Madonna di Campiglio moguls: Heil first, Kearney second{mosimage}MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy — World champion and Olympics-bound Hannah Kearney finished second Saturday night in a World Cup moguls contest on the 2007 World Championships course with Michelle Roark fourth behind Canadian Jennifer Heil, the World Cup leader.

Heil tore thru her finals run to win with 26.69 points — higher than the men — while Kearney, fifth in qualifying earlier in the evening, received 25.20. Roark, who was second in qualifying, took fourth with a score of 24.37 in the next-to-last moguls event before the Olympic Feb. 10-26 in Torino, Italy.

‘It was a great night for Hannah. That’s three finals in [i.e., top 12] for her and that’s a nice turnaround. To get her on the podium is always nice, but she seems to be on the right track at this point’ said head coach Donnie St. Pierre. ‘She dropped into the back seat a little bit on her bottom air, otherwise it clearly would have been hers to win.

‘But Jenn Heil had a great run, so good for her. She really put it down.’

St. Pierre said Roark, who had won back-to-back moguls contests at Deer Valley, Utah, during the Chevrolet Freestyle International and then at Whiteface outside Lake Placid, N.Y., in the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup, ‘did some of her better work. She’s disappointed with fourth, but that’ll keep her fired up into Torino.’

Dale Begg-Smith, who swept both ends of a doubleheader a week ago during the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup at Lake Placid, N.Y., earned his third straight win with 26.66. Second place went to Sami Mustonen of Finland and Olympic champ Janne Lahtela, also a Finn, took third.

David DiGravio, a World Cup rookie, was fourth in qualifying and finished 10th with 24.01 points. Jeremy Bloom, the defending World Cup champion who’s heading to his second Olympics, was third in the qualifying round but dropped to 12th in finals; his score was 22.37.

‘This is a tough course’ St. Pierre said. ‘The minimum length is 200 meters and this is 201, so it’s a bit of a sprint, and you’ve got skiers coming down in 19 seconds, 20, 21 … it’s the World Championships course next season and, from a technical point of view, it’s not the most challenging course — it’s got reasonable pitch but then it flattens out a bit at the bottom. That’ll keep skiers moving.’

More than a meter of snow fell earlier in the week, creating somewhat soft underfooting for the athletes, according to St. Pierre, ‘but it made things perhaps a little more fun for more people.’

The freestyle tour makes its final pre-Olympic stop in Spinderluv Mlyn, Czech Republic, Feb. 3-5 with moguls, aerials and ski cross events.

– Courtesy USSA News Bureau

Freestyle World Cup results
Madonna di Campiglio, Italy – Jan. 28,2006
Moguls (12 make finals)

1. Dale Begg-Smith, Australia, 26.66 points
2. Sami Mustonen, Finland, 25.75
3. Janne Lahtela, Finland, 25.72
4. Chris Wong, Canada, 25.61
5. Kai Ozaki, Japan, 24.27
Other U.S. athletes
10. David DiGravio, Farmington, Maine, 24.01
12. Jeremy Bloom, Loveland, Colo., 22.37
15. Nate Roberts, Park City, Utah
32. Toby Dawson, Vail, Colo.
37. Michael Morse, Duxbury, Mass.
38. Dave Babic, Washington, Vt.

1. Jennifer Heil, Canada, 26.69
2. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt., 25.20
3. Margarita Marbler, Austria, 24.51
4. Michelle Roark, Denver, 24.37
5. Stephanie St. Pierre, Canada, 24.22
Other U.S. athletes
11. Shelly Robertson, Reno, Nev., 21.27
16. Emiko Torito, Denver
28. Eliza Outtrim, Hamden, Conn.

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