Freestyle: Americans Wilson, Oakley, Lillis take rookie of the year honors
American freestyle skiers Bradley Wilson, K.C. Oakley, and Jonathan Lillis were voted FIS Freestyle World Cup Rookies of the Year for their standout performances during the 2012 season.
Moguls skiers Wilson and Oakley were awarded their cups at the World Cup Finals in Megeve, France.
Wilson, a product of the Wasatch Freestyle program at Deer Valley Resort, finished the season ranked eighth in the World Cup moguls standings with eight top-ten finishes in 13 starts, finishing fourth twice. Wilson’s top ten ranking will secure him a position on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls A-Team for the 2013 season.
“It’s sweet, I started off the year with winning Rookie of the Year as one of my main goals,” said Wilson. “Midway through the season, I’d been having some success, some top ten finishes and I realized that I could finish the season in the overall top ten and make the A-Team. That became my next goal. It feels great to have accomplished both of my goals for my first season.”
K.C. Oakley, of the Park City Freestyle Ski Team program, made the finals of every World Cup event and ended her rookie season ranked ninth. She earned one podium finish, a third, and had seven top ten finishes en route to her Rookie of the Year title.Oakley’s World Cup Rookie of the Year comes on the heels of her 2011 NorAm title. She will also be promoted to the A-Team for next season.
“I’m feeling really good. Everything I’ve wanted to do this season, I’ve accomplished,” said Oakley. “My goal coming into the season was making the A-Team. To do that you have to ski well and get either two podium finishes or finish in the top ten on the World Cup. Making every final this season was big for me. I’m proud of that consistency in my first year on the World Cup.”
Aerialist Lillis’ honor was announced at the final aerials event in Voss, Norway. He was ranked 25th, making the finals in two World Cups. The threesome joins a long list of past U.S. winners.
Image by Garth Hagar