Two U.S. Podiums at Tazawako Moguls
TAZAWAKO, Japan (Feb. 28, 2015) – On a snowy day in Japan, Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) claimed her fourth World Cup win of the 2015 season, besting Japan’s Junko Hoshino and Canada’s Audrey Robichaud. Jeremy Cota (Carrabassett Valley, ME) earned his first World Cup podium of the season, finishing second behind Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury.
The U.S. women qualified four athletes for the round of 16 before Kearney and Morgan Schild (Pittsford, NY) made their way to the round of six. Kearney, who celebrated a birthday this week, skied strong to stay in the top spot through each of the rounds.
"The training yesterday was difficult due to the snow conditions, so today we didn’t really know what to expect," said Kearney. "We had some fresh snow, and the weather changed every run. I adjusted as best I could. It definitely wasn’t my cleanest skiing, but I was rewarded for fighting through those mistakes."
Schild, who qualified for the World Cup tour from U.S. Selections back in December, has been killing it on the NorAm tour, where she currently is ranked second behind fellow U.S. teammate Nessa Dziemian. It’s clear 18-year-old Schild can hold her own on the World Cup circuit.
Ali Kariotis (Tiburon, CO), Keaton McCargo (Telluride, CO), Mikaela Matthews (Frisco, CO) and K.C. Oakley (Piedmont, CA) completed the roster for the U.S. women, finishing 15th, 16th, 20th and 21st.
The men also had a strong showing, qualifying five athletes to the round of 16 before Cota, Dylan Walczyk (Rochester, NY) and Bryon Wilson (Butte, MT) advanced to final two. This was Cota’s first World Cup podium since a third place finish in Ruka in 2012.
“It’s been too long since I’ve been on the podium, so I knew I had to try something different,” said Cota. “I tried to ski my runs without overthinking anything and keep it really simple. I was really happy with my skiing.”
Walczyk finished fifth, followed by Wilson in sixth, Tom Rowley (Long Beach, NY) in 11th, Joe Discoe (Telluride, CO) in 16th, Sho Kashima (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) in 27th and Troy Murphy (Bethel, ME) in 37th.
The Tazawako World Cup continues Saturday with a dual moguls competition starting at 10 p.m. EST.
- Hannah Kearney skied to her third moguls World Cup win of the season, bringing her World Cup win total to 45.
- Jeremy Cota battled a tough men’s field to claim second place, his first World Cup podium of the 2015 season.
- Morgan Schild had a career-best finish, landing in fifth place.
- U.S. men finishers: Dylan Walczyk (5th), Bryon Wilson (6th), Tom Rowley (11th), Joe Discoe (16th), Sho Kashima (27th), Troy Murphy (37th)
- U.S. women finishers: Ali Kariotis (15th), Keaton McCargo (16th), Mikaela Matthews (20th), K.C. Oakley (21st)
The training yesterday was difficult due to the snow conditions, so today we didn’t really know what to expect. We had some fresh snow, and the weather changed every run. I adjusted as best I could. It definitely wasn’t my cleanest skiing, but I was rewarded for fighting through those mistakes.
On my last run, I had a mistake coming out of the top air, but I pulled it together and skied my fastest run. This is my first win as a 29-year-old and I couldn’t be happier to do it in Japan where there’s an immense amount of mogul fans and supporters.
It’s been too long since I’ve been on the podium, so I knew I had to try something different. Today, I tried to ski my runs without overthinking anything and keep it really simple. Clearly that worked for me. I was really happy with my skiing.
Our team skied really well today. The course was changing every run, which made it challenging. But we dealt with the conditions really well.