Kauf Third in Val St. Come
After five weeks away from the competition circuit, Jaelin Kauf led the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team at the FIS Freestyle Moguls World Cup in Val St. Come, Canada, with her first podium of the season in third place.
“I’m really stoked with [my result], I've definitely been building this season,” said Kauf. “Felt like I finally put it all the way through and competed really well today. I was just focusing on skiing my run all day, pushing the speed and the turns, and cleaning it up each run as the day went on. That seemed to work. ”
It was the first time mogul skiers competed under the lights in Val St. Come in World Cup competition. The notoriously steep course separated the more technical skiers from the rest of the field with spaced out moguls and a steep transition from the top air. Kauf is known for her skiing and speed and took the challenge in stride, laying down the fastest time for the women of the event in her first finals run at 23.79 seconds.
Kauf went big back grab to back X in 24.25 seconds for her supers run - the fastest of the women that round - to earn a score of 79.34. She shared the podium with Japan’s Anri Kawamura in first and Australia’s Anthony Jakara in second.
It was another strong showing for the women of the moguls team with four qualifying for finals: Kauf, Elizabeth Lemley, Olivia Giaccio, and Hannah Soar. Lemley finished 9th, Soar 10th and Giaccio 11th.
Alli Macuga finished 19th, Lulu Shaffer finished 21st in her World Cup debut, and Tess Johnson finished in 22nd.
On the men’s side, Nick Page was the sole American to qualify for finals. He had a solid showing all night, throwing his usual big airs, and looked very comfortable in the middle section skiing tight and clean. Page finished in fourth with a score of 80.02, narrowly missing the podium by just 0.54 points.
Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury earned World Cup victory number 76 in front of his hometown crowd. Sweden’s Walter Walberg finished second and Japan’s Ikuma Horishima finished third.
Cole McDonald finished 19th, Dylan Walczyk finished 33rd, Landon Wendler finished 42nd and Dylan Marcellini finished 43rd in his World Cup debut. Charlie Mickel did not start.
Competition continues Jan. 28 with dual moguls
“I’m really excited for tomorrow,” commented Kauf. “I’ve been pushing the speed on the women’s side and that’s going to play to my advantage in duals. [Skiing] under the lights is so much fun. It adds another level of excitement.”