Moguls Back in MST at Calgary World Cup
The U.S. Moguls Team is back on Mountain Standard Time for World Cup competition in Calgary, Canada. With limited available daylight on the Calgary course, qualifications are split over two days: the men qualified Friday and the women will qualify Saturday, with finals for both taking place on Saturday.
Dylan Walczyk led the American men, qualifying in 13. Brad Wilson snuck in at 16, riding the bubble for most of the round. The men had a quick training window, with only one full day under their belts before qualifiers. Head Coach Matt Gnoza noted that this actually may have worked in Brad’s favor. “He had a real veteran presence in training [Thursday]. He was really focused, he never over or under does it and is able to lean on his experience.”
The Team is in good spirits as the Calgary event is one of the favored stops on the tour. Being close to the downtown area and only 20 minutes from the airport is a welcome change from hours-long bus rides.
The Calgary course is steep, a “skiers’ course” as Matt likes to call it, with nice long landing pads so athletes can really push it in their jumps. This will favor the U.S. women, as all come from a heavy skiing background.
Leading the American women is Jaelin Kauf who brought her new trick, a cork 7, to competition last week in Tremblant. She’s been working hard to progress her run, watch for her to bring it all together this week. Hannah Soar, who had a career-best finish in singles with a sixth place in Tremblant has been skiing well in training. She will look to continue to build on the momentum she’s created for herself this season. Matt notes that Tess Johnson “is looking good, skiing really well. We’re focusing on her skiing this week rather than jumping. She seems excited about that, she’ll get to showcase her stuff on this skiers’ course.” Kai Owens is coming off of her first World Cup start with an 11th place finish. “Now she realizes where she is and what she’s here to do,” said Matt. “Training and continuing to be smart as a rookie will be key here for Kai.”
“I had some struggles [Thursday] morning, I’m starting to figure it out,” Kai reflected about her training. “It’s part of my process in learning the course and getting used to it - making some mistakes and learning from them. I’m feeling more excited and less nervous for this [World Cup]. I’m still trying to keep a good approach, keep calm and just do my skiing.”
Finals are set for Saturday, Feb. 1 for the last competition before the Team returns to home snow at the 2020 Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International FIS Ski World Cup at Deer Valley Resort Feb. 6-8.
U.S. Women Starters
Men’s Moguls Qualifications
All times EST