Kauf Second, Soar Third at Deer Valley
The greatest show on snow did not disappoint, the Americans took two podiums on the final night of the 2023 Intermountain Health Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort in front of 7,000 fans. Jaelin Kauf and Hannah Soar went two-three in Dual Moguls, a podium combination the two women shared the last time the event was held under the lights in 2020.
Kauf battled France’s Perrine Laffont in the Big Final, and pushed with everything she had, but got worked a bit in the middle section and finished the night in second, her 23rd career podium. “Tonight was awesome,” said Kauf. “I was really hoping to take that top spot tonight but I was really happy to be on the podium with my teammate Hannah.”
It was Day Five skiing Champion for those competing and by the end of the night, all competitors were just hoping to hang on for one more run. “After I dueled Hannah, in the finish area, I was worked,” reflected Kauf. “Skating over to the snowmobile was thinking ‘I am so exhausted. Pull it together for this last run.’ It’s a big day out here, skiing five duals and three training runs.”
Kauf and Soar met in the semi-finals for a round of American friendly fire, where Kauf advanced to the Big Final and Soar to the Small. Soar dueled Japan’s Rino Yanagimoto, making it first over the line to claim the third place finish, her first podium of the season and her fifth overall.
“The magic was just completely back here and it was super awesome to be part of it,” said Soar. “There were parts of me that didn't feel like I had it in me anymore to get through a whole Deer Valley night. It's a lot out there. The course itself is really challenging, so I was just really proud to pull through and get third place with my teammate Jaelin. Deer Valley is a skiers’ course and I’m a skiers’ skier so it was awesome to get to show that off tonight and get back on the podium.”
Seven American women represented the U.S. in Finals: Kauf, Soar, Elizabeth Lemley, Olivia Giaccio, Alli Macuga, Tess Johnson, and Kasey Hogg. Lemley made it through to the Quarter Final round and ended the night in seventh. Olivia finished ninth, Macuga finished 13th, Johnson finished 14th, and Hogg 16th.
August Davis finished 23rd, Kylie Kariotis finished 29th and Lulu Shaffer 30th.
Cole McDonald was the lone American to qualify for Finals. He met Canada’s Elliot Vaillancourt in that round, but didn’t advance and finished the night in 10th. This was McDonald’s first Dual Mogul World Cup start under the lights in front of his hometown crowd.
“You can feel the energy from the top,” said McDonald. “Even though I didn't cross that line first I could feel the roar of the crowd. I remember standing as close to the front [of this event] trying to get a view, and now being out in the front and being on that big screen and having everybody know my name and having everybody see me up there just feels so amazing.”
Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury took his 78th World Cup win, Australia’s Matt Graham finished second and Sweden’s Walter Wallberg finished third.
Dylan Marcellini finished 17th, Dylan Walczyk finished 18th, Nick Page finished 19th, Landon Wendler finished 20th, Charlie Mickel finished 28th, Ryan Tam finished 38th, Garrett Marley finished 51st, and Peyton Billeisen finished 54th.
Moguls competes next in Chiesa in Valmalenco Feb. 11.