Freestyle

First Win for Matthews in Ruka

by
Caitlin Furin
2015-12-12 13:12
 

RUKA, Finland (Dec. 12, 2015) – In a Lapland winter wonderland, Mikaela Matthews (Frisco, CO) put down seven clean runs on Ruka’s steep mogul course, claiming her first career World Cup win at the 2016 FIS Freestyle dual moguls opener.

The U.S. team advanced six women into the finals, with Matthews and Keaton McCargo (Telluride, CO) advancing through to the round of 16. McCargo lost her dual against Kazakstan’s Yulia Galysheva, making Matthews the lone U.S. contender for the next four duals.

“I felt in it,” stated Matthews. “I had line choice all day until my final dual, but because the lines were so even I wasn’t really worried about it. Coming into that final dual I missed a few turns off the top air. There was definitely an internal battle going on. I definitely could have blown out, but I just kept telling myself ‘don’t blow out.’ I told myself to stick with it and get on my toes, and it ended up working out.”

Summer and fall training and preparation has been a big factor for Matthews, who feels the thousands of water ramp jumps and solid top-to-bottom training runs have really helped her step it up.

“We did so much training this summer,” said Matthews. “Coming off our camp in Switzerland, I did 40 top-to-bottoms with my full tricks. We saw the same type of success in France before coming to Ruka. Everything is just working right now. I felt good. I knew my run could do it, you just have to take it one run at a time.”

Regina Rakhimova of Russia finished behind Matthews in second, with Canada’s Chloe Dufour-Lapointe in third.

On the men’s side, Mikaela Kingsbury of Canada took the win. France’s Benjamin Cavet and Kingsbury’s countryman Philippe Marquis rounded out the podium in second and third. The U.S. men struggled to put together clean runs in qualifications, advancing only two, Dylan Walczyk (Rochester, NY) and Bruce Perry Jr. (Winter Park, CO), to finals. Perry and Walczyk finished 21st and 32nd respectively.

We didn’t see the results we wanted today on the men’s side,” said head moguls coach Matt Gnoza. “It takes risks to win, but sometimes you don’t get those breaks and it ends up costing you. At the end of the day, as a staff and team, we all have things we can work on to get things turns around for the World Cups to come.”

The U.S. Freestyle Moguls Ski Team will be back in action after the holidays at the Putnam Investments Freestyle Cup in Lake Placid, NY Jan. 14-16, 2016.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mikaela Matthews took home her first World Cup win at the 2016 FIS Freestyle dual moguls opener in Ruka, Finland.
  • It was Matthews’ second career podium following a dual moguls second place in Japan in 2013.
  • Matthews performed a lay out on her top air and a back full on bottom.
  • On the U.S. women’s side, Keaton McCargo finished 13th, Nessa Dziemian (East Hampstead, NH) 18th, Heidi Kloser (Vail, CO) 22nd, Ali Kariotis (Tiburon, CA)  23rd and K.C. Oakley (Piedmont, CA) 29th. Sophia Schwartz (Sun Valley, ID) did not finish.
  • Bruce Perry Jr. was the top U.S. man in 21st.
  • Dylan Walczyk finished 32nd and Bryon Wilson (Butte, MT) finished 45th. Jeremy Cota (Carrabassett Valley, ME) DNF’ed and Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) did not start.

QUOTES

Mikaela Matthews
Before the rebuild in unofficial training, the course was huge and burley and tough to get through. Today the bumps were tighter, so pushing the speed was interesting. It was nice because both line were pretty fair. You come to some courses and one line is clearly faster than the other, but it was pretty even. It was really fun.

We did so much training this summer. Coming off our camp in Switzerland, I did 40 top-to-bottoms with my full tricks. We saw the same type of success in France before coming to Ruka. Everything is just working right now. I felt good. I knew my run could do it, you just have to take it one run at a time.

I felt in it. I had line choice all day until my final dual, but because the lines were so even I wasn’t really worried about it. Coming in to that final dual I missed a few turns off the top air. There was definitely an internal battle going on. I definitely could have blown out, but I just kept telling myself “don’t blow out.” I told myself to stick with it and get on my toes, and it ended up working out.

Matt Gnoza, Head Moguls Coach
Obviously Mikaela’s win is a real high point for the team today. It’s great to see all of her hard work pay off. Keaton [McCargo] also skied well today. She had a tough break in the dual that she skied out in, but she’s starting to push her jumps which we’re happy to see. Bruce [Perry] did a great job for his first overseas World Cup. He skied a really clean, fast qualifying run to get him in to the final rounds and he lost a really tough dual. It’s great to see his maturity on the World Cup circuit. It was fun to see Heidi Kloser get back in the game. She skied well. It’s taken her a lot of time and dedication to come back from her injury, and it’s rewarding for us to see her back in it.

We didn’t see the results we wanted today on the men’s side. It takes risks to win, but sometimes you don’t get those breaks and it ends up costing you. At the end of the day, as a staff and team, we all have things we can work on to get things turns around for the World Cups to come.

RESULTS
Men’s Full Results
Women’s Full Results