Kuhn Fourth at Deer Valley
Kaila Kuhn led the Americans in aerials at the 2023 Intermountain Health Freestyle International on Friday, Feb. 3 with a fourth place finish - tying her best result of the season so far. Kuhn was the lone American in the Super Final and opted for last-minute change ahead of starting down the in-run towards 5,000 roaring fans, competing a Double Full Full.
“These past few comps I’ve actually opted for my easier DD which is more consistent because I’ve competed them a lot longer,” said Kuhn. “I haven't competed a Double Full Full since the Olympics so I haven’t gotten to train it much this year. But I know with Worlds coming up this year I really need to work on that trick. So I decided to switch it up and try it, because you know, the worst you can do is get sixth. I did the best I could and I am super happy I put it to my feet.”
Australia’s Danielle Scott won for the women, Canada’s Marion Thenault took second and China’s Fanyu Kong took third.
Three American women qualified for finals: Kuhn, Winter Vinecki and Megan Smallhouse. Vinecki went for a Full Full to earn a score of 79.69, finishing just outside of the Super Final round in seventh. In her first World Cup competition back from injury Megan Smallhouse finished twelfth.
Ashley Caldwell finished 15th, Dani Loeb 20th, Karenna Elliott finished 22nd and Amelia Glogowski in her World Cup debut finished 23rd.
Derek Krueger led the men with a ninth place finish - tying his career best - with a Full Double Full Full, a trick he just competed for the first time tonight. “I just went for it,” Krueger said. “Why not?”
Chris Lillis also competed in finals, going for a Full Double Full Full, but didn’t land it and ended the night in 11th.
Ukraine’s Dmytro Kotovskyi wowed the crowd with a Hurricane, a quintuple twisting triple backflip invented by the late Jeret Speedy Peterson. Kotovskyi absolutely stomped it out to earn a score of 138.32, one of the highest aerials scores ever recorded. China took second and third with Tianma Li and Shuo Chen, respectively/
Connor Curran finished the night in 13th, Justin Schoenefeld in 19th, Quinn Dehlinger in 20th, Ian Schoenwald in 21st and Ashton Salwan in 31st.
Freestyle competition concludes tomorrow with Dual Moguls.