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Kariotis and Cota Finish Fourth in Moscow

MOSCOW, Russia (March. 5, 2016) - The U.S. mogul skiers closed out the season with strong performances in the dual moguls World Cup finals. Jeremy Cota (Carabassett Valley, ME) and Ali Kariotis (Tiburon, CA) led the U.S. team with a pair of fourth place finishes. Dylan Walczyk (Rochester, NY) and Brad Wilson (Butte, MT) also finished in the top 10.

The competition in Moscow was the first of its kind, taking place in a city and on scaffolding. With a wet and warm competition day, the course in Moscow was slushy and fast. Skiers were averaging a run time of 12 seconds. Kariotis was one of the fastest on the women's side, winning all of her duals at the line and earning her best World Cup finish to date.

"This course was definitely a hero's course," stated Kariotis. "It was very flat with big jumps, so it was kind of an air show. It really came down to who was willing to go the fastest and go the biggest. There weren't a lot of limiting factors out there or big challenges. It came down to judging at the end and unfortunately that didn't work out in my favor, but I was happy with my day."

The stacked men's field featured big airs, fast skiing and some tight duals. Cota barely lost to Canada's Mikael Kingsbury in quarterfinals before going on to face another Canadian, Philippe Marquis, in the small final.

"The strategy today was a little different," said Cota. "As soon as you got out of the gate, you were going straight and trying to hang on. There were less tactics than a different course but the jumps were big and it was a good show. Competing here was great. They did a good job with it and a lot of people turned out, so it made for more exciting skiing and was a good showcase for the sport."

France's Perrine Laffont took the duals win for the women ahead of Canada's Andi Naude in second and Norway's Hedvig Vessel in third. On the men's side, Kingsbury took home yet another win. Benjamine Cavet of France was second and Marquis third.

After

posting the top finish for the U.S. team at the World Cup in Deer Valley in February, including her first career podium, Jaelin Kauf (Steamboat Springs, CO) was named the 2016 FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup Rookie of the Year.

"This season on the World Cup has been very exciting," said Kauf. "It's different, but it's really fun. I had some great finishes and some not so great finishes, but it's a learning experience and I'm really looking forward to next year."

The 2016 moguls overall titles were awarded to Chloe Dufour-LaPointe and Kingsbury. Matthews led the U.S. in the women's overall season standings, finishing eighth. Walczyk led the men standing in 10th. With two globes and a handful of athletes sitting in the top 10 in the overall standings, Canada took home the Nation's Cup. Strong performances in the latter half of the season saw the U.S. team finish second in the standings.

HIGHLIGHTS

Ali Kariotis and Jeremy Cota posted the top finishes for the U.S. in moguls World Cup finals, both finishing just off the podium in fourth.

Nessa Dziemian was 11th, Mikaela Matthews 16th, Jaelin Kauf 17th and Keaton McCargo 18th.

Dylan Walczyk was 5th, Brad Wilson 8th, Tom Rowley 13th and Joe Discoe 19th.

Matthews and Walczyk were the top U.S. finishers in the overall World Cup standings, finishing eighth and 10th respectively.

Jaelin Kauf was named 2016 FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup Rookie of the Year.

The U.S. team finished second in the Nation's Cup standings, based on the World Cup points across all of its athletes.

QUOTES

Ali Kariotis
This course was definitely a hero's course. It was very flat with big jumps, so it was kind of an air show. It really came down to who was willing to go the fastest and go the biggest. There weren't a lot of limiting factors out there or big challenges. It was a really fun course - you could just ski fast and take as much speed as you wanted. I really enjoyed it.

I won every single dual across the line. That was a big goal of mine and I was really happy with it. It came down to judging at the end and unfortunately that didn't work out in my favor, but I was happy with my day.

This season was so short with so few World Cups, but I think our team really started progressing at the end and I'm really excited for what we can do next year.

Jeremy Cota
The strategy today was a little different. As soon as you got out of the gate, you were going straight and trying to hang on. There were less tactics than a different course but the jumps were big and it was a good show. Competing here was great. They did a good job with it and a lot of people turned out, so it made for more exciting skiing and was a good showcase for the sport.

We have a lot of talented, salty dogs on this team. If our performances continue to improve like they have towards the latter part of this season, I think we would be one of the biggest threats next year.

