Parkites Page, Kauf, and Lemley on the world cup moguls podium in Italy

ITALY — The Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls athletes have been putting on a show worldwide all season, and Friday’s dual moguls World Cup finals was no exception. Park City athletes Jaelin Kauf, Elizabeth Lemley and Nick Page stood on the podium, and ten U.S. athletes finished in the top ten. 

Page skis for Wasatch Freestyle and is partially sponsored by Deer Valley. Kauf matriculates at the University of Utah, and Lemley attends the Winter Sports School.

The conditions could not have been better for the final World Cup of the season, with bluebird skies and just below freezing temperatures creating a perfect competition surface. 

Despite a few difficult matchups, the team started the day strong in their qualification duals. All 12 U.S. athletes advanced to the finals round of 16. 

The U.S. men put on one of their best performances of the season. Page came back from a difficult season to finish things off on the podium, finishing third. 

Park City’s Cole McDonald earned another top ten result, coming in tenth. 

On the women’s side, the results were nothing short of spectacular. The women avoided dueling each other in qualification, allowing all seven to advance to the finals. The first U.S. battle was Park City’s Kasey Hogg vs. Hannah Soar in the round of 16, where Soar advanced and Hogg finished 12th. 

It was an all-American affair in the quarterfinals as only two athletes from other countries (Anthony Jakara of Australia and Maia Schwinghammer of Canada advanced. Tess Johnson took on the overall World Cup leader, Jakara, and finished eighth on the day. U.S. athletes Soar and Lemley went head to head, and Lemley advanced by a small margin; Soar finished sixth. Alli Macuga, of the Park City Ski and Snowboard Team, and Olivia Giaccio, who won first place in this year’s Deer Valley World Cup, also dueled in the quarters. Giaccio displayed her technical perfection to advance into the semis; Macuga finished seventh and Giaccio went on to finish just off the podium in fourth place. Lemley, returning from a hiatus from the circuit after winning gold at the Youth Olympic Games, finished third alongside Kauf, who finished second. 

As the World Cup season concluded, awards for the overall moguls and dual moguls standings were presented. Kauf and Giaccio went second and third, respectively, in both the duals and overall moguls season standings, showcasing their incredible strength and consistency throughout the season. Six U.S. women ranked in the top ten, and Page finished the season fifth in both dual moguls and overall. 

“I think the biggest factor in our success this year was a team culture built around shared success and an attitude of continually striving to do one’s best. The focus wasn’t on results but on consistent quality performances,” said Bryon Wilson of Park City, head coach of the Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls team. “I’m blessed to coach such an amazing group of people. We have the best team in the world athletically, which is amazing, but what I love most is the great human beings they are all. As we finish this season and start thinking about next year’s prep, I think we will focus a lot on attention to detail. There are a few little things that if we can consistently execute better, I think we can achieve even more success. This season was a blast and I look forward to seeing what everyone is capable of moving forward.”

The entire team is now headed back stateside to finish out the season at U.S. Freestyle Championships in Waterville, New Hampshire, March 22-23. 

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