the jump cleanly. I predict we will see more of this young man in the future. Dylan Ferguson made it to the Finals but finished in a disappointing seventh place. Dmitry Dashinski from Belarus qualified for the Finals but was unable to jump due to an injury.
The event was conducted in the Championship Format (the field was narrowed down to 12, then 8, then 4 for the final runoff. Competitors zoomed down the course and launched themselves off a 60-foot kicker spinning and flipping multiple times in the in the air. Montreal’s Jean-Christophe Andre missed the landing on his jump and broke his femur. This was the most serious mishap of the event.