Three Podiums for USA Moguls
The U.S. Ski Team put on an impressive show on the first night of the Putnam Investments Freestyle Challenge at Deer Valley Resort Wednesday evening. Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.), Morgan Schild (Rochester, N.Y.) and Brad Wilson (Butte, Mont.) all landed podium finishes in front of a USA home crowd with Kauf in second and Schild and Wilson in third.
Kauf continued to display her dominance on the Champion course, skiing clean and fast runs to land her third podium of the season. This finish secures her spot on the team headed to PyeongChang for the Olympic Winter Games in February and puts her back on top of the women’s World Cup standings.
“Coming into this event, I knew I pretty much had the spot locked up," Kauf said. "I had that confidence coming in and it’s incredible to be on the podium here. I want to clean up my bottom air for tomorrow, and I think I still have a little more speed to give.”
Schild, who won the Deer Valley event last season, was the top qualifier heading into the final round. She dropped last into the super final and had the opportunity to claim another win, but a few small mistakes dropped her to third. It was her first podium of the season and gives her one of two podiums needed to objectively qualify for the Olympic team.
“I think I’m moving in the right direction, especially with the Olympics coming up,” said Schild. “I want to make sure I’m building momentum. Tomorrow I’m going to keep my energy up, keep building through each round and stay precise with my skiing.”
After a strong finish in Calgary, Wilson was in fine form on his home course. He pushed the speed and skied clean through the middle section to land his first podium of the season and put him one step closer to making the 2018 Olympic team.
“I’m really excited about where my skiing is at," Wilson said. "It was a slow start to the season, but I’m starting to build to where I want to be and it’s paying off. I was able to throw one of my good runs today to land on the podium.”
Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury made history, capturing his 47th World Cup win and breaking the all-time moguls World Cup win record previously held by USA athletes Hannah Kearney and Donna Weinbrecht. Perrine Laffont took the win for the women.
Keaton McCargo (Telluride, Colo.) posted her best result of the 2018 season so far, finishing just off the podium in fourth. Casey Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) continued to impress in his second World Cup start, making it into his first super final and finishing fifth. Other U.S. skiers advancing into Wednesday night’s finals included Troy Tully (Pleasantville, N.Y.) in eighth, Emerson Smith in 11th, Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.) in 12th, Troy Murphy (Bethel, Maine) in 14th and Bryon Wilson (Butte, Mont.) in 15th.
The Visa Freestyle International takes place Thursday night with round two of men and women’s moguls competitions. Finals will be streamed live on nbcsports.com beginning at 8:45 p.m. EST.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
*subject to change
8:00 p.m. – Moguls finals #1 – NBCSN (next day coverage)
8:45 p.m. – Moguls finals #2 – nbcsports.com
8:30 p.m. – Moguls finals #2 – NBCSN (next day coverage)
9:45 p.m. – Aerials finals – nbcsports.com
2:30 p.m. – Aerials finals – NBC (next day coverage)