Heil of Canada in second and American Shannon Bahrke in third at the one
of the last World Cup contests of her 12-year career.
On March 12 and 13 it was on to Are, Sweden, where Kearney took a break
from her break and picked up right where she left off — on top of the podium.
The 24-year-old Vermont native went two-for-two in a pair of singles competitions for her third and fourth victories of the season while Bahrke and Heil
each had a second and third-place finish.
Though she didn’t know it at the time (she would not start in Sierra Nevada
after getting banged up in training), the Are competitions would be Bahrke’s
last World Cup appearances. In a fitting end to a very successful career, the
Squaw Valley native podiumed in all of her last five international competitions including a bronze medal performance in Vancouver for her second
Olympic medal (silver in Salt Lake).
“It’s going to be really hard, but to end things on a good note, I’ll remember
how much I kicked ass and I think that’s a good way to go out,” said Bahrke.
With Heil’s silver and bronze performances in Are, she sealed her fifth World
Cup overall title, tying the mark set by American great Donna Weinbrecht.
“It’s definitely a challenge to stay on top,” said Heil. “To tie Donna for the all-
time record is definitely nothing I had imagined when I started the sport.”
Are was also good to the American men as defending world champion Pat-
rick Deneen earned second (his career World Cup high) and third-place re-
sults behind winners Guilbaut Colas of France and Jesper Bjoernlund of Swe-
den. Olympic bronze medalist Bryon Wilson, Jeremy Cota, Michael Morse,
David DiGravio and Joe Discoe also grabbed top- 15 results in Sweden.
With seventh and fourth-place finishes in Are, American Eliza Outtrim, who
had never stood on a World Cup podium, charged into Spain on March 18.
With plenty of confidence and a point to prove after missing the cut for the
highly-competitive four member Olympic team, Outtrim put down two clean
airs and a speedy time to grab her first World Cup win. “It’s pretty incredible,”
said Outtrim. “I honestly couldn’t believe it. It was so surreal for so long. I re-
ally did not expect this at all. I was really just hoping to get a top five, so this
win is unbelievable.”
Teammate Heather McPhie, who also earned her first career World Cup
victory this season, grabbed her fourth podium of the season in third place
behind Austrian veteran Margarita Marbler in second. Kearney came down
in fourth. Both Heil and Bahrke were out with injuries.