Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kloser 13th at Lake Placid


LAKE PLACID, N.Y. Friday Jan. 22nd — 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
years old , 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
their Olympic teams. 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
(a back flip with a full twist) 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 (crossing her skis while inverted) , finishing the first round in 14th, with two spots to spare for moving on to the finals. Each skier skis a qualifying run and the top 16 women and men advance on in there respective categories. In Freestyle skiing the women ski the same course as the men. The course has several lane options that the skiers choose from, they are typically 200 plus meters in length with a slope pitch of 25 degrees or more and include two aerial jumps in the length of the course. Having a little help perhaps from skiing third in the finals, the skiers start the finals in reverse order of how they qualified, Kloser's second run was 2 seconds faster that her first, and that helped her execute her game plan better. In her qualifying round, she was the last skier on the start list to ski and the course had deteriorated as skier after skier came down.

While Hannah Kearney, Shannon Barhrke, Heather McPhie stormed the podium
, Kloser in just her third World Cup competition, 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
international points in Nor-Am races in both the US and Canada.

Kloser will be
skiing at this year's first two Nor-Am competitions, 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
cfreud@vaildaily.com. Photo by Dan Campbell http://www.dancampbellphotography.com/.

Friday, January 15, 2010

VAIL DAILY REPORT 1-15-10

DEER VALLEY, Utah — Welcome to The Big Show, kid.

Yet Vail's Heidi Kloser, 17, didn't exactly seemed fazed by her first World Cup start. The moguls skier made the finals in her debut, finishing 16th out of 44 of the world's best, and earning her first World Cup points in Deer Valley, Utah, on Thursday.

“It was really super exciting. I was super happy because not that many people do that (their first time),” Kloser said. “I just tried to stay focused and keep doing what I know how to do.”

Skiing 28th in the preliminaries, she pulled a back full, which is back flip with a twist on the end. She said she had good speed during the middle portion of the course and finished with her traditional backwards iron cross.

Surprisingly, Kloser said she didn't feel too nervous. She knew her new teammates on the U.S. Team and wasn't overly-awed to see other skiers from around the world. Her focus before the race was to go through her normal routine “to get my muscles working.”

Kloser performed the same routine in the finals and she felt that she was going with more air and speed, but she was a little behind on her skis coming out of the back full and fell on the mogul in the middle of the course. Nevertheless, it was not only a great experience, but she picked 15 points and now has a world ranking (No. 34) in moguls.

American Heather McPhee won the women's event, while Australia's Dale Begg-Smith was tops for the men.

Kloser competes again in Deer Valley on Saturday and then head to Lake Placid, N.Y., as her young World Cup Career continues.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or
cfreud@vaildaily.com. Photo by Dan Campbell http://www.dancampbellphotography.com/.

Fan Report from Deer Valley, Utah

Heidi grabbed 15 World Cup Points in the first of two individual bumps events this week at Deer Valley. She threw a full twisting back flip and an Iron Cross back flip during her run. The next event is Saturday afternoon, with an evening final, so we'll give you updates ASAP. On the same day brother Christian and dad Mike are competing at the USAT Winter Triathlon Championships just 20 minutes away at Soldier Hollow so good luck to all and thanks to Emily for keeping track of all the logistics! Special thanks to Dan Campbell for his great photos - visit his site at http://www.dancampbellphotography.com/. More soon!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Heidi gets a spot on the US Freestyle Ski Team

video

Heidi at the US Ski Team selection event at Winter Park. This is the run that won her a spot on the team.