Panther to make World Cup debut at Lake Placid |

Panther to make World Cup debut at Lake Placid

USSA and Tribune reports

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Olympic gold medalist and World Cup overall leader Hannah Kearne will be fronting the U.S. in the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup Jan. 21-23 in Lake Placid.

In the past, the U.S. Lake Placid World Cup has been a launching pad for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team athletes, experiencing great success. A stop on the World Cup tour since 1985, the 1980 Olympic venue site has been a home to the best freestyle skiers in the world for 26 years.

Former South Lake Tahoe resident Jay Panther will make his World Cup debut at this event. Panther recently earned the North American start and a spot on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team by finishing second overall at the U.S. Selection Events.

South Shore resident Sho Kashima, a U.S. Ski Team veteran, is also expected to compete.

In 2010 at Lake Placid, the U.S. swept the first four moguls spots with Kearney topping the field as two-time Olympic medalist and U.S. Freestyle Ski Team alum Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City finished second, Heather McPhie third and U.S. Freestyle Ski Team alum Michelle Roark fourth. In 2009, the aerials crew shined as Olympic silver medalist Jeret “Speedy” Peterson clinched the win and Emily Cook placed third.

The 2011 stop has all the promise as the previous years with Kearney coming in hot, having won two World Cups as well Patrick Deneen with one World Cup win and Bryon Wilson with a third-place result. Also adding to the depth of the moguls squad are Kashima, McPhie, Eliza Outtim and Jeremy Cota all having top 10 finishes.

For the aerials crew, they’ll open the World Cup season Saturday and Sunday in Mt. Gabriel, Quebec with Olympians Ryan St. Onge and Cook leading the way. Rising stars Ashely Caldwell, who trains in Lake Placid, and Nevin Brown will also to look to fly high as they head east to Lake Placid.

Competition begins Jan. 21 with aerials and will close Jan. 23 with a moguls competition.

Live updates, photos and video will be available on the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup Facebook fan page.

Nature Valley Freestyle Cup Schedule

Jan. 21-23

At Lake Placid, N.Y.

Friday, Jan. 21: Men’s and women’s aerials

Saturday, Jan. 22: Men’s and women’s moguls

Sunday, Jan. 23: Men’s and women’s moguls

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