World Cup champion Hannah Kearney earned a second-place finish on a steep and icy Calgary moguls course Saturday, while Patrick Deneen took third on the men’s side for the U.S. squad. It was Deneen’s first FIS World Cup podium of the season. Kearney also became the first U.S. athlete to achieve two top-three finishes required for Olympic qualification.
Mikael Kingsbury, of Canada, picked up his second win in as many contests this season, as Kearney was bested by another Canadian, Justine Dufour-Lapointe, of Montreal.
“This was a great reminder that I can be beat, and by someone younger than me,” said Kearney. “I’ve won on this course before, so even though I earned a podium, it’s not what I was hoping for. It’s motivation and at the same time it’s a great feeling knowing that I’m in this position for the Olympics. I know I need to be tighter coming out of my bottom air and I’m going to focus on that going into Deer Valley and Lake Placid–two courses I feel confident with.”
Single-digit temperatures and course conditions were a factor for all the athletes, preventing most from skiing confidently on the slick, icy snow.
“This was a tricky course and I honestly surprised myself with how consistently I was able to ski today,” said Deneen. “I’ve had difficulty on this course before, so that makes this podium that much better. I feel really confident looking towards Deer Valley and Lake Placid, both courses I’ve had a lot of success on.”
American Sho Kashima earned a fifth-place finish, proving his mental strength after he injured his knee last season on the same run, while Heather McPhie took sixth.