Kauf Sixth in FIS Moguls World Championships
Deer Valley’s Champion ski run lived up to its name at Friday’s FIS Moguls World Championships. With almost four feet of new snow falling on Deer Valley Resort leading up to course preparation and training on Wednesday, the course was absolutely ripping, with soft moguls and huge landings. U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) finished the night’s competition in sixth, the highest position of U.S. athletes on the first night of moguls competition at Deer Valley.
Yulia Galysheva (Kazakhstan) led the women and took the World Championship title, Kazakhstan’s first ever freestyle or snowboard World Championships gold, followed by Jakara Anthony (Australia) in second and Perrine Laffont (France) in third. Mikael Kingsbury (Canada), the winningest moguls athlete of all time, claimed his third World Championship title; Matt Graham (Australia) finished second and Hara Daichi (Japan) came in third.
Six Americans represented the United States in the finals under the lights at Deer Valley Resort: Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.), Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.), Nessa Dziemian (East Hampstead, N.H), Bradley Wilson (Butte, Mont.), Hunter Bailey (Vail, Colo.) and Dylan Walczyk (Rochester, N.Y.). This was Johnson, Dziemian and Bailey’s first World Championships event. “It’s always awesome coming here to Deer Valley with my friends and family coming out and watching, and making finals is the best,” said Dziemian. “This place is the best spot to make finals. It’s under the lights and you’re skiing down to all of your friends and family at the bottom. It’s just so surreal.”
Kauf, the bronze medalist in dual moguls at the 2017 World Championships, was the top American finisher, coming in sixth overall. “Tonight went alright. I got a lot better as the day went on. The final run I made a bobble in the top section, I almost fell up there and so after that, I just figured I had nothing to lose and had to send it in the middle. It cost me a little bit, I had some bobbles, but overall it was a good day,” said Kauf.
Walczyk led the U.S. men, finishing eighth overall, his best World Championships result to date. “That middle section [of the course] was some of the best skiing of my life,” he said.
Wilson, the silver medalist in dual moguls at the 2017 World Championships, also had the run of a lifetime, skiing the fastest time of the finals at 23.14 seconds. “The skiing in the middle felt so good and then there’s one section where the moguls get a little farther apart and my skis just got a little bit out ahead of me. I went to slow down but at the same time I lost a pole plant. I just couldn’t get that edge set and landed a little too far,” Wilson said of his unfortunate bottom-air crash.
The U.S. Moguls Team has one more opportunity for World Championships glory at tomorrow (Saturday)’s dual moguls event. A crowd favorite, there is nothing like skiing on home snow for these athletes. “I’m excited for duals tomorrow. I think it’s going to be awesome and this course is the best for it,” said Kauf.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Sunday, Feb. 10
2:00 a.m. - FIS World Championships men and women’s dual moguls - Deer Valley Resort, Utah - NBCSN*