Kauf On Fire After Back-To-Back Thaiwoo Wins
Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) is on fire after winning back-to-back FIS Freestyle World Cup moguls and dual moguls events in Thaiwoo, China, Sunday. Kauf, currently ranked as the number one female moguls skier in the world, now leads the World Cup tour, which comes back to North America on January 12, 2019, in Calgary, Canada.
“My strategy was to just ski my run the best I could," Kauf said. "I was able to put down some solid runs during the moguls competition (on Saturday) and wanted to build on those. I knew I was the fastest yesterday and just played on that strength today. I’ve won back-to-back before so I’m really happy to have done that again! The competition was tough out there but I’m really happy I was able to ski my runs and land on the podium again!”
It was another beautiful day in Thaiwoo, and Kauf, after a win from the previous day’s moguls event, could not be beaten as France’s Perrine Laffont was second, and Kazakhstan's Yulia Galysheva, was third.
“The women’s field on the World Cup circuit is very deep, so it is hard enough to win one event, let alone two in a row," said Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza. "Today was a little extra special though as Jaelin knocked off number-one in the world - Perrine Laffont, to not only take the victory but also the number-one ranking. It will be great to return to North America in the new year with the yellow leader’s bib. Now that Jaelin has the leaders bib I think it is going to be pretty hard to take it away from her.
“Jaelin’s success can be attributed to her top air exit and speed through the middle section of the course, none of the other competitors could even come close to matching Jaelin’s speed. Jaelin skied with great body position in all five runs which allowed her to ski mistake free fast runs,” Gnoza continued.
Other notable achievements from the American women was Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.) who finished eighth. Johnson bounced back from the previous day’s singles competition before losing to Laffont a couple of runs before Kauf beat her. Ness Dziemian (East Hampstead, N.H.) had back-to-back top-10 finishes, seemingly on a roll heading into the new year. Olivia Giaccio (Redding, Conn.) put up a good fight against Laffont, finishing 11th.
On the men’s side, Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury claimed first, Sweden’s Oskar Elofsson took second and France’s Benjamin Cavet came in third. Bradley Wilson (Park City, Utah) came in sixth, skiing fast but just short versus Kingsbury. Casey Andringa (Bouder, Colo.) put up the biggest airs of the day and finished ninth, while brother Jesse Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) had his first World Cup Top-20 finish, earning him his first World Cup points.
Kauf leaves China and leads the U.S. Freestyle Team as the world’s number-one ranked moguls skier. “The U.S. Moguls Team currently leads the race for the Mogul Nation’s Cup by two points over Canada. Jaelin’s success has lead the way; however, what makes this special is that the entire team has contributed to the current point tally. We are happy to be leading the Nation’s Cup race. We know that this is far from over and we still have plenty of work to do, but I know this group is definitely up to the challenge,” says Gnoza.
The U.S. Moguls Team takes a break for the holidays before revving up again for a World Cup event in Canada on January 12, 2019.