What an opener! Hannah Kearney, Sho Kashima and Eliza Outtrim on the podium with Kearney winning. (USSA/Harald Marbler)
RUKA, Finland (Dec. 10) - Olympic champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) opened defense of her FIS Freestyle World Cup title with a strong win in Ruka as three Americans made it to the podium. Eliza Outtrim was second behind Kearney while Sho Kashima (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) finished runnerup to Canada's Michael Kingsbury for his first career podium.
Hannah Kearney and Eliza Outtrim went one-two in FIS Freestyle World Cup moguls opener
It was Kearney's eighth straight moguls win; she was undefeated in individual moguls last season.
Sho Kashima second in men's for first career podium
Six American women in top 12
Career best sixth for Heidi Kloser (Vai, CO)
Career best 11th for K.C. Oakley (Piedmont, CA)
Career best 12th for Brittany Loweree (Point Lookout, NY) in her first European World Cup
Four American men in top 10
9th for Bradley Wilson (Butte, MT) in his first World Cup
Team will train in Ruka for several days before heading to opening dual moguls World Cup in Meribel, France
QUOTES Garth Hager, Moguls Coach In the new format, it's a pretty quick turnaround from the round of 16 to the round of four. You need to treat it like a duals final - you don't get much rest.
Hannah Kearney I didn't exactly know what to expect from the new format, mainly because I had no concerns with the old format. In the back of my mind, I was trying to save something for the finals. My second run was the worst of the day. I had to salvage my bottom jump and disguised it well and stayed in front.
There's a little bit more of a physical component - conditioning helps. I now have no complaints.
I did a layout on top and and mute grab on bottom air. It was first time all day I got the grab. Landing wasn't the cleansest but actually did the mute grab. I had the fastest time on every run, which wasn't the case last year. I skied very little this summer because I wanted to spend as much time as possible working with Bergie (aerials coach and Olympic champion Eric Bergoust) - and a big thanks to him. I didn't do Bergie too proud but I got the win.
I trained all summer on the water ramps. Quickness came from dryland training.
Eliza Outtrim My training all fall has beeing going well. I skied really strongly in Zermatt. I had some good training under my belt.
Having done well here last year (fourth) it gave me confidence. I knew I liked the course and skied it well.
Something about the way the course is built really agrees with the way I ski. The bottom air is very wide open, a bit steep, but the landing is huge so you can come in and know uou can go big.
I came in unsure about it (new format) but what I like is when I made the top four superfinals you go into a feeling that you don't have to hold anything back. I knew I was going to have to go in big and fast.
Our team as a whole has been trainng really hard. We're on good programs in the off-season, training a lot in the gym and on the hill.
Sho Kashima It was kind of a surprise but a really nice finish. I didn't go to Zermatt camp and competing from the C team and the way I skied last year, the confidence wasn't there. But starting off this season healthy and being able to train this summer full on - hopefully this will be a great season.