Freestyle

Debut Win for Jaelin Kauf

by
USSA
2017-02-18 23:45
 

SENBOKU CITY, Japan (Feb. 19, 2017) – The U.S. Ski Team moguls squad made the final day of competition at Tazawako Ski Resort a memorable one with two athletes on the dual moguls podium. Jaelin Kauf (Alta, WY) skied to her first-career World Cup win, with teammate Olivia Giaccio (Redding, CT) joining her on the podium with a third place finish, also a career-first.

Both Kauf and Giaccio, who came to the U.S. Ski Team through the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, have performed well in duals this season. Kauf, who recently had a third place finish in duals at Deer Valley Resort, overcame the adversity of Saturday's moguls competition where she didn’t make finals. She powered through some tough duals, including ones against some of the top Canadian skiers, to make it to the big final. Kauf beat Kazakhstan's Yulia Galysheva 19 to 16 to take the win.


Kauf (center) takes the win with Yulia Galysheva (left) in second and Giaccio in third.

“I can’t really describe how I’m feeling right now,” said Kauf. “I was just pushing the speed all day and trying to beat the other girls down the course. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, but it’s amazing and I couldn’t be happier.”

Young 16-year-old Giaccio, who is in the midst of her first full year on the World Cup tour, was knocking at the door at the last duals World Cup in Deer Valley where she finished fourth. In Tazawako she broke through, dueling against top veteran athletes to capture her first podium.

 

 

“I was trying to win speed today as best I could,” said Giaccio. “I tried to ski clean, have big airs and just focus on each run. It’s insane - I definitely didn’t expect it - but I am super excited and it’s so great to share the podium with Jaelin. We skied together at Steamboat last year, so it’s really special to share this with her.”

Dual moguls may be difficult for some skiers, but Kauf and Giaccio have excelled in the fast-paced environment. While they did end up dueling each other to earn their spots in the small and big finals, both were able to ski well and come out victorious in their final duals.


Kauf and Giaccio celebrate with the U.S. Ski Team in Japan.

“Both Jaelin and Olivia skied with great composure today,” said head moguls coach Matt Gnoza. “Their runs were technical and they stayed focused on their skiing, winning those duals where they were the underdogs. They both ski aggressively, charge through the middle section and go big on the bottom air. It was some great skiing.”

The U.S. men had another strong day of skiing, with Brad Wilson (Butte, MT) and Troy Murphy (Bethel, ME) once again leading the charge. They faced some tough opponents and were unable to advance to the small and big finals, landing themselves in sixth and seventh respectively. Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury beat out France’s Benjamin Cavet to take the win. Australia’s Matt Graham was third.

The FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup tour continues Feb. 25-26 with another set of moguls and dual moguls competitions at Thaiwoo Ski Resort in China.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jaelin Kauf took the win and Olivia Giaccio was third in dual moguls at Tazawako Ski Resort.
  • It was Kauf’s first-career World Cup win and third-career podium in duals.
  • It was Giaccio’s first-career World Cup podium.
  • Both athletes came to the U.S. Ski Team through the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in Colorado.
  • Brad Wilson and Troy Murphy were the top U.S. men’s athletes, finishing sixth and seventh.
  • Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) took the win for the men, followed by Benjamin Cavet (FRA) in second and Matt Graham (AUS) third.
  • The moguls World Cup tour continues Feb 25-26 at Thaiwoo Ski Resort in China.

 

QUOTES

Jaelin Kauf
I can’t really describe how I’m feeling right now. I was just pushing the speed all day and trying to beat the other girls down the course. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, but it’s amazing and I couldn’t be happier.

Olivia Giaccio
I was trying to win speed today as best I could. I tried to ski clean, have big airs and just focus on each run. It’s insane - I definitely didn’t expect it - but I am super excited and it’s so great to share the podium with Jaelin. We skied together at Steamboat last year, so it’s really special to share this with her.

Matt Gnoza, Head Moguls Coach
Both Jaelin and Olivia skied with great composure today. Their runs were technical and they stayed focused on their skiing, winning those duals where they were the underdogs. They both ski aggressively, charge through the middle section and go big on the bottom air. It was some great skiing.

 

RESULTS
Men’s Results
Women’s Results
Men’s World Cup Standings
Women’s World Cup Standings