Johnson Battles to First World Cup Victory
Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.), the youngest member of the U.S. moguls team at 17 years old, made it through five runs down the Tazawako moguls course on Sunday to claim her first World Cup victory in dual moguls. The win was also Johnson’s first podium of her career and came just a few weeks after she made her Olympic debut.
Johnson was one of four U.S. women who made it out of the qualifying rounds. She skied consistently throughout the day leading into her final dual against last year’s overall World Cup winner Britteny Cox of Australia. Johnson took the win with a score of 22 against Cox’s 13. Germany’s Laura Grasemann was third.
"Today was unreal," said Johnson. "I'm overwhelmed by it all. I think the key to my success was just focusing on skiing my very best and taking it one run at a time. I was able to ski faster and better than every girl out there when it really counted and that was something that I've dreamed about for a long time. The other girls skied so fast and challenged me to ski my best. It was definitely a fun competition to ski in and I'm honored to have been a part of it and come out on top!"
Olivia Giaccio (Redding, Conn.), Keaton McCargo (Telluride, Colo.) and Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) rounded out the top finishes for the U.S. women in 10th, 12th and 15th respectively.
On the men’s side, Emerson Smith (Dover, Vt.) and Troy Murphy (Bethel, Maine) represented the U.S. men in the round of 16, but were unable to advance and finishined 11th and 13th. Japan’s Ikuma Horishima once again upset Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury to take home his second win of the weekend on home soil. Kazakstan’s Dmitriy Reikhard repeated his result from Saturday’s moguls event with another third place finish.
After this weekend’s results, the U.S. has four women ranked in the top 10 in the World Cup standings; Kauf is third, Johnson is seventh, McCargo eighth and Morgan Schild (Pittsford, N.Y.) 10th. The World Cup tour continues next weekend with men’s and women’s dual moguls in Airolo, Switzerland.