Kearney edged Canadian sisters Chloe Dufour-Lapointe and Justine Dufour-Lapointe on the steep windy course that was the site of the 2002 Olympic competition. American Heather McPhie was fourth.
“It feels really good to be rewarded by the judges for pushing myself,” Kearney said. “I felt a little bit out of control, but they didn’t punish me too much and that’s a nice thing since I need to charge. Kearney has already qualified for the Sochi Olympic team. The rest of the U.S. women have three more chances to get the two-podium requirement. Competition at Deer Valley continues through the weekend.
On the alpine skiing side: Alice McKennis, 24, of Glenwood Springs, Colo. joins Lindsey Vonn in the decision to skip the Sochi Games for the same reason. She had fractured her right tibial plateau in a World Cup race last winter in Germany and is not yet 100 percent. She was one of six American women to earn a World Cup podium appearance last winter.
“It’s pretty heartbreaking to miss Sochi, but I’ve already been to the Olympics and I’ve already participated,” she said. “When I go to the Olympics next time, I want to be a contender and I want to know I have a shot at a medal. Right now, I don’t feel I have that shot.” McKennis said she will concentrate on the 2015 World Championship at Beaver Creek and the 2018 Olympics.
Photo: Hannah Kearney at last year's World Cup at Lake Placid (USST)