Wilsons clinch Top 10 spots as world-class mogulists

From the U.S. Ski Team

SIERRA NEVADA, Spain — Butte brothers Bryon and Brad Wilson finished the World Cup freestyle skiing men’s moguls season Friday with similar efforts to secure top 10 rankings in the final standings for 2012-13.

Bryon Wilson, 24, placed 12th in the Spanish-hosted World Cup Finals men’s moguls event while Brad, 20, placed 15th. The performances in a field of more than 60 skiers put  Brad fourth in the world rankings and his older brother 10th. They rank second and fourth, respectively, among Team USA contestants.

The Sierra Nevada meet was won by Canadian Alex Bilodeau while top-ranking American Pat Deneen was the meet runner-up. Deneen finished third in the final World Cup standings. Third place in this weekend’s meet went to Canadian Simon Pouliot-Cavanaugh.

The Wilsons and the other top American contestants will be contending next season for berths on the U.S. Winter Olympics Team. The Games are set for next February in Sochi, Russia. Bryon Wilson was the 2010 Winter Olympics Bronze Medalist in men’s moguls. Brad Wilson was last year’s World Cup “Rookie of the Year” in the event, and the Junior Worlds champion.

Bryon Wilson is a 2006 graduate of Butte High School and Brad graduated in 2011 from Butte Central.

Hannah Kearney of Norwich, Vt., won her fourth World Cup moguls title Friday. After three hours of delays due to fog and wind, officials canceled the race, letting qualification results stand as the final. Kearney took the top spot and Heather McPhie of Bozeman rounded out her career best season with a third for the day and a third overall in the mogul standings.

The U.S. Team also took home the Nation’s Cup for the second year in a row.

Kearney took the womex’s title by 91 points over Canada’s Justine Dufour-Lapoint, who she had battled with all season. Kearney is second in the overall standings. McPhie solidified a third overall spot in the moguls standings.

“This globe means a lot to me,” Kearney said. “It’s my fourth globe but I’ve never fought as hard for anything as I did for this globe. Showing up in January after missing events, I didn’t know if it would be possible and I didn’t help myself when I missed finals in a few events. It was nerve-wracking all season passing that yellow bib back and fourth. I didn’t have any extra padding coming into today and with the weather, it was just another variable to add to the nerves.

“It was strange here today. It looked beautiful on the mountain. It was sunny and windy at the bottom but a warm refreshing breeze. We took our first lift up and just got stuck there. The lift wasn’t open and the whole mountain was closed. Hours later we took cat rides up but since the mountain was closed there were no spectators or speakers. Seems like it wasn’t really an event but there was so much on the line and this event was so important. This kind of comp is where being a veteran really pays off. You know every competition that something could happen and you could only get one run so you have to put it all out there every time. I was happy with my skiing and it was overall a really great day.“

McPhie had a career best season, earning five podiums —  three of them wins.

In the men’s dual moguls race, Deneen, of Cle Elum, Wash., finished second and found his way into the third spot in the World Cup mogul standings. He finished sixth overall. Due to fog and wind, both the women’s and men’s duals race were a one run competition. After three hours of delays, officials canceled the event and qualification results stood as the final results. The Wilsons were unable to start.