Jaelin Kauf, 2016 FIS World Cup Rookie of the Year
This season on the World Cup has been very exciting. It's different, but it's really fun. The team is awesome and I really enjoyed it a lot. I had some great finishes and some not so great finishes, but it's a learning experience and I'm really looking forward to next year. I'm hoping next year to be most consistent with my placing and my skiing.


Mogul Skiers End Season With Moscow City Event
MOSCOW, Russia (March 3, 2016) - The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls athletes will close out the 2015-16 season this weekend with a dual moguls city event in Moscow. This is the first-ever moguls event to be held on scaffolding, set up just outside Moscow's city center. The same venue was used for an aerials World Cup back in February. The top 24 athletes in the current World Cup standings will compete, with 10 U.S. athletes looking to improve their standing before season's end.

The U.S. team is coming off a strong weekend in Tazawako, Japan, with podiums from Brad Wilson and Tom Rowley and two top 10 finishes for Mikaela Matthews. Rowley is currently leading the U.S. men in the World Cup standings in 10th and Matthews is leading the women in fifth.

While the World Cup aerialists have become familiar with competing on scaffolding at events in Beijing and Moscow, the set up is new territory for the mogul skiers. Matthews found the new atmosphere a bit intimidating at first, but began to feel more comfortable throughout training on Thursday.

"The scaffolding structure is visually intimidating, but once I put my skis on and step into the start gate, it feels surprisingly normal," said Matthews. "There are certainly some features in the course that stand out compared to a "normal" course - the top air is quick, the bottom jump transition is really long, and the whole course is very short. But the course skis really well and it turned into a fun and productive day of training. I am excited to see how big the crowd will be cheering for us on Saturday!"

The dual moguls competition begins at 8:50 a.m. EST with women's and men's qualification rounds. Finals will begin at 11 a.m. EST. Live scoring is available via FIS Freestyle.

HIGHLIGHTS

The last FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup of the season takes place this weekend on March 5 in Moscow.

The skiers will compete in dual moguls on a scaffolding structure just outside the city center.

It is the first FIS moguls event to be held on scaffolding.

Mikaela Matthews and Tom Rowley are currently leading the U.S. in the World Cup standings, sitting fifth and tenth respectively.

Competition beings at 8:50 a.m. EST with qualifications. Finals begin at 11 a.m. EST.

Live scoring is available via FIS Freestyle.

QUOTES

Mikaela Matthews
The scaffolding structure is visually intimidating, but once I put my skis on and step into the start gate, it feels surprisingly normal.vThere are certainly some features in the course that stand out compared to a "normal" course - the top air is quick, the bottom jump transition is really long, and the whole course is very short. But the course skis really well and it turned into a fun and productive day of training. I am excited to see how big the crowd will be cheering for us on Saturday!


Mogul Skiers Tackle Val St. Come NorAm
VAL ST. COME, Quebec (Feb. 29, 2016) - Troy Tully (Armonk, NY/Wasatch Freestyle), Kaitlyn Harrell (Morro Bay, CA; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) and Emerson Smith (Frisco, CO/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) all had top finishes at the NorAm competition held Feb. 27-28. U.S. athletes skied to a total of nine podiums over the course of the weekend.

On Feb. 27th's singles competition, Canada's Julie Bergeron took home the win for the ladies on her home turf. U.S. Freestyle Ski Team members Sophia Schwartz (Sun Valley, ID) and Tess Johnson (Vail, CO) also landed on the podium, finishing second and third.

Tully landed the top spot in the men's singles competition, his first NorAm win of the 2015-16 season. Teammate Bryan Zemba (Heber City, UT; Wasatch Freestyle) was second, followed by Australia's James MTeam USA took the top spot in duals for the women, with Harrell skiing to her first NorAm Cup victory. Canada's Valerie Gilbert was second and Avital Shimko (New York, NY/Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) third.

Smith lead a men's USA sweep of the duals podium, with Joel Hedrick (Fort Collins, CO/Winter Park Competition Center) finishing second and Tully capturing his second podium of the weekend in third.

After the Val St. Come competitions, Smith is currently leading the men's NorAm Cup standings with 390 points, just 30 points ahead of Tully. On the women's side, Johnson holds a strong lead with 405 points. NorAm finals are scheduled for March 5-6 in Killington, VT.

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