Brad Wilson encores with 5th in Japan duals

TAZAWAKO, Japan – Brad Wilson of Butte posted another strong showing Sunday with a fifth-place finish in the dual moguls competition at the Japan World Cup freestyle skiing meet.

Wilson won Saturday’s moguls competition in his first action back after recovering from a torn ACL suffered in early December of 2014. Wilson’s older brother, Bryon, also of Butte, placed 29th in the duals after a 33rd-place positing Saturday in the mogul competition. Bryon Wilson has also been battling injuries this season.

Tom Rowley of Long Beach, New York, battled through six rounds of dual moguls to land his second career World Cup podium, finishing second. Mikaela Matthews of Frisco, Colorado, was the top U.S. women’s finisher in eighth.

Rowley, who was named World Cup Rookie of the Year last season, won some difficult duals on his way to the finals, including one against teammate Dylan Walczyk of Rochester, New York. Rowley skied a strong middle section throughout the competition, losing only in his final dual against Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury. After consistently finishing in the top 10 and top 20 this season, Rowley was happy to find the podium.

“I’ve been close at a couple of events, but it hasn’t really worked out,” said Rowley. “It feels good to finally put a couple down and get on the podium.”

Walczyk wound up sixth and American Jeremy Cota of Carabasset Valley, Maine, was 18th.

On the women’s side, Deborah Scanzio of Switzerland took the win. Canada’s Audrey Robichaud and Chloe Dufour-LaPointe each earned their second podiums of the weekend, finishing second and third.

The U.S. women struggled and let the course get the best of them, with Matthews posting the lone top-10 finish. Jaelin Kauf of Alta, Wyoming, was the next highest U.S. finisher behind Matthews in 11th. Nessa Dziemian was 19th, Keaton McCargo 20th and Ali Kariotis 21st

The World Cup continues on to Moscow for World Cup finals on March 5. The Moscow event will take place on scaffolding, which will be a unique venue for the mogul skiers.  “The event in Moscow next week will be interesting, stated Rowley. “I’m excited to see what the whole scaffolding set up is like and experience skiing in the city.”

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