Kauf Leads Team USA in Seventh
Team USA advanced all four athletes to the moguls finals Sunday night after Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.) won the second qualification run at the Phoenix Snow Park to join her three teammates in this evening's final round.
With heavy snow falling during the second run of the finals, Team USA skied well but came up short with Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) just missing out on qualifying for the third final run - finishing seventh. Keaton McCargo (Telluride, Colo.) was eighth, Johnson finished 12th with Morgan Schild (Pittsford, N.Y.) in 15th.
“I rushed a little bit coming out of the air and was a little too eager coming into that first mogul and it just set me up poorly,” said Kauf. “Coming down after my first finals run, I felt like it was the first good run I put down in this competition. I felt really proud of myself in that run. I feel like I could have done more on that second run, but I'm trying to learn from it and move forward.
"We are a strong team, but we're still really young, so I think we are still learning a lot about ourselves and our skiing," Kauf added. "Moving forward in the next few years we'll continue to be really strong.”
"I'm really happy with how I pushed myself tonight and with my overall performance," said McCargo. "It gives me something to build on.
Our team all had the potential to be on the podium tonight, but we all just made little mistakes that cost it. It's super frustrating, but we know in the back of our minds that we are the best and can still be the best. We have four more World Cups to ski, so we can come back and prove that."
Perrine Laffont of France won the gold, as Canada’s Justine Dufour-LaPointe - the defending gold medalist from the 2014 Games - took the silver. Yulia Galysheva of Kazakhstan won the bronze.
Up next, the men will have second moguls qualifying run prior to the finals on Monday night. Troy Murphy (Bethel, Maine) qualified for the finals following his fourth-place finish in the first qualifying round Friday. Casey Andringa (Boulder, Colo.), Bradley Wilson (Butte, Mont.) and Emerson Smith (Dover, Vt.) will compete for a spot in the finals at 7:30 p.m. KT/5:30 a.m. EDT Monday. The finals start at 9:00 p.m. KT/7:00 a.m. Monday EST.
Men’s moguls qualifying 2