The Wilson brothers of Butte were part of a strong Montana showing in the opening event of the World Cup freestyle skiing moguls circuit competition that began last weekend in Ruka, Finland.
Brad Wilson, the tour’s male rookie of the year for the 2011-12 season, placed sixth in the dual moguls on Saturday that constituted the first competition of the 2012-13 slate. His older brother, Bryon, the 2010 Winter Olympics Bronze Medalist in the event, placed 14th. Bryon Wilson, 24, is back on the circuit after missing much of last season recovering from reparation knee surgery for an injury suffered in February of 2011. Brad Wilson, 20, won the Junior World Championships last year, too, at the finals held in Italy.
Bozeman product Heather McPhie, a longtime skiing friend of the Wilsons, won the women’s portion of the Ruka World Cup moguls as Montanans performed quite well.
Canadians finished first and second in the men’s competition as Mikael Kingsbury won the event, and Alex Bilodeau was the runner-up. Jeremy Cota placed third as the top U.S. finisher and teammate Patrick Deneen placed fifth, followed by the Wilsons for the top four spots in the Team USA standings. The field numbered 60 competitors.
The Saturday results now comprise the initial World Cup standings for the season.
The skiers move on to the Alps this week to vie in a World Cup competition set for this weekend in Kreichberg, Austria.