Owens, Johnson crack World Cup moguls top 10
Local duo sharp in opener
First competition of the season and two top 10s for local World Cup moguls aces Kai Owens and Tess Johnson — that’s a good day at the office.
Steamboat Springs’ Jaelin Kauf finished second and led two more Coloradans into the top 10 — Edwards’ Kai Owens in sixth and Vail’s Tess Johnson in 10th at the season-opening World Cup moguls comp in Ruka, Finland. France’s Perrine Laffont won the event.
For Owens, 16, it’s the best finish on the World Cup. Her previous high was 10th in Calgary, Alberta, on Feb. 1.
“I’m feeling really good, I’m really excited to be out here competing,” said Owens, through a U.S. Ski Team press release.. “This is an awesome event and a great course. It’s an honor to compete with everyone, they’re all my idols still. It makes me super proud of myself and how far I’ve come so I’m excited to keep skiing this season.”
“[She] had one of the biggest bottom airs, men or women, today, especially in that qualifying round,” said Matt Gnoza, the U.S. Ski Team’s head moguls coach said. “That really helped her set the tone throughout the day with that high qualifying position. Kai’s a hard worker and I think what something like this [result] does is make hard workers work harder. She’ll dig in even more to find out what it’s going to take to go from that fifth or sixth to that podium position.”
Johnson, 20, is no stranger to the top 10. This was the 2018 Olympian’s 24th top 10 of her career. Johnson has podiumed before in Ruka, taking third in December 2018.
The tour heads to Idre Fjall, Sweden, for both moguls and dual moguls this weekend.
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