Kearney and Kingsbury score season hattrick
Hannah Kearney and Mikael Kingsbury remain undefeated on the FIS World Cup mogul circuit after another convincing win at the Canada Post Grand Prix Saturday.
Under blue skies and freezing -20 degree temperatures, the 19-year-old Kingsbury maintained his lightning speed, smooth turns and soaring jumps run after run on the 25-degree course.
Kingsbury beat Jeremy Cota of the US in the final. Russia’s Sergey Volkov surpassed American Sho Kashima for the third place. For Cota it was a career best result whilst Kingsbury’s win solidifies his grip on the FIS yellow leader’s bib with a 110-point lead over Sho Kashima of the US.
“When you touch the yellow bib you want to keep it,” said Kingsbury, “So now that I have it I don’t plan to let it go.”
In the ladies action Hannah Kearney of the US went head-to-head with Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Canada in the final dual of the day. Kearney edged Dufour-Lapointe for the gold after the 17-year-old Montreal-native made a mistake just above the second jump. For the Olympic champion Kearney it was her first victory at Mont Gabriel, which extended her FIS Freestyle World Cup win streak to 10 consecutive wins. This year it was her third FIS Freestyle World Cup of the season, which makes her the clear leader in the overall rankings.
“Justine really pushed me today, she’s a great skier and she was right there with me today,” said Kearney.
“I had a wonderful season last year and it's been really satisfying to have such a good, productive off-season really pay off.
To come away with a victory is a nice improvement over last year. I’ve skied here a lot and never won, I even had a season ender here a few years ago.
This is a great event because I have a lot of family and friends come out. I know a lot of people in the area, and it is makes it more memorable to have them here.”
For her part Dufour-Lapointe said, “I’m really happy to win the [second place]. I did my best and skied really fast. My last dual was really fun, I managed to push Hannah -- now she knows I’m here.”
Ekaterina Stolyarova of Russia beat Chelsea Henitiuk in the women’s small final. Stolyarova took the final spot on the podium, but Henitiuk was thrilled with her best ever FIS World Cup finish.
“I’m kind of in shock right now,” said a grinning Henitiuk, “I typically don’t do well on this course, so I had nothing to lose. So, I just pushed my limits and it paid off.” Canadian coaches said that Henitiuk’s performance here was a breakthrough for the 23-year old.
The Canada Post Grand Prix at Ski Mont Gabriel continues Sunday with the opening aerials event of the season before the World Cup swings to Lake Placid (USA).