Deer Valley: Robertson wins, Gardner 2nd in duals


Duel moguls competitions are a “roll of the dice,” as U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Head Coach Jeff Wintersteen put it. On Saturday night, luck wasn’t on the side of a few top U.S. skiers: Nate Roberts out, Patrick Deneen out, Kayla Richardson, done. All in the rough and tumble sport — where competitors ski side-by-side down a field of moguls — that took place under the lights among 4,000-some fans at Deer Valley Resort.
    But skill versus luck was in the cards for Shelly Robertson and Landon Gardner of the U.S. as each reached the podium: Robertson nabbed her first career win and first podium in four years, and Gardner got his first career podium with a second-place finish.
    In the women’s field, Austria’s Margarita Marbler and Canada’s Kristi Richards finished second and third, respectively. Canada’s Vincent Marquis finished first and his teammate Alexandre Bilodeau took third in the men’s field.
DUEL MOGULS
competitions are a “roll of the dice,” as U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Head Coach Jeff Wintersteen put it. On Saturday night, luck wasn’t on the side of a few top U.S. skiers: Nate Roberts out, Patrick Deneen out, Kayla Richardson, done. All in the rough and tumble sport — where competitors ski side-by-side down a field of moguls — that took place under the lights among 4,000-some fans at Deer Valley Resort.
    But skill versus luck was in the cards for Shelly Robertson and Landon Gardner of the U.S. as each reached the podium: Robertson nabbed her first career win and first podium in four years, and Gardner got his first career podium with a second-place finish.
    In the women’s field, Austria’s Margarita Marbler and Canada’s Kristi Richards finished second and third, respectively. Canada’s Vincent Marquis finished first and his teammate Alexandre Bilodeau took third in the men’s field.
    Variables like course conditions, snow spray from competitors and the added length of the course (30 more meters to make it 250) were all part of the game on Saturday.
    Robertson, 28, got through four runs and tired legs, plus deciding to adjust her trick routine — from doing a 360 to double twister spread on top because she was landing in the back seat — to take the top spot on the podium.
    “This is so big for me,” she said. “I’ve been wanting this for a long time. I’m really really happy.”
As for Gardner, the 22-year-old upset No. 8-ranked Canadian Warren Tanner, then No. 1-ranked Austrian Dale Begg-Smith, then No. 3-ranked Canadian Alexandre Bilodeau, and then the run finally ended when he lost to No. 6-ranked Canadian Vincent Marquis.
    “First podium, I'm really excited,” he said. “I definitely wish I could have been a little bit higher on the podium but you know what, I'm just going to enjoy second place.
    “I know my skills and I know this course really well so I knew I could really put it down and that's what I did. I was fueled by a little bit of the crowd and the powder.
    Patrick Deneen of the U.S. wowed the crowd but luck wasn’t on his side as Marquis sprayed snow in his face in the semi final and he lost control and skied off line. He finished fourth. Last year’s single moguls Deer Valley champ, Nate Roberts, also had bad luck, losing control in the quarter-final run and also skiing out. Kayla Snyderman, who got her first podium in Lake Placid two weeks ago, had too much speed and lost control, too.
   

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