Kearney, Bilodeau take back-to-back moguls wins in Are
Olympic gold medalists American Hannah Kearney and Canadian Alexandre Bilodeau won their second World Cup moguls competitions in as many days today (March 12) as they battled through the penultimate dual moguls event of the season.
Kearney, who had already sealed the World Cup title, charged through four rounds of competition before beating Canadian World Cup rookie Justine Duford-Lapointe in the final. Fellow Canadian Jennifer Heil took the bronze medal after holding off Russia’s Regina Rakhimova in the small final. It was Kearney’s eighth World Cup victory of the season.
"It wasn’t always perfect, but I’m proud of my performance," said Kearney of her championship season. "It feels really good."
Kearney is the first American to win the World Cup overall since Jeremy Bloom topped the standings in 2005.
Behind Kearney’s victory, the U.S. women had an exceptional day as they put all five starters in the top 15. Heather McPhie and Eliza Outrim landed in the top ten in fifth and sixth, respectively. Kayla Snyderman (13th) and Heidi Kloser (15th) also followed up their strong result of yesterday.
After moving past Snyderman, Kearney knocked out Outtrim in the quarterfinals. The semifinals proved the toughest for Kearney. Her run was not perfect, but with a score of 18-17, Kearney advanced to the finals. It was in the finals where Kearney skied her best run of the day, topping Justine Dufour-LaPointe of Canada with a score of 23-12.
"Her [Kearney] performance today was very impressive," said Head Coach Scott Rawles. "After having clinched the World Cup title [moguls] yesterday, you might think there would be a bit of a let down, but she really got it done at the end."
"This whole weekend was really nice,”"said Keaney. "It takes a lot of energy to win two events in a row.
On the men’s side, Bilodeau, yesterday’s singles winner, beat overall leader, Frenchman Guilbaut Coals in the final. It was Bilodeau’s fourth win of the season, he stands 62 points behind Colas (741-679) with one dual moguls competition remaining on this season’s schedule.
The win marked Bilodeau’s 28th World Cup podium and was a repeat of his 2009 domination on the same course.
“The skiing was so fast today,” said Bilodeau of the icy and challenging course. “At that kind of speed any small mistake will push you off the edge. But I come from Quebec and I like a firm course with big moguls, so it was good for me. Plus, absorption is one of my strengths and it helps me maintain my speed in control.”
American Patrick Deneen won the small final to finish third and capture his third podium of the season. Teammates Sho Kashima and David DiGravio also cracked the top 15 in 11th and 14th, respectively.
After not finishing the course in qualifying for Friday’s individual moguls event, Deneen advanced in fifth for Saturday’s duals World Cup before going on to win the consolation round for third.
"He [Deneen] was pretty disappointed after yesterday," said Rawles. “He came back and did a really good job today."
The World Cup moguls season will close next week with another dual moguls competition in Myrkdalen-Voss, Norway.
Photo: Harald Marbler/U.S. Ski Team
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