Americans shine in dual moguls
January 13, 2015
It was pretty obvious on Saturday night that the Park City community missed having dual moguls last year at the Freestyle World Cup at Deer Valley Resort.
Because it’s not an Olympic sport, dual moguls weren’t contested at last year’s event and were replaced with a second single mogul competition.
On Saturday night, however, dual moguls were back and fans came out in force, packing the resort, leaving no parking spot unclaimed, and crowding around Champion run for the fast-paced duals action. In total, an estimated 10,000 fans attended Saturday’s event.
Much like the rest of the weekend, Americans didn’t disappoint. It what was most likely her last competition at Deer Valley, Hannah Kearney skied away with a second-place finish. And, on the men’s side, Dylan Walczyk matched Kearney’s effort, claiming a silver medal of his own.
For Kearney, who didn’t qualify for the finals in Friday’s mogul competition, making it all the way to the final two on Saturday was a great way to end her Deer Valley career.
"Yesterday I would have just been happy to ski under the lights, and today I got to ski five runs under the lights here at Deer Valley, so that’s a nice way to end my career on Champion," she said.
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Kearney skied in the finals against Canadian Justine Dufour-Lapointe, but couldn’t quite pull out the victory.
"In my final run, I have several things I’d like to improve upon," she said. "It’s less about losing and more about the fact that I wish I would have had a cleaner exit on the top air and landed with my feet squeezed on the bottom air. It sounds like I spun through my mute grab. But, that’s what singles are for — improving those technical things."
For Walczyk, who lost in the finals to Canadian Mikael Kingsbury, skiing in front of such a big crowd at Deer Valley was something he’ll never forget.
"I love hearing the crowd in the middle of my run," he said. "Usually I don’t hear anything, but that last run was amazing. You could hear the U.S. crowd coming into the bottom air — it was great."
Skiing against a star like Kingsbury, who has wound up on the podium more often than not during his young career, was great experience for Walczyk.
"I’ve been dreaming about it," he said. "I’ve been waiting for that final dual. I’m a little disappointed in the way it turned out, but I’ll come back and get him next time."
Patrick Deneen, who snagged a third-place finish on Friday night, finished just off the podium in fourth place on Saturday. Switzerland’s Marco Tade defeated Deneen in the final round to take third place. Britteny Cox of Australia took third in the women’s competition.
Deer Valley skier Bryon Wilson crashed in the round of 32, breaking a rib and suffering a partially collapsed lung. According to the U.S. Ski Team, Wilson was treated and released from the Park City Medical Center. His status for World Championships is unknown at the moment.
The dual mogul athletes now head to Kreischberg, Austria, for the Freestyle World Championships. Dual mogul finals will be held on Sunday, Jan. 19.