HANNA KEARNEY WINS 11 IN A ROW!
by Paul Maraschiello

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Olympic Champion Vermonter Hannah Kearney won her 11th consecutive FIS Freestyle World Cup moguls event at the USANA Freestyle Cup at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, New York. This set the record for the longest Freestyle World Cup winning streak in FIS history. Teammate and World Champion Patrick Deneen earned his first podium of the season that day, finishing just behind Canada's Mikael Kingsbury.



For the women, it was Hanna Kearney (USA) finishing 1st with a score of 23.52, Justine Dufour-lapointe (CAN) was 2nd with 22.85, Nikola Sudova (CZE) was 3rd with 22.78 and USA's Heather Mcphie was 4th with 21.57.



For the men, it was an all North American podium with Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) winning the gold with 25.32, USA's Patrick Deneen scoring 24.00 in 2nd, Philippe Marquis (CAN) in 3rd with 21.86 and Jeremy Cota (USA) placing 4th with 21.29 . This was the 4th consecutive world cup win for this Canadian bumper from Quebec. Hanna's gold medal made it a three medal day for the USA and Kingsbury's gold medal made is a three-medal day for Canada.



The competition was intense in this annual FIS Freestyle mogul competition. Each competitor skied down the course as fast as possible doing flips in the air. The final result was determined by a Super Final where the top 4 competitors faced off against each other making a second run to determine the winner.



The staff at Whiteface did a great job preparing the mogul course after freezing rain and below zero temperatures the day before threatened to turn the mountain into an ice cube. The snowmaking crew and grooming personnel did a fantastic job not only on the mogul course but on the entire mountain.



Spectators were thrilled as they watched the competitors speed down the course doing D spins, back flips, and other tricks on the two mandatory jumps as they carved turn after turn in the bumps. This was Kearney's 16th 1st place in individual moguls in her career.



I was able to shoot some great shots of this world-class event including action shots of many of the competitors, including Hanna Kearney and many of the other competitors in the air.



Accommodations

After the mogul event, I headed to the Whiteface Chalet where I was staying. This comfortable ski lodge is only a few miles for the ski resort and my room was very comfortable with knotty pine walls, old fashioned patchwork quilts and rustic furniture made from tree branches. My room had cable TV, so I was able to relax after a hard day on the slopes and watch the tube.



The next morning, I enjoyed the complementary continental breakfast in the diningroom before heading back to Whiteface for a morning of skiing and an afternoon and evening covering the aerial event held at the Olympic Jumping complex. They had scheduled two aerial events, one for Friday and the second event on Saturday.



If you are looking for a great place to stay, only a few minutes from Whiteface, I suggest that you check out the Whiteface Chalet. They have very reasonable rates ranging from $90.00 (midweek) to $149.00 (holiday weekend). Check out their web site http://whitefacechalet.com. You can call 888-946-2207 to make a reservation or e-mail them at whiteface@whitefacechalet.com. Tell them you saw the excellent recommendation on the Ski Bum News. I know you will enjoy your stay at this lovely ski lodge.



Aerials

They started off the first aerial event with practice jumps where talented aerialists from all over the world launched themselves off a 60 foot kicker high into the air. These athletes spun, flipped and twisted in the air, high above the heads of the spectators.



The Chinese team took five medals in this event. China's women's team swept the podium with Mengtao Xu winning the gold with 93.06, teammates Shuang Cheng winning the silver with 85.65 andFanyu Kong taking the bronze with 81.2. Olga Volkova (UKR) was 4th with 71.97.



The men saw Zongyang Jia (CHN) take 1st place with a score of 128.51. His teammate Zongyang Liu was 2nd with 127.83 and Anton Kushnir (BLR) in 3rd with 126.47Oliver Rochon (CAN) aced out Dylan Ferguson (USA) for 4th place wit a score of 109.38.



Most of the competitors in this event have a gymnastics background and you can really tell when you see these talented competitors from all over the world do their stuff in the air.



On Saturday, there was another aerial event with spectacular twists and turns high above the heads of spectators with the Swiss team finishing 1st and 2nd for the men and the Chinese women's team once again sweeping the podium.



In the men's aerials, it was Switzerland's Thomas Lambert who won the event with a score of 119.4. His team mate Renato Ulrich was 2nd with 116.48. Petr Medulich (RUS) was 3rd with 104.49 600.00 and Zhongqing Liu just missed the podium with a score of 88.01.



The women saw another China clean sweep with the same winning line-up. Mengtao Xu took 1st again with 96.58. Her teammates Shuang Cheng placed 2nd again with 94.47 and Fanyu Kong was 3rd again with 82.94. Olga Volkova was once again in 4th place with 79.85.



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