Hannah Kearney celebrates her pre-Olympic win in a FIS Freestyle World Cup at Rosa Khutor near Sochi. (Getty Images/AFP)
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Feb. 15) - Olympic champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) won under the lights in Rosa Khutor to lead a dominant day for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team. Eliza Outtrim (Camden, CT) was second with Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) fourth - missing the podium on a tiebreaker. Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) was second in the men's to Canada's Mikael Kingsbury. It was a strong day for the USA with six women making the round of 16 semifinals and four moving on into the six personal finals. The win boosted Kearney into the World Cup moguls lead for the first time this season.
Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) established herself as the favorite winning on a soft moguls course at Rosa Khutor near Sochi.
Eliza Outtrim (Hamden, CT) continued her strong performances finishing second. Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) was fourth, losing a podium spot on a tie breaker. Mikaela Matthews (Frisco, CO) was sixth.
The win moved Kearney into the World Cup moguls lead for the first time this season. McPhie is third with Outtrim now fourth.
The warm, soft conditions were a challenge for athletes in maintaining consistent speed and landing jumps. But athletes were impressed with the overall venue construction which has all events sharing a common finish area.
Six U.S. women qualified into the round of 16 semifinals with four advancing to the round of six finals, using the Olympic format. Deneen and Joe Discoe (Telluride, CO) were the only men to qualify for semifinals.
Aerials is scheduled for this weekend.
QUOTES Hannah Kearney Today really tested my skiing and to be able to pull off a win in all the different conditions we experienced makes me confident in my training and my ability.
This venue and course is something really special. So many people are a part of making this a success and I'm extremely excited that the Olympics are here in less than a year.
Eliza Outtrim It was a tough day out there, but I couldn't be more pleased with the way I skied. The conditions weren't exactly ideal but we were all at the same disadvantage and so many people skied really well. The venue is absolutely unreal. So many people worked so hard to pull this event off and I'm so thankful and appreciative of all their hard work. It really paid off.
Patrick Deneen This course is awesome, It's incredible, but the conditions were all over the place. We're an outdoor sport so we have to learn to cope with those conditions and learn to make the best of it. I was lucky today that I was able to put down some solid runs and to have a podium on the Olympic Venue is a pretty unbelievable feeling.
This venue is the best I've ever seen. To have moguls, aerials and halfpipe all end up in the same spot is pretty crazy. You can feel the energy and everyone feeds off that.