Vail’s Tess Johnson makes podium in Lake Placid | VailDaily.com

Vail’s Tess Johnson makes podium in Lake Placid

Daily staff report newsroom@vaildaily.com

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Vail’s Tess Johnson led the U.S. Freestyle Team with a third-place finish at the USANA FIS Freestyle World Cup moguls in Lake Placid, New York, on Friday.

"I'm really excited. It's been a long time since we've had three (American) girls in a super finals. It was really fun to ski with them. I'm just thrilled about getting on the podium again this season," said Johnson, who shared the podium with first-time World Cup winner Jakara Anthony (Australia) and Perrine Laffont (France).

It’s Johnson’s third podium of her career, and her second this season. The 2018 Olympian was third in Ruka, Finland, last month.

"Tess was just awesome, she just kept making the adjustments to make the difference," said U.S. head moguls coach Matt Gnoza.

Five American women qualified for the two-run final: Johnson, Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyoming), Morgan Schild (like Johnson, an alumna of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail), Nessa Dziemian (East Hampstead, New Hampshire) and Alex Jenson (Park City, Utah). Kauf was just off the podium in fourth place, with Schild on her heels in fifth.

"It's very exciting to have made it to the super finals," Schild said. "I did not expect to be back in the top six. I was happy to be able to put down a run top to bottom. It wasn't my best run or my cleanest skiing but I have room to improve. And I have a couple of weeks to do that before World Champs. I'm just looking forward to staying healthy and continuing to push my boundaries in these next couple of weeks."

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Four men qualified for the final: Casey Andringa (Boulder), Bradley Wilson (Butte, Montana), Jesse Andringa (Boulder) and Dylan Walczyk (Long Beach, New York), with Casey Andringa and Wilson both making super finals. Casey Andringa had a career-best with a fourth-place finish. France's Benjamin Cavet took the victory, followed by Sweden's Walter Wallberg in second and Australia's Matt Graham in third.

The moguls team has one World Cup event left in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, before the World Championships Team is announced on Jan. 29.