Hannah Kearney on the podium. (Getty Images - Matthew Stockman)
Winning is one thing. Winning over a sustained period of time is quite another. But that’s what Kelly Clark and Hannah Kearney are doing every time they get into the starting gate right now. In China last weekend, Kearney came from behind for win number 15 in a row. It was a tough battle as a bobble in the semifinals almost knocked our out of the top four Super Final. Clark was closer to home, taking the Snowbasin Dew Tour for her 14th straight.
While longer streaks are not unusual in sports like track and field and swimming, extended win strings in outdoor sports, where mother nature plays a role in the outcome are rare. In skiing, the great Swede Ingemar Stenmark held the mark with14 straight giant slalom World Cup wins from 1978-80. Kearney snapped that with her win in China.
While Kearney’s streak is only in World Cups, Clark’s halfpipe checklist includes everything from Dew Tour to X Games to Grand Prix and more. Her last loss came in the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper in Dec. 2010. This week she’ll be looking for her own number 15 the TTR World Championships.
At some point in time, the streaks will end. But for now, it’s a time to celebrate the best in the world success of these two Olympic champions who are taking their sports to higher and higher levels with every competition.
Weekly Highlights – February 14, 2012
Alpine –Bode Miller was fourth by .02 in a World Cup downhill held as a test event for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Lindsey Vonn was eighth in a GS held in tiny Andorra, while 16-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin was 10th in slalom and scored the first World Cup giant slalom points of her career. The women's tour now rotates to Sochi for a downhill and the final super combined of the season with Vonn leading the standings.
Cross Country – With Kikkan Randall resting a cold, the U.S. Women's Cross Country Ski Team shook off a bad day in Saturday's mass start to record the best U.S. women's relay finish in World Cup history Sunday. Holly Brooks, Ida Sargent, Liz Stephen and Jessie Diggins finished fifth, with Diggins recording the fastest time on the anchor leg. Final skate sprint of the season Fri. for Randall, who leads the World Cup but is feeling heat from Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland who will be on her home course.
Freeskiing – Fresh off of his X Games win, David Wise took another win at Dew Tour in Snowbasin with teammate Torin Yater-Wallace third. Devin Logan won women's halfpipe, took third in slopestyle, the Dew Tour Cup and the Paul Mitchell Breakthrough Athlete of the Year; newly added team member Maddie Bowman was third in halfpipe. Tom Wallisch took second in slopestyle, Athlete of the Year Award and Dew Tour Cup; teammate Bobby Brown was third.
Freestyle –Hannah Kearney notched her 15th consecutive win in China. The victory moved her past the great Ingemar Stenmark for the longest FIS World Cup win streak. The U.S. women saw all six skiers in the finals. Moguls athletes move to Japan where Kearney will look for wins 16 and 17. Aerials athletes head to Kreischberg, Austria.
Nordic Combined – After a week break at home from the World Cup, the Team resumes in Klingenthal, Germany kicking off the last four weeks of the season.
Ski Jumping – Sarah Hendrickson soared to a pair of victories and a hill record in Slovenia to run her World Cup lead to over 200 pint on six wins with four comps remaining. The World Cup resumes in March with Hendrickson training in Italy before Junior Worlds in Turkey.
Snowboarding – Kelly Clark won her 14th straight event at Dew Tour in Snowbasin with teammate Gretchen Bleiler second. Rookie Spencer Shaw was third in men's halfpipe. Louie Vito won back to back Dew Tour Cups and broke a record with a score of 98 in men's halfpipe. Faye Gulini was U.S. Snowboarding's top finisher at the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Canyons Resort, taking second to win the women's U.S. Championship. Teammate Nate Holland was the top American male finisher.
USSA Team Shops Followers and fans of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing can get the latest in fan gear from the Teams' new online shop. Launched as a part of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's new USSA Digital Network, the online shop features exclusive offers on gear from brand partners and official suppliers including Spyder, Neve Designs, Huge Sportswear, SmartWool, High Sierra and other major brands. Support the athletes by using your Visa card for all official team gear. Visa. Proud sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing. More people go with Visa.
Universal Sports Are you missing Universal Sports coverage in your market? While Universal Sports remains available on DirecTV, much of the cable distribution changed as of Jan. 1. Fans can help Universal Sports by voicing their concern to their local cable company. Simply call 1-888-55-GET-US or click on the link below to let your local cable provider know that you want this service! http://www.universalsports.com/iwantuniversalsports/iwantuniversalsports...
TV TUNE-IN 2/18 Visa Freestyle International – Dual moguls, Deer Valley, UT, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network 2/18 Sprint U.S. Grand Prix – Snowboardcross/Skicross, Canyons, UT, 3 p.m. ET, NBC 2/19 Visa Freestyle International - Dual Moguls, Deer Valley, UT, 2 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network