Kauf and Wilson Third in Krasnoyarsk Dual Moguls
The Americans brought the heat to Siberia with Jaelin Kauf and Brad Wilson both finishing on the podium in third place at the FIS Dual Moguls World Cup in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The women of the U.S. Moguls Team continue to show their might as Jaelin led three into the top six under the lights, Hannah Soar finished fourth and Tess Johnson in sixth.
“[Today] was awesome!” said Jaelin. “I was definitely struggling a bit in training so stoked to come out for comp day and put down my runs!"
The #PowHERHouse of Jaelin, Hannah and Tess all skied in the quarter-final round. Tess met Australia’s Jakara Anthony there and although skied a tight course the entire way, did not advance to the semi-final rounds. Jaelin, who was on point all night skiing strong, clean middle sections, then met Jakara in the semi-finals and although skied the faster run, she did not advance to the Big Final. Hannah bested Canada’s Justine Dufour-Lapointe in the quarter-final round, providing some redemption from their Big Final dual at the Deer Valley event where Justine took the win. “You could kind of see in Hannah’s eyes she really wanted that one,” said Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza. Hannah then dueled against current World Cup leader France’s Perrine Laffont in the semi-final round, giving Perrine a run for her money, and finishing just behind to advance to the Small Final.
It was a round of American friendly fire in the women’s Small Final as Jaelin and Hannah battled it out for the third-place finish. The two Americans skied a tight duel the entire course and crossed the finish line together, tying for time. Jaelin had the edge in airs and turns and claimed the podium. “The battle between Jaelin and Hannah was pretty epic, they tied for speed on that one, pretty cool to see,” commented Matt.
Jaelin shared the podium with Perrine, who took the victory, and Jakara, who came in second.
“It’s always fun going in the gate against a teammate, fun to put on a show,” said Jaelin. “We duel each other a lot out in training to push each other so it’s fun to do it in a comp and just have fun with it. Stoked to be standing on the podium by two teammates today, that always makes it that much better!”
“I worked really hard to push my speed through my entire run today,” said Hannah. “I didn’t realize I was dialing Jaelin until we got in the gate and I knew it was going to be tough. We’ve gone back and forth all season so it’s always challenging. Next weekend I will keep working towards more podiums, skiing fast and going bigger."
The night was cold, around -11F, but Brad was on fire. He made good moves in the early rounds to build momentum as the duals went on and worked his way all the way to the podium. “Brad skied amazing all night through the middle section,” said Matt. “He was able to really use his veteran knowledge on a challenging night weather-wise. It was a good night to see him back on the podium.”
"It’s pretty amazing to be back on the podium after the incredible mental struggles I had to overcome the last few months," reflected Brad. "I didn’t think I would be able to ski again let alone be able to compete. So although it was only a bronze, it was a victory for me in a lot of other ways. Today was special because it marked a come back from some of the darkest times I’ve ever had to go through. My focus is to keep enjoying it and to push myself further."
After beating Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Reikherd in the quarter-final, Brad met winningest moguls skier of all time Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury in the semi-final round. One of the few skiers to be able to beat Mikael down a duals course, Brad kept Mikael on his skis but finished just behind him to advance to the Small Final. It was USA versus France for the men’s Small Final and Brad took the podium over Benjamin Cavet. Brad shared the podium with Mikael, who won, and Great Britain's Thomas Gerken Schofield, who came in second.
This is Brad’s first podium of the season, his fifteenth overall. Dylan Walczyk finished 12th, Nick Page 34th and Kalman Heims in 39th.
Up next for moguls is their final World Cup weekend in Sweden.