U.S. women sweep World Cup moguls at Deer Valley
Park City • Bill Marolt stood behind Hannah Kearney raising both arms toward the frigid Park City night sky in elation.
The president and CEO of the United States Ski & Snowboard Association grinned a very noticeable grin because for just the second time in World Cup history, three American women's moguls skiers swept a World Cup podium.
On home turf, no less.
On Thursday night at Deer Valley Resort, Kearney, Heather McPhie and Eliza Outtrim hugged in euphoria after the trio went 1-2-3 in the first event of the VISA Freestyle International World Cup.
"We push each other all summer, every training camp, and we have talked about this day for a very long time," said McPhie. "I couldn't be happier to be on the podium with these two women. It feels amazing."
The only time a U.S. trio previously dominated a podium was on Jan. 21, 2010, when Kearney, McPhie and since-retired Olympian Shannon Bahrke swept the final World Cup moguls event prior to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
"That experience is unique," said Kearney, her signature hair popping out of her helmet, "so that's what makes it really special."
Kearney, McPhie and Outtrim defeated Japan's Miki Ito and Arisa Murata as well as Kazakhstan's Yulia Galysheva in the women's super final to sweep the moguls event.
"Definitely a positive," Outtrim said when asked to describe the depth of the U.S. moguls team. "You're much better off being surrounded by really good skiers all the time."
For Kearney, it was another World Cup gold after bouncing back from an early-season crash that forced her to miss the circuit's first two events.
"You know what, this should be happening more often," she said of the sweep, "and hopefully it will."
Twenty-year-old Mikael Kingsbury once again stole the men's moguls spotlight, winning his 14th career World Cup gold. The Canadian phenom has reached a podium in 19 consecutive World Cup stops to go along with an astounding 26 career podiums.
Kingsbury shook off any notion of pressure of continuing his streak, explaining that his routine is laid-back.
"I just take it cool up top and talk with everybody," he said. "I relax, and this is how I do my best stuff, when I'm relaxed."
Fellow Canadian and 2010 gold medalist Alex Bilodeau finished second in the men's mogul events, while American Patrick Deneen came in third, where he also sits in the FIS World Cup moguls standings.
Women's moguls finals
1. Hannah Kearney, USA (25.54)
2. Heather McPhie, USA (23.85)
3. Eliza Outtrim, USA (23.47)
Men's moguls finals
1. Mikael Kingsbury, Canada (25.78)
2. Alex Bilodeau, Canada (25.60)
3. Patrick Deneen, USA (25.07)
Friday schedule • Men's and women's aerials: 6:45-8:25 p.m.