Vail’s Tess Johnson 12th at moguls worlds
Local racer makes finals
DEER VALLEY, Utah — Vail’s Tess Johnson made it through qualifying and finished 12th at the FIS Snowboard, Freestyle Freeski World Championships in Deer Valley, Utah on Friday night.
After taking 12th in her first Olympics last February in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Johnson, 18, was making her first appearance at the world championships.
Running fifth out of 18 scheduled competitors, Johnson started her run smoothly with good technical form over the early bumps and took the first jump of the course with a 360, or helicopter.
A year ago today I skied in the Olympics. Today I’m skiing in my first World Championships. 🇺🇸 Gonna be a fun one! #utahworlds2019
Johnson was in a really good rhythm through the middle moguls with a relaxed upper body. Johnson went for big air on a backflip on jump No. 2, and she got it. But she over-rotated slightly, causing a slightly awkward landing. While she did land and finish, Johnson was in the back seat a little and that’s all it takes at such a high-level competition.
She finished with 66.11 points and didn’t make the super finals, which takes the top-six racers.
Johnson did have the third-fastest time, 20 percent of a competitor’s score, with a run of 28.56 seconds, behind only teammate Jaelin Kauf and Jakara Anthony.
During afternoon qualifying, Johnson was a DNF during her first run but rebounded nicely to earn a ticket to the finals with a run with 60.86 points.
Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva took home the gold, followed by Anthony, of Canada, and France’s Perrine Laffont.
Johnson, an alumna of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail and the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, was the youngest moguls athlete to make the national team when she did so at the age of 16 back in 2016. She finished fifth and second at the 2015 and 2016 FIS Junior World Championships, respectively.
Last spring, Johnson earned her first World Cup win in dual moguls in Tazawako, Japan, on March 4. She added two World Cup podiums to her resume this season with third-place finishes in Ruka, Finland, and Lake Placid, New York.