Heather McPhie smiles at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Stratton, VT Friday. (Kirk Paulson)
STRATTON MOUNTAIN, VT (Mar. 23) - Competition was at its highest levels Friday as U.S. athletes took on the world's best from their own team and turned the tables in the final results at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships. Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) managed to edge out second place Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT), winner of the World Cup season title. On the men's side Jeremy Cota (Carrabassett Valley, ME) also surpassed second-ranked Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) who was runnerup and was coming off three consecutive World Cup wins in a row. Action at Stratton Mountain will continue Saturday with dual moguls.
Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) won the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships Friday.
McPhie edged World Cup season winner Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT).
On the men's side Jeremy Cota (Carrabassett Valley, ME) won the Championship, surpassing Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) who finished second.
It was the first single moguls title for both Cota and McPhie.
Stratton mountain's temperature broke into the low 70's Friday.
It was the second year in a row that Stratton has hosted the event.
The event continues Saturday with dual moguls and Sunday with aerials.
QUOTES Heather McPhie Being U.S. Champion has definitely been on my bucket list for a while I've been really happy with my season. I've thrown my D-spin every single event which was my goal and to stay on the forefront of innovation. I was really excited to stick to my plan and commit to it. It means a lot that we push each other as a team and we continue to put up better and better results.
Jeremy Cota Actually I wasn't super happy with my first two runs today so to put down my best run in the final was great. This is my first singles national championship title which is a title that’s eluded me for a while so this feels really good.
Pat and I really push each other – we've been battling each other all season. It's a friendly rivalry for sure and it helps us both. We both go out there and both want to win but at the same time we are rooting for each other. It helps us progress. Hopefully we'll keep battling and next year win some titles.
Patrick Deneen It was a good day out there, the course workers did a really great job with all the issues they had with the weather. I was satisfied with the run that I put down.