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Ski notes: Hannah Kearney wins moguls title

vermont mnative dominates event

Hannah Kearney had the best first run, scoring 26.48 points, and followed it up with an even better pass of 26.70.

alexis boichard/getty images

Hannah Kearney had the best first run, scoring 26.48 points, and followed it up with an even better pass of 26.70.

When it was over, Hannah Kearney tasted victory.

alexis boichard/getty images

When it was over, Hannah Kearney tasted victory.

Olympic and World Cup champion Hannah Kearney of Norwich, Vt., put down what many called a “perfect run” in Voss, Norway, on Wednesday to earn her second world moguls title.

The 27-year-old Kearney had the best first run, scoring 26.48 points, and followed it with a decisive second effort of 26.70. Miki Ito of Japan was second overall with 24.92 points, and Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Canada was third with 23.48.

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“I decided to go big and throw full on the top,” said Kearney. “In this sport you have to be on top of your game all the time or your career’s not going to be successful. There are always new athletes coming up and new tricks to perfect, and that puts the pressure on. I had an injury this season and it really helped me keep my focus as I watched my competitors train and compete. They really pushed me. And to never take my health for granted made an epic challenge for me. It made me want to fight for that yellow bib.

“To be able to say I won this event eight years ago, and now, says a lot for the consistency in my skiing, in what is a very inconsistent sport.”

Mikael Kingsbury of Canada beat teammate Alex Bilodeau for the men’s title. Patrick Deneen of the US, the 2009 world champion, was third.

Catamounts in lead

Jonathan Nordbotten won the giant slalom with a two-run time of 2:03.12 as the University of Vermont seized the lead on the first day of the NCAA Skiing Championships in Middlebury, Vt.

It was Nordbotten’s fourth individual win of the season and first national title. He tied for the day’s fastest time (1:00.62) in his second run, but had to watch five contenders come down the hill before his victory was confirmed.

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“That was nerve-racking,” said Nordbotten, a junior. “You’re almost more nervous watching that than standing on the start because down here you don’t know what to do.”

Vermont has 227 points. Behind women’s giant slalom champion Kristine Haugen, Denver is second with 210.5, followed by Colorado (175.5), New Hampshire (165.5), and Utah (164.5).

The championships continue Thursday with Nordic classic races. Alpine competition concludes with the slalom.

Wise move

American David Wise won his first world halfpipe title Tuesday is Oslo.

Wise earned 96.2 points from his first run, leading a 1-2 American finish with Torin Yater-Wallace. Thomas Krief of France was third.

“This is one of the most exciting finals we’ve seen yet,” said Wise. “Because I was near the head of the start list, it was fun to watch everyone else drop in. There were some amazing runs. It was cool to be part of.”

Schild out for season

World Cup slalom champion Marlies Schild will sit out the remainder of the season to rest the knee she hurt in a training crash in December.

The Austrian recovered from the earlier injury and competed as defending champion in the slalom of last month’s world championships. She was beaten for the title by American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin.

‘‘Because of recurring problems with my right knee, I have to end my current season for good now,” said Schild. “I will take some rest and have additional therapy to be fully healthy for next season.’’

Fine mess

Lawmakers in Vermont, where more than 40 skiers and riders have had to be rescued this season after getting lost, are finding the question of fining rule breakers trickier than it first seemed.

Vermont snow enthusiasts by the dozens have been going past boundaries meant to keep them in bounds. Since most carry cellphones, they invariably get picked up by ski patrols after becoming lost.

So last week, the state legislature attempted to establish a $500 fine to help recover some of the rescue expenses. But after hearing from ski area and law enforcement officers, along with skiers and riders, lawmakers took no action.

“If we start criminalizing everything we think is dumb we’d have an avalanche of legislation,” said state senator Joe Benning.

Backcountry enthusiasts said they did not want to be lumped in with those who are inexperienced and ill prepared, and pose risks to themselves and rescuers.

“If people approach the sport with the right gear and a sense of where they’re going, the result is a spectacular winter day,” said David Goodman, author of “Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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