Kauf Fourth in Val St. Come Duals
Jaelin Kauf led the Americans for the second night in a row under the lights at Val St. Come with a fourth place finish in the FIS Dual Moguls World Cup. Kauf dueled Britain’s Mikaela Gerken Schofield in a wild ride of a small final where both women pushed each other to their limits. At one point Kauf straddled a mogul but drew on her experience and strength to pull it back and ski in the line to beat Schofield over the finish. In the end, the judges gave it to Schofield who took third place. Japan’s Anri Kawamura won and France’s Perrine Laffont took second.
“I’m tired,” commented Kauf from the finish area. “It’s bittersweet [to come in fourth], but I am stoked to be back in duals again after such a long time away from competition. I’m bummed to have made such a big mistake in that last run. I thought I was done there for a minute, but basically I just did everything I could to hang on and make it through.”
Elizabeth Lemley, who won her first dual moguls World Cup this season, skied an impressive run against Japan’s Haruka Nakao in the round of eight to advance to the quarterfinal. Lemley met Kauf in the quarterfinal in an American round of friendly fire, but came unstuck in the top section and ended the night in eighth.
It was another strong showing for the women of the moguls team with seven qualifying for the round of eight: Kauf, Lemley, Alli Macuga, Tess Johnson, Olivia Giaccio, Hannah Soar and Lulu Shaffer. With a field so deep, several rounds of friendly fire knocked a few Americans out from the gate: Johnson lost to Kauf and Soar lost to Shaffer.
Soar finished 10th, Macuga in 11th and Johnson in 13th.
Shaffer, in her first dual moguls World Cup, skied against Schofield in the quarterfinal, crossing the line first. Schofield took the advance and Shaffer finished in seventh.
Giaccio came up against Laffont in the quarterfinal. Both women went huge with their airs, but Laffont took the round. Giaccio finished in fifth.
On the men’s side Nick Page and Cole McDonald qualified for the round of eight. Page met Kazakhstan’s Pavel Komolkav for a thrilling match. Both men were neck-in-neck the entire run. Although Page skied clean and fast to cross the line first, the round went to Komolkav and Page ended the night in ninth.
McDonald was on the hunt for another duals podium. He beat Finland’s Severi Vierela in the round of eight to come up against Mikael Kingsbury in the quarterfinal. To beat the King you have to ski the run of your life, and McDonald took up the challenge with gusto.
“This was my fourth time dueling Mikael, so I had a lot of experience going against him,” reflected McDonald. “I knew I had to give it my all. My goal in the start gate was to try to beat him across the line. I was just 0.1 seconds behind him; it was quite a close dual.”
McDonald finished the night in seventh.
Sweden’s Walter Wallberg won the night, Kingsbury took second and Sweden’s Filip Granefors took third.
Dylan Walczyk finished 20th, Landon Wendler 27th and Dylan Marcellini 45th.
Moguls competes next on home snow at the Intermountain Health Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort Feb. 2-4, 2023.
Women’s Dual Moguls
Men’s Dual Moguls