Troy Murphy and Hannah Kearney (center) were crowned U.S. mogul champions at the USANA U.S. Freestyle National Championships at Steamboat Resort. (Getty Images / Doug Pensinger)
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO (March 27, 2015) – With the spring sun heating up, fans flocked to the Voodoo mogul run at Steamboat Resort to watch the best mogul skiers in the nation compete at the USANA U.S. Freestyle Championships. Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) added a fourth mogul national title to her impressive career, while Troy Murphy (Bethel, ME) earned his first U.S. Champs win. Nessa Dziemian and Keaton McCargo rounded out the podium spots for the ladies, with Joe Discoe and Tom Rowley (Long Beach, NY) taking second and third for the men.
With the World Cup tour behind her and the mogul and freestyle globes sitting at her house in Vermont, one might think the pressure for Kearney was off. But she was striving for perfection, and today’s competition, the last of her career, was another opportunity for Kearney to analyze and improve her skiing.
Hannah Kearney skis down the Voodoo mogul run at Steamboat Resort. (Getty Images / Doug Pesinger)
“Today wasn’t the perfect run I wanted,” said Kearney. “Yesterday in qualifications, I had a big bobble in the middle section. Turns are worth the most, so I focused on clean skiing. That’s what I’m kind of known for. That’s exactly what I did today.”
Murphy, who is known for his high degree of difficulty on the jumps, threw down a huge double full on the top air and a cork 10 on the bottom. Rowley, who lead the pack after qualifications, also put down a run with impressive airs, but had a small bobble on the bottom jump, sliding him into the third spot.
“I’m really happy with the win,” said Murphy. “I like coming to this event because I get to see all my old buddies that I grew up skiing with. So do to well in front of all of them is awesome. To ski well against all my teammates, who are awesome, is an accomplishment, so I’m really happy.”
Troy Murphy celebrates after winning the moguls event at U.S. Freestyle Championships (Steamboat Resort / Larry Pierce)
National team members pack the top 10 in both the men and women’s fields, but young skiers from around the country put down impressive runs on the soft bumps.
“I think there’s a lot of promise with the younger skiers,” said McCargo. “The girls are definitely stepping up their game, especially with jumping. They are really being aggressive.”
U.S. Freestyle Championships action continues Saturday, March 28th with men’s and women’s aerials at 12:15 p.m. MDT. The moguls skiers will return to Voodoo on Sunday, March 29th for the dual moguls competition.
Hannah Kearney and Troy Murphy were crowned national champions at the USANA U.S. Freestyle National Championships at Steamboat Resort, CO.
Nessa Dziemian and Keaton McCargo took second and third for the women, with Joe Discoe and Tom Rowley in second and third for the men.
National team members Mikaela Matthews, Sophia Schwartz, K.C. Oakley and Ali Kariotis finished fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth.
Sho Kashima, Dylan Walczyk and Bryon Wilson finished fourth, fifth and 13th respectively.
Hannah Kearney It’s really nice at nationals when the team does what it’s supposed to, which is be in the top spots. It’s fun to see the next generation getting a break in there, but it’s cool to see the team on top. Nessa is sort of the newest member and she skied really well, which bodes well for the future. We’re so close to getting to that next level, everything just has to come together. That’s the story of mogul skiing. You work on your jumps, then you work on your turns and your speed, and in competition everything has to come together. I think our team is in the place right now where we are working on all of those individual things, and it’s about to come together.
Today wasn’t the perfect run I wanted. Yesterday in qualifications, I had a big bobble in the middle section. Turns are worth the most, so I focused on clean skiing. That’s what I’m kind of known for. That’s exactly what I did today. I thought my jumps were a little soft. The snow conditions were also soft, which makes it harder to get a strong take off. But I’ve very pleased with the result and overall I did what I needed to do.
Nessa Dzemian It was awesome to do so well today, especially being next to Hannah in her last competition. I felt very honored throughout the whole thing. It was super sweet conditions and I’m super pumped with how I finished.
I could hear my friends and family at the top of the course, which definitely motivates you to put down your best run. Having them here was awesome.
I have a lot of goals for next season. It’s mostly just to consistently ski more top to bottoms with good body positions in my turns. I’m hoping to push a new trick, whether it’s a back full or a cork 10. I’m going to be working on both and seeing which one is going to work best for me to incorporate in the next few seasons.
Keaton McCargo This season has been really fun. My body is tired, but I’m definitely sad to almost be done. It’s been amazing to hang out with Hannah and be mentored by her. I’m pretty sad that she’s going to be gone.
I think there’s a lot of promise with the younger skiers. The girls are definitely stepping up their game, especially with jumping. They are really being aggressive.
Troy Murphy I think it’s important for skiers to up the difficulty with their jumps. I haven’t really formed an opinion on how it should be done yet. My outlook is whatever the highest level you can do, I’m going to try and do it. So hopefully we can up it for next year. For me, I just want to win, and to do that I have to do my best every time. That’s what I’ve tried to do all season and today it really worked.
I’m really happy with the win. I like coming to this event because I get to see all my old buddies that I grew up skiing with. So do to well in front of all of them is awesome. To ski will against all our teammates, we have an awesome team, is an accomplishment so I’m really happy.
I watched quite a bit of training and qualifying. Some of the guys are killing it and there are some really good guys on the Junior Worlds team. It’s promising for the future.