Moguls to Compete at USANA FIS World Cup Lake Placid
The U.S. Moguls Freestyle Ski Team returns to home soil for the USANA FIS Freestyle World Cup in Lake Placid, New York, with qualifiers on Thursday and finals on Friday at Whiteface Mountain. Nineteen athletes will represent the United States on the Wilderness Trail course.
“I’m really excited for Thursday and Friday’s event this week,” said Olivia Giaccio (Redding, Conn.). “Especially so soon after Calgary, as I get to continue building the momentum I started there. I’m excited to lay down three super solid and consistent runs that are high quality. And I’m looking forward to seeing what my other teammates can do too.”
The Whiteface course grading sets up an ideal profile which will allow athletes to transition smoothly from the landings of the airs to the moguls. “Those athletes that can take advantage of that transition and ski that the cleanest will make their run,” said U.S. Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza. “Athletes will have to control their speed in order to stay in balance to perform show-stopping airs, which is what we want here.”
Lake Placid marks 2018 Olympian Morgan Schild’s (Pittsford, N.Y.) return to the World Cup circuit after an abrupt season-ending knee injury last year. Schild has a history of success at Whiteface, earning a third-place finish in 2017.
“I’m really excited to get the chance to ski again," Schild said. "The last 10 months have really challenged me emotionally and physically and I’m grateful for the fact that I can compete again on home soil, even more specifically in my home state, where I learned to ski. I love Lake Placid and I love the cold even more.”
Other women to watch will be Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.) and Giaccio. Both can handle the jumps well and really charge to have big and impressive bottom airs. Of course always keep an eye out for Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.), currently ranked second in the world behind Perrine Laffont of France. Expect a close battle for the yellow bib, which Kauf hopes to reclaim.
On the men’s side, both Hunter Bailey (Vail, Colo.) and Jesse Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) will look to build on their career best’s from Calgary. “They both can continue their momentum from Calgary, growing and learning from those experiences. Watching those guys week to week turn into World Cup contenders has been a fun process this season,” said Gnoza.
Native New Yorker Dylan Walczyk has been training well and has a lifetime of experience on this course, he’s very comfortable skiing the east. Brad Wilson (Butte, Mont.) and Casey Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) will look to keep climbing the FIS ranks, ramping up as they hope to compete during the 2019 FIS World Championships in Utah in February.
As the host nation, the U.S. has the opportunity to fill more World Cup starts than usual. Two regional skiers, Ian Beauregard (Killington Mountain School) and Kenzie Radway (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) will make their World Cup debut on the Wilderness Trail course. Kalman Heims (Killington Mountain School) will be skiing in his second World Cup after his Calgary debut. And U.S. Selections winners Alex Jenson (Park City Freestyle) and Ali Kariotis (Olympic Valley Freestyle and Freeride) will compete as well.
Lake Placid Starters
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST.
** Next day delayed broadcast
Saturday, Jan. 19
5:00 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls - Lake Placid, N.Y. - NBC**