Vail’s Kloser 13th in Lake Placid World Cup
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The United States women went 1-2-3-4 in Thursday’s World Cup moguls event Thursday in Lake Placid, N.Y.
“And seventh and 13th,” added Vail’s Heidi Kloser.
Right you are, young lady. Kloser, 17, finished 13th, making a trip to the finals of a World Cup event for the second time in her third career start Thursday. After taking 16th in Deer Valley, Utah, last week, 13th is new best in a very short, but successful career for Kloser.
“I don’t know. I felt I was skiing well enough,” she said. “I’m not really surprised. I’m just happy.”
Not only was it exciting that Kloser was in the points again for the second time in as many weeks, but that she did so in Lake Placid. Teams are required to submit their Olympic rosters on Monday for Vancouver, British Columbia, and while the 2010 Games are not on the radar for Kloser, she was skiing against fellow racers trying to pile on to their point totals.
“You could tell people were stressed out,” Kloser said. “There were people trying to make it. I was treating it as just another competition.”
It was just another competition for Kloser, but the course and the snow were different – flatter and icier than she was used to – so she had to adjust. Getting speed going into her opening back full was a little harder.
“It was a lot flatter and kind of icy hard. It was a challenge,” Kloser said. “The flatter run made the moguls drop off a little more.”
She ended her first run with her traditional back flip-X, finishing the first round in 14th with two spots to spare for moving on to the finals. Having a little help perhaps from skiing third in the finals, Kloser’s second run was 2 seconds faster that her first, and that helped her execute her game plan better.
And so Thursday became the first time that she put down two runs in World Cup competition, having fallen last week in the finals in Utah.
While Hannah Kearney, Shannon Barhrke, Heather McPhie stormed the podium, Kloser nudged herself up two spots from 34th to 32nd in the world.
World Cup moguls are done until after the Olympics. The next stop is Inawshiro, Japan, in March. Kloser, as a younger skier on the national team, will understandably not likely make that trip. She’ll be working on her points in Nor-Am races.
Kloser will be back in Lake Placid on Jan. 28, and then heads to Killington, Vt., in early February.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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