Kauf named World Cup Rookie of the Year | SteamboatToday.com

Kauf named World Cup Rookie of the Year

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Jaelin Kauf does a 360 on Friday during training. Kauf is a breakout talent and part of an emerging women's freestyle club team that has the SSWSC coaches excited for the near future.

— Steamboat Springs moguls skier Jaelin Kauf burst on to the World Cup scene this winter, and last weekend, she was recognized for that accomplishment.

Kauf was named the FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup Rookie of the Year.

"This season on the World Cup has been very exciting," Kauf said in a news release. "It's different, but it's really fun. I had some great finishes and some not so great finishes, but it's a learning experience, and I'm really looking forward to next year."

Her biggest finishes came last month in a pair of World Cup races at Deer Valley, Utah.

Kauf was sixth one day in a moguls event, then third, earning her way onto the podium, in a dual moguls competition.

She wrapped up her World Cup season with a 17th-place finish in a dual moguls World Cup event in Moscow.

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"I'm hoping next year to be more consistent with my placing and my skiing," she said.

It was also a good weekend for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skier Jeremy Cota. He was fourth in Moscow, his best result of the season.

U.S. teammate Dylan Walczyk was right behind him in fifth place, Bradley Wilson in eighth, Thomas Rowley in 13th and Joseph Discoe in 19th.

The venue was built on scaffolding in the city and didn't share a lot in common with most moguls runs. It was shorter than usual, and the bumps weren't as significant as they often are.

"The strategy was a little different," Cota said in a news release. "As soon as you got out of the gate, you were going straight and trying to hang on. There were less tactics than a different course, but the jumps were big, and it was a good show. Competing here was great. They did a good job with it, and a lot of people turned out, so it made for more exciting skiing and was a good showcase for the sport.

Ali Kariotis was the top finisher for the women, in fourth place. Nessa Dziemian was 11th, Mikaela Matthews 16th and Keaton McCardo 18th.

Next up for the nation's freestyle skiers is a trip to Steamboat Springs. The men's and women's moguls are set for March 18. Aerialists will compete March 19, and the moguls skiers are back for a dual moguls competition March 20.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9