Heather McPhie took the U.S. moguls title Friday over World Cup titlist Hannah Kearney at Heavenly at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships. (Sarah Brunson/USSA)
HEAVENLY, CA (March 29) - Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) successfully defended her title, taking gold in moguls at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Heavenly. In the men's contest, Bradley Wilson (Butte, MT) took his his first U.S. crown winning over brother Bryon with local favorite Sho Kashima (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) taking bronze. World Cup titlist Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) was second for women with Eliza Outtrim third. The Championships close Saturday with both dual moguls and aerials.
Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) opened the Sprint U.S. Freestye Championships at Heavenly with gold, repeating the title she won a year ago at Stratton Mountain, VT.
Bradley Wilson (Butte, MT) took his first U.S. title with a win over brother Bryon and local favorite Sho Kashima (S. Lake Tahoe, CA)
Wilson threw a double full on the top air and a huge back iron cross on the bottom air.
Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT), fresh from winning the season FIS World Cup title, took silver with Eliza Outtrim (Hamden, CT) bronze.
McPhie did a layout on her top air with her traditional D spin on the bottom - huge air and perfect landing - for the win.
Weather created challenges with rare fog and ice delaying the start Friday morning.
With incoming heavy weather predicted for Sunday, the scheduled dual moguls competition was moved along with the already scheduled aerials event.
Duals finals begin at 3:45 p.m. MT and aerials finals begin at 6:40 p.m. MT.
To be national champion is huge. It's another accomplishment to have under my belt. I had my Junior Worlds title and a World Cup victory but not U.S. Champion so this means a lot. This event always brings you back to the freestyle roots and what freestyle is about. It's different than a World Cup and I couldn't be happier. I was really liking the vibe out there today. When I remember to have fun I'm usually really happy with my results.
It's about 60 degrees here, the course was slushy and soupy but it got a lot better as the day went on. The staff and crew here did a great job making this a great event.
It was a warm day, the course was soft but I was just working on getting my speed, charging out of the gate and really get some speed through the middle section.
My recovery has been long but my skiing feels good and I finally feel like i'm back to the skiing I know I can do. Skiing in front of the home crowd, my family, friends, doctors, sponsors, everyone who enables me to be able to do what I love is a great feeling. And being able to put on a show for them after all the support they've given me is awesome!
This is such an amazing way to end the season with a win. I've been sick all week and I really had to dig deep today to pull out the win. There is so much depth on our team and you really see it at an event like this. To be up on the podium again with Hannah and Eliza is something that is just so unbelievable. I was standing at the bottom with Eliza saying, wow we could do this again!
The course has similarities to what we experienced in Sochi and I just kept reminding myself that.