Kearney back on top in Inawashiro
INAWASHIRO, Japan – Hannah Kearney retook her spot at the top of the World Cup moguls standings Sunday (March 2) with a win at the Inawashiro dual moguls competition. She answered swiftly after a DNF Saturday to take back the yellow bib from Canada’s Justine Dufour-Lapointe, who finished ninth on the day. Kearney now leads the standings 590 to 565 points.
“This was the best I’ve ever skied on this course. My best result here before today was third,” said Kearney. “It’s a challenging course. We woke up with about three inches of fresh powder but the snow here is packed. It’s warm and humid with some deep moguls.”
Kearney beat Elena Muratova of Russia for the win in the final head-to-head battle. It was her first-ever victory at the tricky Japanese venue. Heather McPhie finished just off the podium after losing the fight for third to Japan’s Junko Hoshino. Four U.S. women skied into the top ten with Sophia Schwartz seventh and Eliza Outtrim tenth.
“There’s always an element of luck with mogul skiing. I had a bad top jump yesterday after I hit the mogul, exploded and lost my ski. It was definitely rough but it was up to me to not feel sorry for myself after a few bad results,” said Kearney. “I talked to all my coaches today and I knew I needed to just focus on my skiing skills and getting down the course. Not the yellow bib, or the globe or the Olympics or my retirement. And turns out I had a much better result. ”
Pat Deneen skied into the top spot for the U.S. men in fifth behind duals winner Mikael Kingsbury of Canada. Sho Endo and Pascal-Olivier Gagne finished second and third, respectively. Americans Bradley Wilson and brother Bryon skied head-to-head in the first round. Bryon beat Bradley and went on to finish seventh, putting Bradley in 11th after taking the win in Saturday’s moguls competition.
Sunday was the first dual moguls event of the season. The preceding World Cup events utilized a new Olympic format in advance of the moguls event at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Snowfall and fog brought a few delays in the early stages of Sunday’s event, but it went smoothly once the athletes began skiing. Next, the World Cup tour heads to Voss, Norway for a moguls and dual moguls event March 15-16.
Release courtesy of USSA