Soar Snags Fourth in Tazawako
Hannah Soar was just off the podium in the Tazawako, Japan FIS World Cup moguls competition on Saturday, finishing in fourth place.
Perrine Laffont of France took the win with Japan’s Junko Hoshino taking second in front of the home crowd. Jakara Anthony of Australia was third.
It was a dreary, gray day in Japan, but the weather didn't deter Hannah. The New England-born-and-raised woman charged through the rainy course to make it to the super final and performed her back tuck to cork seven on the bottom jump. She left a little time on the course—not skiing quite fast enough—but considered it a learning experience as she nears closer and closer to her first single moguls podium.
“Learning from today, I will push myself harder in super final scenarios,” said Hannah. “Podiums and victories aren’t handed to anyone, so in order to grab another podium this season, I need to execute my run every time to the best of my abilities. Overall today was another good step in the right direction.”
Hannah continues to make moves and prove that she's one to watch, having now competed four different trick combinations in four different small finals this season.
Rounding out the women, Jaelin Kauf made the small final and finished 16th. Tess Johnson just missed qualifying for finals, finishing 17th. Kai Owens was 23rd.
With only five competitions left, Hannah and Jaelin sit in fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the run for the overall moguls globe.
On the men’s side, Dylan Walczyk led the men in seventh with a strong and smart qualifying run. Brad Wilson finished 16th.
“It was good to see the Brad that we all knew was in there come out and put a really good performance in there in qualifying,” said Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza. “We’re happy about that.”
Mikael Kingsbury of Canada won with Dmitriy Reikherd of Kazakstan in second and Laurent Dumais of Canada third.
Emerson Smith also skied well in his third event back on the World Cup tour after injury, finishing 21st. Alex Lewis was 31st, Jesse Andringa 40th, Nick Page 43rd and Kalman Heims 50th.
Overall, it was a solid day for the U.S. team, as they look to take the knowledge and familiarity obtained into Sunday’s event and beyond. “It takes a lot of learning in how to ski in Japan,” said Matt. “It’s tricky snow here—packed down and it gets a glassy feel to it, causing a lot of young athletes to lose their feet and not be able to finish their runs as strongly as they would like. Japan snow is all about the experience and knowing how to ski on this snow. They’re figuring it out.”
Next up, the U.S. Moguls Ski Team men and women are fired up for dual moguls on Sunday.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Sunday, Feb. 23
12:30 a.m - Men and women’s dual moguls, Lake Tazawako, JPN - Olympic Channel