Freestyle

Debut Win for K.C. Oakley

by
USSA
2015-01-09 21:12
 

PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 9, 2015) - Veteran K.C. Oakley's (Piedmont, CA) started her day learning she was going to World Championships next week. It ended with her career first World Cup win, throwing down a stunning win to upset Canada's Dufur-Lapointe sisters with a huge three-point win in front of a packed house at Deer Valley Resort. Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) scored his first podium of the season finishing third behind Canada's Mikael Kingsbury.

"This is just so fun," said Oakley.  "I’m really just weirded out right now, not too sure about what’s going on, but it’s awesome. I just got told I was going to worlds yesterday, so this has been a great couple days. I’m processing it still, and we still have one more day of competition, so maybe things can get even better!"
 
A four-year veteran of the U.S. Ski Team, Oakley had only one previous podium - a third from 2012 in Calgary. She missed an opportunity for Sochi with an injury, but has come back strong this season. "Coming back from injury, it was just about getting back out there. I love this course, especially at night. I know speed is always on my side, so I went for it. My runs weren’t perfectly clean, but I just went for speed and it worked out."
 
Oakley was second in the first round of finals behind Justine Dufur-Lapointe to make it into the round of six. Saving her best for last, she skied the fastest run of the day, also winning on turns and air, to take a strong three-point margin over the Canadian, capping it off with a massive back layout off the bottom air.
 
Deneen broke onto the podium with a strong, fast run, but was unable to knock of Kingsbury and second place Matt Graham of Australia. 
 
"It feels awesome to be part of what has been a very successful weekend for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team," said Deneen. "Any time you’re at Deer Valley and can get on the podium, it’s an incredible feeling. We had a big crowd tonight and it’s fun to ski in front of that many people."
 
The event wraps up Saturday night with dual moguls.
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  • K.C. Oakley scored a career first World Cup victory with a three point margin over Canadian Justine Dufur-Lapointe.
  • Favorite Hannah Kearney went off course on the top jump in qualifying and failed to make the finals. Kearney dropped from the World Cup lead to third.
  • Pat Deneen scored his first podium of the season.
  • The U.S. had seven women in the top 20. In addition to Oakley, young Morgan Schild (Vail, CO), in just her second World Cup, was eighth, Ali Kariotis (Tiburon, CA) 13th, Mikaela Matthews (Vail, CO) 15th, Keaton McCargo (Telluride, CO) 17th, Sophia Schwartz (Sun Valley, ID) 18th and Nessa Dziemian (East Hampstead, NH) 19th.
  • The men scored four in the top 10, with Sho Kashima (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) scoring his best finish since returning from injury in fifth. Bryon Wilson (Butte, MT) was ninth and Troy Murphy (Bethel, ME) was 10th.
  • The Visa Freestyle International wraps up Saturday night with dual moguls with finals starting at 7:00 p.m.
  • The moguls event will air Jan. 11 on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. EST.
 
QUOTES
 
K.C. Oakley
This is just so fun. I’m really just weirded out right now, not too sure about what’s going on, but it’s awesome. I just got told I was going to worlds yesterday, so this has been a great couple days. I’m processing it still, and we still have one more day of competition, so maybe things can get even better!
 
Coming back from injury, it was just about getting back out there. I love this course, especially at night. I know speed is always on my side, so I went for it. My runs weren’t perfectly clean, but I just went for speed and it worked out.
 
Pat Deneen
Deer Valley has such a good course crew and they did a great job putting this course together. They changed the way they built the course this year. In some ways it was easier and in some ways it was more difficult, but it skied really, really great.
 
I’ve been having a pretty rough start to the season and I had surgery coming into the season. Tonight I was just really happy to ski consistently and ski the runs I skied. I definitely would have liked to have cleaner runs, but I made up for it by just charging the course and that turned out really well for me.
 
It feels awesome to be part of what has been a very successful weekend for the U.S. Team. Any time you’re at Deer Valley and can get on the podium, it’s an incredible feeling. We had a big crowd tonight and it’s fun to ski in front of that many people.
 
Matt Gnoza, Moguls Coach
For K.C., the change she made from the qualifiers to the finals to the super finals really made a difference. Her middle section was night and day difference. She made huge adjustments in the way she was turning the ski and driving the tip and it made all the difference in the world.
 
Deer Valley fits Pat really well. I think he likes the steep courses. He matched the pitch really well tonight with his stance on the skis and was totally locked in in that final run.
 
Tonight we saw some really nice results from our younger skiers with expected results from some of our veterans. Overall it was a great night for the team and we are looking forward to duals tomorrow.

RESULTS
Men's Moguls 
Women's Moguls 

 

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